Shanghai is a thriving city of 24 million people. It stands as the economic and commercial center for the entire Pacific Rim.


Shanghai’s stunning architecture alone has caused it to be known as “the city of the future,” and its enormous environmental, economic, and social challenges and achievements are mirrored across China and around the world. Based on student feedback and requests, Centre has teamed up with the Alliance for Global Education (IFSA-Butler), one of this country’s most respected and largest study-abroad organizations, to create a new program in Shanghai specifically tailored to the needs of Centre students.


Two female students tour ancient buildings in Shanghai, China

The program sponsors a week-long field study trip to Southwestern China’s Yunan Province, including hiking in the famous mountainous areas, visiting small Yi and Miao minority villages, and exploring the natural beauty of the Stone Forest and rain forest of Xishuangbanna.

female student walks through a circular doorway in Shanghai, China

Full schedule of excursions, events, and lectures designed to enhance understanding of China and the historical and modern influences that impact its culture and people.

male student boards the subway in Shanghai, China

The Centre-in-China program includes a guaranteed internship—though any student not wishing to have an internship can substitute an elective (or two) course(s). IFSA arranges internships in an area of your academic or professional interest.

More Program Details

The IFSA (Institute for Study Abroad) headquarters are located in a safe, pleasant quarter of the city that features restaurants, small shops, street food, and recreational areas. A café with a patio where students often study is on the ground floor of the IFSA building. Across a small park is Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, whose cafeteria and other facilities are available for students’ use. Students will live in two- or three-bedroom apartments two minutes away from the IFSA headquarters. Each apartment has its own living/dining area, kitchen, and bath. Students will room with other American students and a Chinese student from a nearby university, increasing the likelihood of true cultural immersion.

The same as studying in Danville, plus a $375 non-refundable deposit/surcharge and airfare. This amount includes a $15 carbon mitigation fee, but does not include the $20 cost of the required travel medicine presentation that all Centre students going abroad must attend. If you have significant financial need, you may qualify for additional funding from the Davidson Fund.

Students have the option of earning 12 or 15 Centre credit hours. All students take Chinese Society in the 21st Century (Sociology), for which they earn 3 credit hours. All students also take 6 credit hours of Mandarin language (8 contact hours, meeting two hours a day, four days a week). Students can then choose to complete an internship (3 hours) and/or an elective (each is 3 credit hours) from the following options:

  • ECON 360 – China: Economic Giant
  • IAFF 340 – Sino-U.S. Relations: Superpower and Realignment
  • POL 350 – Contemporary Chinese Politics: State, Party, People
  • ENVI 385 – The City and the Environment
  • ARTH 260 – Survey of Art in China
  • ECON 371 / FINC 370 – International Money and Finance (Prerequisites: ECO 110 and ECO 340)
  • ECON 380 – International Trade: A Chinese Perspective (Prerequisite: ECO 110)

Students who don’t participate in an internship have the option of taking two electives to bring their total hours to 15, which is the norm for other students participating in this IFSA program. Students can choose to take an elective and participate in an internship as well.

The Centre-in-China program is Centre’s only semester-long abroad option that includes a guaranteed internship — though any student not wishing to have an internship can substitute an elective (or two) course(s). Students who have studied some Mandarin will have an advantage for placements where Mandarin is helpful. IFSA arranges internships in an area of your academic or professional interest: in Chinese, joint-venture, or foreign-owned companies; research institutes; NGO’s; media and art studios.