China: Beijing (Peking)

Program Overview

CHINA: Beijing (Peking)

Saturday, June 9 to Saturday, June 30 2018 (3 weeks)

(NOTE: 2019 Program details will be available in mid-December 2018)

This is the first year that the University of Toronto is offering a summer course in Beijing, China at Peking University. The program is designed to provide students from the University of Toronto with an enhanced understanding of the politics of China through field trips, guest lectures and discussions with domestic students from Peking University. During the three weeks, students will engage in topics about Chinese politics, history, urbanization, and culture.


The University of Toronto will offer one course in Beijing, China at Peking University. The course is worth one full-year credit and is contingent on adequate enrolment. Classes will be held Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 12:00 pm.

Throughout the course of the three weeks, students will attend several guest lectures. Mandatory field trips are also an integral part of the course, and may occur outside of class time (including weekends).

JPA331Y0 Issues in Contemporary Chinese Politics

This course covers topics of interest for those who want to gain an enhanced understanding of the politics of China, beginning from the Republican period, the Communist takeover in 1949 through to the reform period of the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. In the post-reform period (1979-), the course places an emphasis on understanding the politics behind economic reforms, and how reforms affect the dynamics of state-society. Other topics include elite politics, political institutions, civil society, the middle class, migration, urbanization, fiscal reform, cadre incentive structure, and contentious politics.

Prerequisite: 2.0 POL courses or CAS200Y1/CAS201H1
Exclusion: POL300H1F (taken in 2009-10 or 2010-11)/POLC16H3
Note: Can be counted toward programs in Contemporary Asian Studies at the University of Toronto.
JPA331Y0 Course Outline

Field Trips: Students will be required to attend the mandatory field trips of the Beijing summer program. Students have the opportunity to visit important historical sites, cultural sites as well as attend lectures and workshops. Field trips for this program include a visit to:
– The Great Wall of China
– The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square
– Yonghe temple and Confucius temple
– Old Summer Temple and new Summer Temple
– 798 Art Zone
Old Beijing dinner food tour

These trips will enable students to learn through practical experience what they are studying. The cost for field trips is CAD$255, paid to U of T for bus transportation to most sites, admission fees, guides and tours and approximately CAD$30, paid on-site some local transportation and driver and guide tips.

Instructor: Professor Lynette Ong is an associate professor of political science at the University of Toronto. She has a cross-appointment between the Department of Political Science, and the Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs. She is the author of “Prosper or Perish: Political Economy of Credit and Fiscal Systems in Rural China” (Cornell University Press, 2012), and of numerous journal articles on the political economy, urbanization and contentious politics in China. She has taught Chinese politics at the St. George Campus, University of Toronto for more than 10 years. She speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, and is a frequent commentator on Chinese politics and political economy issues in the media. She works with graduate and undergraduate students on a range of research projects related to politics of China, and of authoritarian countries in general. She currently serves as the Director of Munk China Initiatives. Follow her work on twitter @onglynette.

Program Details

(NOTE: 2019 Program details will be available in mid-December 2018)

Saturday, June 9 to Saturday, June 30 2018 (3 weeks)

Beijing is the capital of China and is the nation’s political, cultural and educational centre. Few cities in the world have served as the political and cultural centre of an area as immense as China for so long. Beijing is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, and huge stone walls and gates and its art treasures and universities have long made the city a centre of culture in China.

Program Activities

The program includes an orientation involving a brief tour of Peking University and surrounding neighbourhood and a welcome dinner in Beijing. Students will get to visit key cultural and political sites such as the Great Wall, Old and New Summer Palace and the Forbidden City.

Accommodation and meals

In Beijing, students will be staying at a hotel close to Peking University. The total cost of all accommodation for this program is CAD$1,300.

There is no meal plan. Students should budget approximately CAD$350 for purchased meals.

Group flight: There is no group flight option for this program. Students will need to book a flight arriving and departing from Beijing. Flight dates should accord with the program dates; students who choose to arrive earlier or leave later than these dates will be responsible for arranging their own accommodation for the extra day(s).

Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO)

All students admitted to the Summer Abroad program are required to successfully complete an online PDO, which will provide important program information and advice on international health and safety issues. Students are also strongly encouraged to attend the in-person Shanghai & Beijing PDO, which will take place on April 25, 2018 from 3pm to 5pm.

Entry Requirements

All students are responsible for making sure that their necessary travel documents are in order. Information on visitor entry requirements, including visa application forms, is available from the Chinese Visa Application Service Center;

As of the time of publication (December 2017), Canadian citizens NOT born in Hong Kong, Macao, or Taiwan require a Visitor’s Visa to enter China, which can be obtained from the Chinese Visa Application Center, Suite 1501, 393 University Ave. Toronto, M5G 1E6, Phone: 416-345 8472;

Citizens of other countries, and Canadians who WERE born in Hong Kong, Macao, or Taiwan, may have different requirements. Each student is required to obtain their own Visitor’s Visa for entry into China. We STRONGLY encourage you to do this while in Canada.


The deadlines for fees payable to the University of Toronto are as follows:

  • Application fee: due February 1, 2018
  • Non-Refundable Deposit of $1,000 due two weeks after admission notification
  • All remaining fee: due March 22, 2018

Cost of Studying in Beijing

Amount Details
Application Fee $200 Paid at time of application
Course Fee
Domestic Students $3,150 Includes $1,000 deposit
International Students $4,305 Includes $1,000 deposit
U of T Incidental Fees $175 Estimate based on 2017 part-time summer fees
Field Trip Fees $285 Transportation, admission fees, guides and tours
Airfare $1,082 Estimate – cost will depend on departure location and purchase date
Accommodation $1,300 Based on shared accommodation in hotels in Shanghai and Beijing
Peking University Administration Fee $20 To be paid on-site
Visa for China $145 Estimate
Meals $350 Estimate – paid on site for purchased and self-prepared meals
Textbook $50 Estimate – purchase in Toronto prior to departure
Medical Travel Insurance variable Students must provide proof of medical travel insurance
Miscellaneous Expenses variable All students should budget for miscellaneous expense (e.g. travel, gifts, etc.)
Approximate TOTAL Program Cost INCLUDING field trips
Domestic Students $6,757 This figure does not include mandatory medical travel insurance
International Students $7,912 This figure does not include mandatory medical travel insurance

Financial Assistance

The following assistance is available for eligible students in this program. For additional awards and further details please see the Financial Aid section of the Summer Abroad website.

  • Summer Abroad Bursary (two at $3,000 each)

Information Session

A detailed information session for the summer program in Beijing will be held on the U of T St. George campus in January. This session provides an excellent opportunity to hear from one of the instructors and ask any questions that you may have.

Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2019 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Location: Woodsworth College Residence, Waters Lounge, 321 Bloor St. West (SE corner of St. George and Bloor)


See information session listings for all UofT programs and campuses.