Hainan, China



The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Study Abroad Center offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study for the summer in Hainan, China. On site, the program is coordinated by Hainan University.

The period of study is mid-May through late July.

Students may choose from Intermediate through Fourth-Level Mandarin courses at Hainan University.

Host Institution

The UHM Study Abroad Program in Hainan has been hosted by the College of International Cultural Exchange at Hainan University since 1998. The campus of Hainan University borders on the Qiongzhou Strait in a setting that is characterized by picturesque scenery. The metropolitan area of Haikou, the capital of Hainan Province, is nearby. The University was founded in 1983 with the approval of the State Council, and serves as successor to the privately run Hainan University, which was originally founded in 1947.


The UHM Summer in Hainan program provides students an opportunity to fulfill UHM major, minor, elective and foreign language requirements for graduation. The program runs from mid-May through late July. Students earn eight Chinese language credits at the intermediate, third, or fourth levels. Students at each level study grammar, syntax, reading, writing and conversation, both in the classroom and with private tutors.

The objectives are for the students to gain listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in standard Mandarin. In addition, lectures on civilization and culture will be given on a bi-weekly basis followed by discussion sessions. Classes meet four hours per day in the morning, followed by afternoon tutoring, five days a week for the entire duration of the program.

The UHM Study Abroad Center appoints a designated UHM Resident Director when appropriate. The Resident Director oversees students’ academic progress, mentors and/or tutors all participants. All students must participate in experiential learning activities led by the Resident Director in addition to taking classes at the host institution.


Chinese 204 Accelerated Intermediate Mandarin (8 credits). Language instruction will include pronunciation, grammar, composition, reading, writing, and conversation. Pre-requisite: Chinese 102. Fulfills second year foreign language requirement at UHM.

Chinese 303 Accelerated Third-Level Mandarin (8 credits). Language instruction will include pronunciation, grammar, composition, writing, conversation, vocabulary building and extended mastery of sentence structures of modern Chinese through reading and related conversations. Pre-requisites: Chinese 202, 204, or consent. Fulfills Chinese major, certificate, or upper division elective credit requirements.

Chinese 404 Accelerated Fourth-Level Mandarin (8 credits). Language instruction will include pronunciation, grammar, composition, writing, conversation, and extensive readings in academic topics. Pre-requisites: Chinese 302, 303, or consent. Fulfills Chinese major, certificate, or upper division elective credit requirements.


Summer 2016: TBA

Courses taken in Hainan will appear on UHM transcripts as UHM courses.


Hainan Island became China’s 31st province in 1988. It is the country’s southernmost province, located 30 km off of Guangdong province and close to the Southeast Asian countries of Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and the Philippines. Hainan has a 2,000-year history and at one time served as a place of exile for poets and politicians critical of the government. With a population of over 7.7 million, Hainan is home to various ethnic groups including Hanzu, Lizu, Miaozu, Zhuangzu and Huizu. The Lizu live only on Hainan and are known for their talents in spinning, weaving, printing, dyeing and embroidery.

In addition to its rich and diverse ethnic traditions, Hainan has been designated as one of China’s special economic zones for foreign investment, trade and tourism. Since the island is located at about the same latitude as Cuba and Hawai‘i, it is developing into China’s main tropical resort. With resorts along Hainan’s 1,600 kilometers of coastline, the inland boasts acres of tropical rainforest rife with hardwood trees, rhesus monkeys and other wildlife.


Students will be housed in the dormitory of Hainan University for foreign students. Students will have a single room equipped with a telephone, internet access, hot water and private bath. A coin-operated laundry facility is available in the student dormitory. All meals will be taken in the student cafeteria near the dorm. The campus also has a library, computer, audio-visual, and sports centers, all of which are available to UHM students during the program period.


All excursions sponsored by the program are designed to enhance classroom instruction. In particular, these excursions will serve to expose the students to the diverse ethnic minorities within Chinese society–some of whom live only on Hainan Island. The original inhabitants of the island, the Li and Miao (Hmong) continue to live primarily in the dense forested areas of the Limulingshan mountains in the center of the island. The program cost includes three tours to various places of cultural interest in and around Haikou, known for its old southern Chinese architecture.


Hainan, China

Program Cost

$4,978 (2015 price)

Cost includes Hainan University tuition, single dorm room with private bathroom, lunch on weekdays, excursions, student visa fees, textbooks, meals and laundry.

Electricity and water will be charged based on consumption. Internet and telephone service must be activated and paid for on-site.

Roundtrip airfare between Honolulu and Haikou is not included; students have the option of taking the flight arranged by Third Eye Travel or making their own travel arrangements.


FOR UHM STUDENTS ONLY: In order to receive financial aid, please ensure that either: a) you are receiving financial aid during the preceding semester, or b) that you complete the Financial Aid application during the current semester. www.hawaii.edu/fas

NON-UHM STUDENTS (those attending other colleges and universities during the regular school year) must apply for financial aid at their home institutions.


See Scholarships for a list of possible scholarships.


Residents of Hawaii, Arizona, New Mexico and Southern California participating in the Hainan Summer program are required to obtain a student visa at the Chinese Consulate Los Angeles office. The Study Abroad Center will process visas for those participants who live in these areas. For more information on Chinese visas, please visit the Consulate General of The People’s Republic of China website.

Admission Requirements

The program is designed primarily for undergraduate students at the sophomore, junior or senior levels who have completed Chinese 102 with a grade of “C” or better and are interested in studying Chinese language and culture at the intermediate through advanced levels. The minimum requirement is one year of college-level Chinese and a cumulative GPA of 3.0. However, students with a lower GPA may be considered. Nonnative English-speaking students must have taken the TOEFL exam within the last two years and earned a composite score of 600+ or have taken the UHM ELI placement exam.

Admission to the program is selective. All applicants for the program will be judged on their academic performance, reasons for wishing to attend the program, flexibility and sensitivity to other cultures, and ability to adjust to a new cultural setting.

Immediately upon acceptance to the program, students are required to pay a $500.00 non-refundable initial payment to ensure a place in the program. The initial payment will be applied toward the cost of the program.

Please note that students accepted to the program are required to attend three mandatory pre-departure class sessions totaling 12 hours. Failure to attend will result in students being withdrawn from the program.


A completed Study Abroad Center application and two academic references must be received by the Study Abroad Center by February 1* to receive consideration. Students from outside the UH System must also submit official transcripts from every college attended.

*The Study Abroad Center is closed on weekends, and Federal and State holidays.