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Harvard Summer Program in Taipei, Taiwan

Intensive Chinese language and cultural immersion in one of East Asia's most dynamic cities

  • Program Director

    Jennifer Liu

  • Date

    June 14, 2024 to August 10, 2024

  • Apply By

    January 25, 2024

  • Cost


  • Housing


About the Program

The Harvard Summer Program in Taipei, Taiwan, also known as the Harvard Taipei Academy, offers you the opportunity to complete a full academic year’s worth of Chinese language study in the course of an eight-week summer session.

Building on the success of our renowned Harvard Beijing Academy, this new program, offered in collaboration with Taiwan’s most prestigious university, National Taiwan University, incorporates the same rigorous language curriculum while also affording you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the dynamic and diverse society and culture of Taiwan—a unique island where tradition and modernity are intertwined.

The program offers four intensive courses in modern Chinese at the intermediate and advanced levels. Our curriculum materials are designed to develop and reinforce all aspects of Chinese language ability—including speaking, oral comprehension, reading, and writing, in authentic cultural contexts. Students have the option of completing their coursework in either traditional or simplified characters, and broad familiarity with both systems is encouraged. All courses include a mid-term Social Study Project outside of Taipei to some of the most historically, culturally, and geographically remarkable locations in Taiwan.

On the weekends, join your classmates for excursions to cultural and historical landmarks, including to the Palace Museum, Yehliu Geopark, the bustling Raohe Night Market, the iconic village of Jiufen, and more. After class, deepen your appreciation of Chinese and local Taiwanese culture through extracurricular activities covering everything from calligraphy and music to tai-chi and mah-jiang.

Practice your Chinese, relax, and make new friends through “interest group” outings with local university students, “Taiwanese table” meals with your classmates and teachers, and get-togethers with local Taiwanese families. At HTA, Chinese language learning is inseparable from engagement with society and culture.

Program Structure

The course structure is designed to maximize your language acquisition, with five hours of class (lectures, drill sections, and a one-on-one session) every day, Monday through Thursday, from morning until early afternoon. Written and oral exams are held every Friday.

You devote much of the remainder of each weekday to homework, study, and review, but also have time for an array of extracurricular activities and excursions designed to round out your classroom experience.

CHIN S-120C, CHIN S-130C, CHIN S-130XC, and CHIN S-140C all count as full-year courses (8 credits) of degree credit.

CHIN S-120C Study Abroad in Taipei, Taiwan: Intermediate Modern Chinese

Yuxiao Du, MA, Preceptor in Chinese, Harvard University
8 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

In this second-year course, students develop their conversational and narrative skills using carefully selected vocabulary and grammar. The textbook is based on authentic conversation, moving gradually from casual to formal styles. The text covers the most important communicative skills needed by American students studying in Taiwan and China and provides a deeper understanding of cultural and intellectual differences between US and Chinese and Taiwanese societies.

Prerequisite: One year of college-level Chinese or the equivalent.

CHIN S-130C Study Abroad in Taipei, Taiwan: Pre-Advanced Modern Chinese

Fangzheng Zhang, MA, Preceptor in Chinese, Harvard University
8 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

In this third-year course, students study contemporary Taiwan and China and develop their speaking and writing skills by constructing new compounds, using idiomatic expressions, and mastering formal and informal styles. The curriculum is designed to further improve listening and reading abilities through texts geared specifically to the understanding of Chinese and Taiwanese culture and society.

Prerequisite: Two years of college-level Chinese or the equivalent.

CHIN S-130XC Study Abroad in Taipei, Taiwan: Pre-Advanced Modern Chinese for Heritage Speakers

Ying-Chieh Wang, MA, Preceptor in Chinese, Harvard University
8 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

In this third-year course intended primarily for heritage speakers, students develop their Chinese proficiency at the pre-advanced level. The curriculum is designed to help students to further expand their vocabulary, to recognize formal and informal styles, to improve their reading and writing skills, and to hone their oral communication. The course makes use of texts related to contemporary issues in Chinese and Taiwanese and the wider world, including newspaper articles, dialogues, and essays, as well as supplementary audiovisual materials.

Prerequisite: Two years of college-level Chinese or the equivalent.

CHIN S-140C Study Abroad in Taipei, Taiwan: Advanced Modern Chinese

Minglei Lin, MA, Language Instructor in Chinese, Harvard University
8 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

In this fourth-year course, students read authentic texts of varied genres and styles emphasizing social and cultural issues in contemporary American, Chinese, and Taiwanese society. Through the extensive readings, students learn reading strategies, and stylistic transformations (casual and formal). Students also write compositions and papers, do formal presentations, and participate in classroom discussions to develop a solid foundation in the four skills—listening, speaking, reading, and writing—in conversational and formal Chinese.

Prerequisite: Three years of college-level Chinese or the equivalent.

Where You'll Live and Study

The host institution, National Taiwan University (NTU)—one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in East Asia—is located in the heart of the bustling, cosmopolitan, and friendly city of Taipei.


You live in comfortable single rooms with private bathrooms in a modern student residence building adjacent to the NTU campus.

The program provides one “Taiwanese table” lunch each week. You have many options for other meals, including at the NTU cafeterias, as well as at an array of restaurants and cafes in the vicinity of campus.

Your NTU campus ID will provide full access to NTU’s dining, library, and other facilities, as well as functioning as a rechargeable metro card, enabling you to easily take advantage of Taipei’s excellent, convenient rapid transit system, which includes a station adjacent to campus.


To apply, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have completed at least one year of college or be a first-year student
  • Be in good academic standing

Students enrolled at any accredited university are welcome to apply. See the How to Apply page for more information.

The Summer 2024 application is now closed. All admissions decisions will be released on March 1.

Each program has unique requirements included in the online application. Beginning your application early is the best way to ensure that you have sufficient time to review and complete the application requirements by the deadline.

You may apply to no more than two programs; if applying to two programs, you will be asked to rank your two applications in order of preference (first and second choice). Any applications submitted in excess of the maximum of two will be automatically withdrawn. You will be notified of your admissions status in each program by early March.

A complete online application includes:

  • Basic personal information
  • A statement of interest
  • Your most recent transcript
  • Program-specific requirements (including a 2-3 minute video recording in Chinese and a statement of interest in Chinese)

Interviews may be requested at the discretion of the program.

Be sure to read about the funding options available for Harvard Summer School Study Abroad programs.

If you have questions about the application, please contact the Harvard Summer School Study Abroad Office by email at

Cost & Expenses

The program fee includes:

  • Tuition
  • Accommodations
  • Scheduled program activities and excursions (including the Social Study Project)
  • One lunch per week (“Taiwanese table”)

You will also need to budget for a number of expenses not covered by the program fee. The amounts listed below for these out-of-pocket expenses are approximate, and you may incur additional expenses not noted here. Your actual expenses will depend on a number of factors, including personal spending habits and currency exchange rates. Note that expense categories–especially airfare–may be subject to significant fluctuations.

  • International airfare ($2,000 – $2,400)
  • Ground transportation ($150)
  • Meals ($1,100)
  • Personal expenditures, communications, and miscellaneous ($400)

If you have specific questions about personal budgeting, please contact the program directly.

See Funding and Payment for information on how to submit payments and funding options.

Additional Information