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Beijing Normal University

  • Beijing, China
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Spend your semester in Beijing, China, where history and modernity collide. This northeastern city is not only known for its ancient sites and architecture, but also for its growing modern landscape. As China’s capital, it is the second largest city in China, and an epicenter for culture and education. With seven UNESCO world heritage sites, 91 colleges and universities, and a hub of technology, business, fashion, and art, Beijing is sure to have the experience you are looking for.

Whether you are new to studying the Chinese language, or are working hard to master it, Beijing Normal University (BNU), offers a diverse range of courses that cater to all language abilities. While at your home away from home, stay in one of BNU’s five international student dorms, where a myriad of dining options and student organizations are available to you. BNU’s campus and dormitories are within the urban area of Beijing, a short distance from local and international eateries, and famous Chinese landmarks.

Application Deadline


Program Start


Program End


Partner University

Beijing Normal University


  • Beijing

Program Term

  • Academic Year
  • Fall
  • Spring

Language of Instruction

  • Chinese
  • English

Exchange Program


Program Details

Academic Program

Beijing Normal University offers a wide range of courses for undergraduate students. Prior knowledge of Chinese is recommended but not required.

If you have little to no background knowledge in Chinese, you have the option of taking Chinese language and related courses designed for international students. A placement test is administered to all international students who plan to take Chinese language classes before registering for classes, except for those with no language background in Chinese. 

If you are fluent in Chinese, you can enroll in the regular university courses that are taught in Chinese. Beijing Normal University offers 55 undergraduate programs.

Course Descriptions and Syllabi

You are only allowed to take courses within one particular school or department at Beijing Normal University. However, no matter which department you choose, you can still take a Chinese language course.

Beijing Normal University offers many English-taught courses in select subject areas.  Some of the available courses are at the graduate level, so please pay close attention to the course details. Beijing Normal University suggests taking no more than 2 English-taught courses on top of any planned Chinese language courses. Please note, Beijing Normal University typically offers fewer courses in English during the Spring semester.

Review Beijing Normal University’s website for more information regarding course offerings in English.

General Education Information for UAlbany Students

Credits earned on this program will automatically satisfy the International Perspectives requirement. Three credits of foreign language study will satisfy the Foreign Language requirement. No additional approval is required for you to earn these general elective credits.

Major/Minor Information for UAlbany Students

Courses may also satisfy major and minor requirements, upon approval by the department.


All courses taken abroad count towards UAlbany General Elective credits. Credits and grades will appear on your UAlbany transcript. You may file a request to have additional courses approved for equivalency as necessary. 


While studying at Beijing Normal University, you will be housed in one of the on-campus international student dormitories or nearby apartments.  On campus housing is guaranteed for exchange students. Suites, single, and double occupancy dormitories are available. All the rooms in Beijing Normal University are equipped with a bed, bedding, desk, bookshelf, chair, lamp, telephone, refrigerator, safe, air conditioner, electric kettle, and wardrobe. Hot drinking water is provide the whole day, and your room will be cleaned every day.

You may also choose to make your own housing arrangements off-campus.


There is no meal plan for this program. You may choose to purchase meals in the cafeteria, cook, or eat out at local restaurants. 

Estimate of Costs

The Academic Year 2019-20 Estimate of Costs is forthcoming. For reference, review the Academic Year 2018-19 Estimate of Costs.

More Information

Click for more information on Program Costs and Financial Aid.

Remember to speak with the Office of Financial Aid at your home campus to determine how your aid package could apply towards your program abroad.

Academic Requirements

Juniors, seniors and exceptional sophomores in all majors with at a least 2.5 GPA are welcome to apply. If you have a lower GPA, you should consult with the study abroad program coordinator.

Prior knowledge of Chinese is recommended but not required.

You must be at least 18 years of age by the start of the program at Beijing Normal University.   

Please note, if you are a Chinese citizen, or a Taiwan or Hong Kong passport holder, you are not eligible to apply to this program.

Experiential Learning

Group excursions and activities are arranged by the International Students Office. 

Most financial aid and academic awards will apply to semester programs.

External scholarships, listed on our website, are a good way to partially fund your study abroad experience. In addition, the Center for International Education and Global Strategy offers two scholarship programs for UAlbany students studying abroad on UAlbany or 4-year SUNY programs.

More information on applying to these scholarships is located on the Scholarships web page.

“This experience has given me skills that I will take home such as communicating properly and working with others that are very different from myself.”

Program Advisor

Huckleby, Carmeisha

About the City

Beijing Normal University is located in the urban setting of the metropolis of Beijing. Beijing is the capital, and one of the largest cities in China. The city is located in northeastern China, and is known for its ancient sites and modern architecture.

Travel Documents

A valid passport is required to participate in this program. 

If you are a U.S. citizen, you are required to obtain a visa to enter China. Please visit the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States of America website for further information on X1 and X2 visas.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, please consult with your government to determine whether you will need to obtain a visa to enter China.  

More information regarding the visa application process is available upon acceptance to the program.

Application Availability

Applications become available online one semester before the program start date, based on the following timeline:

  • Spring/Winter/Spring Break programs: July
  • Fall/Year/Summer programs: December

Program Dates

Academic Year 2019-2020

September to July

Fall 2019

September to January

Spring 2020

March to July

About the Program

Beijing Normal University, a key university under the administration of the Ministry of Education, is a renowned institution of higher education known for teacher education, education science and basic learning in both the arts and the sciences. Formerly known as the Normal College of the Imperial University of Peking, Beijing Normal University became the first Normal University in Chinese history.

The Beijing Normal University (BNU) education abroad program allows you to immerse yourself in the Chinese culture and society by living in the vibrant neighborhood located in metropolitan Beijing. 

Program Orientations

Upon acceptance to the program, you will be required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation. During this time, you will have the opportunity to meet other program participants, discuss in-depth the details of your program, and prepare of the overall education abroad experience. The fall semester pre-departure orientation will be conducted the Saturday before the end of Spring UAlbany classes and in late November/early December for the spring term abroad.

Upon arrival at Beijing Normal University, you will attend a mandatory program orientation. This is an important and informative set of sessions organized by International Office of your host university.

Support Services

UAlbany’s Office of Education Abroad staff assists you during the application process, in your  preparation to travel abroad, and on-site if necessary.

Beijing Normal University’s International Office staff serve as an experienced resource for resolving issues that you may encounter in while abroad.