Shanghai, China


The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Study Abroad Center offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study in Shanghai, China for the summer. On-site, the program is coordinated by the Shanghai International Studies University (SISU).

This program is open to all majors, but is particularly ideal for students who are pursuing degrees, minors and/or certificates in Chinese Language. Students of all levels are welcome to apply.

2024 application deadline: Friday, Feb. 16

2024 program dates: July 8 – August 16

Schedule an appointment with a Study Abroad Adviser on STAR Balance.

Informational meetings:

Host Institution

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Summer in Shanghai Study Abroad program is based at the Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) 上海外国语大学 (Shànghǎi Wàiguóyǔ Dàxué). Established in December 1949, SISU is one of the key Liberal Arts institutions of higher education under the direct jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, and one of the best-known universities of its kind in China.


The UHM Summer in Shanghai program provides students an opportunity to fulfill UHM major, minor, elective, focus, foundations, diversification and foreign language requirements for graduation. Students on the program must be enrolled full-time and may earn 9 to 11 UHM credits. Students attend the intensive language classes four hours per day for six weeks, with electives and cultural activities in the afternoon.

Students are able to earn the following UHM Chinese credits, depending on their current level:

  • CHN 103, 204, 303, 404 (6-8 credits)
  • CHN 399, 499 (3 credits)

In addition, there is a required course for all students: EALL 140 (3 credits).

Click here to view a road map for how the available credits can apply to you.


Students can earn UHM credits for a wide range of courses, and courses taken at Shanghai International Studies University will appear on UHM transcripts as UHM credits.

Language course topics include (at all levels):

  • Intensive Reading
  • Conversation
  • Listening Comprehension
  • Extensive Reading
  • Comprehension
  • Writing

Lecture topics include:

  • Chinese history
  • Calligraphy
  • Education
  • Arts
  • Music
  • Religion
  • Philosophy
  • Chinese written language
  • Sino-US Relations
  • Taijiquan (Tai Chi)
  • Chinese Martial Arts


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.

Summer 2024: Jing Wu, UHM Dept. of East Asian Languages & Literatures. Click here for her student experiential learning plan.

Current as of May 30, 2024


Shanghai – Light of the Night (VIDEO)

Shanghai (上海) is an exciting, dynamic world city with something to offer for every interest.  It is the country’s commercial and business center, but it is also known for its contemporary and art deco architecture, its art museums and galleries, and its creative design and fashion industry.  Despite the city’s extraordinary modernization and growth over the last twenty years,  Shanghai has retained some distinctive neighborhoods and historical sites, and you can easily explore the city (and try out its restaurants) on your own.  Must-see attractions and sites include the Bund, the Shanghai Museum, the Jewish Refugees Museum, the Yuyuan Garden, the Jing’an Temple, and the China Art Palace.

Shanghai’s metro system is one of the best in the world: it takes you almost everywhere (including airports and railway stations) and it is easy to navigate, with all signs and announcements in English as well as Chinese.  You can download a free app and check it out.

Shanghai’s central location in the Jiangnan region also makes it easy to visit nearby cities of great historical and cultural interest, including Suzhou, known for its canals and traditional gardens, and Hangzhou, famous for the beautiful West Lake.  Both cities are only a short train ride away.


Students stay at the SISU Guest House for foreign students. Both double and single rooms are available, equipped with central air-conditioning, a private bathroom, a TV set, internet access, etc. There is a communal use kitchen on each floor, with a fridge, a microwave oven, etc.

Extracurricular Activities

As the commercial and financial center of mainland China, Shanghai has much to offer, such as world-famous museums, parks and gardens and shopping. Must-see attractions and sites include The Bund, Shanghai Museum, Jewish Refugees Museum, Former Residence of Sun Yat-Sen, Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai Confucius Temple, Soong Ching Ling Memorial Residence.

SISU also offers weekly inner city tours, such as scenic spots, museums, or acrobatics, and weekend excursions at the students’ expense.

Program Cost (2024)

  11 credits 9 credits
shared room $3,625 $3,369
single room $3,940 $3,863

Cost includes tuition, UHM credits, housing, meals, ground transportation, insurance and student visa fee. Airfare and personal spending are not included.

Students have the option of taking a flight between Honolulu and Shanghai 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 current semester, or b) that you complete the Financial Aid application during the current semester.

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


See the Money Matters & Resources page for a list of possible scholarships.


Students participating in the UHM Summer in Shanghai program must obtain a student visa prior to arriving in China – click here for more information.

Students who hold a 10-year Tourist Visa can use that to participate in this program.

Note: Applicants should turn in a copy of the bio page of their passport, together with their application, by the application deadline. 

Admission Requirements

Students are eligible to study abroad as early as the second semester of their Freshman year or later.

The program is designed primarily for sophomore, junior or senior level undergraduate students. The minimum requirements are a cumulative GPA of 3.0, strong English writing skills, absolute fluency in English and successful completion of course prerequisites. However, students with a lower GPA may be considered. Non-native 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, 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 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.