Intensive Chinese-Language Study Program


This program provides students with an immersion setting at both micro and macro levels to study Chinese with a special focus on oral skills and cultural literacy. Students accepted in this program will spend four (4) at Shantou University and are expected to take full advantage of the Chinese language and cultural environment by engaging in the classroom and extra-curricular activities as well as in the off-campus excursions.



  • Students who meet the following criteria are invited to apply:
  • Have the minimum prerequisite of McGill’s EAST 230 (1st level Chinese) or equivalent
  • Are egistered in the current academic year and continuing in the fall 2018 term in a Bachelor of Arts, Arts & Science, or Social Work degree
  • Have a minimum CGPA of 2.70 or greater

Program dates

Thursday, May 3 to Saturday, June 2, 2018, inclusive

About the program

  • An intensive 4-week Chinese language program with a focus on oral proficiency at Shantou University, Shantou, Guangdong Province, China
  • Up to 20 students will be selected to participate
  • Extra-curricular activities as well as off-campus excursions are planned
  • Program covers return airfare from Montreal/Shantou, Shantou University tuition, registration and related fees, some living expenses and excursions while in Shantou, China
  • Upon successful completion, students are eligible for three (3) transfer credits in East Asian Chinese (level to be determined)
  • Passport must be valid at least until JANUARY 2019 *

Application process

Submit a complete package which includes:

  1. The Shantou University Chinese Language Application Form (Now closed)
  2. Latest McGill transcript – to be uploaded within application form
  3. Recent Curriculum Vitae – to be uploaded within application form
  4. * Information page of your Valid Passport – to be uploaded within application form
  5. One (1) Reference Letter – from a McGill University professor or teaching assistant; must be mailed directly from your referee to shantou.arts [at] by the application deadline

Application period & deadline

DECEMBER 1, 2017 to JANUARY 29, 2018 (Now closed)


Write to Des Sitaras, Administrative Assistant, Li Ka Shing Initiative, at shantou.arts [at]

Student guide

PDF icon ICL Student Guide May 2018


May 2017 recipients

The following 18 McGill Arts students went to Shantou University for the Chinese language program in May 2017: Oscar Beghin, Day Cottrell, Adrian D’Souza, Louise Efthimiou, Shinnel Ferary, Laura Gormley, Coco Jones, Tofunmi Kuti, Ryan London, Christopher MacDonald, Orla Magill, Natasha Ovchinnikova, Hair Parra Barrera, Laurel Stewart, Phillip Swart, Ece Taner, Kanako Watanabe, and Ashly Wei-Yun Yu.

May 2016 recipients

The following 19 McGill Arts students participated in May 2016’s edition of the program: Coralie Boulard, Jean-Félix Caron, David Caron, Sophia Davis, Gabriel Downs, Carlotta Esposito, Julia Faure, Emily Jane Ho-Tai, Sohee Kim, Svetlana Komarova, Naima Kraushaar-Friesen, Ester Lee, Jason Li, Capucine Lorber, Sophia Nicholson, Hae Lang Park, Melodie Theberge, Stephanie Wai, and Caroline Wesley.

A visit to the beach

"Some of my favorite times from the exchange were when we went out to eat with local people who would make us try new food or when we had paper cutting and calligraphy classes where we could create our own piece. It’s these small things which I think made this month unforgettable and worthwhile.” – Svetlana Komarova, BA, Anthropology and East Asian Studies

The countryside at Shantou

Nanao Island field trip

"Staying on the school campus along with thousands of local students, eating at the school cafeteria and taking classes in their classrooms were totally different experiences from taking a Mandarin class at McGill. As I was being exposed to situations where I needed to think spontaneously to talk to locals, I could practice my Chinese everywhere every day.” – Esther Chaelin Lee, BA, Economics and Hispanic Studies

End of program party

"Every [Shantou] student treated us like we were one of their peers, and had no trouble understanding and providing any help we would need in adjusting to the language and environment so different from our own. It is proven that being around native speakers is the most effective way to learn a language, and this trip is a testament to that!” – Carlotta Esposito, BA, East Asian Studies and Environment

May 2015 recipients

“My advice to next year’s students are to wake up early, explore the campus, the city and the surroundings, speak Chinese all the time – even with your Canadian friends – eat different food every day, make Chinese friends, do not be afraid of going to activities on your own.” – Alderic Leahy, BA&Sci, double major Biology and East Asian Studies

“For anybody who is open-minded, curious about the Chinese culture and interested in learning Mandarin [this] is an amazing experience.  The most wonderful gift you will come back with from [this] trip is a whole new confidence in using the language, which I believe nothing is worth as much.” – Sophie Gagnon-Sylvestre, BA, East Asian Studies and minor International Relations

“Learning a new language can be frustrating and tedious at times. Fortunately, both the teachers and tutors were encouraging, patient, outgoing and energetic. At times, they suggested going downtown together to guide and bring us to eat local dishes. During those outings the tutors would encourage us to speak Chinese and patiently explained anything we were curious about. Moreover, due to the class size, both teachers and tutors were capable of providing each student excellent, accurate and positive feedbacks.” – George Almyroudis, BA, International Development & East Asian Studies

“I would have to say that one of the highlights of this program was to participate in some of the university events. Shantou University was always full of events such as the art exhibition, the fashion show, basketball matches and the Chaozhou opera. It was really interesting to see these diverse performances by [the] students.” – So Hee Maeng, BA, double major Psychology and East Asian Studies

“What the experience in Shantou gave me was more than just classes: it was an opportunity to make local friends, practice Chinese in all sorts of settings, and to get a taste of local student life. During that month, I made some amazing friends, both from McGill and from Shantou University. I still keep in touch with two of my tutors, who are language buddies as well as good friends.”  – Marion Champoux-Pellegrin, BA, Political Science, IDS and minor in East Asian Languages

“This visit to China has left a very warm-hearted impression of the people there, as I made friends with a lot of students my age that all had very interesting experiences to share. For instance, my Chinese friend Becca … was a major in computer science but also in Shantou University's only Street Dance crew. On the last night of the trip, my classmate and I attended a dance recital in which we saw Becca perform and even went as far as to be the only ones in the auditorium with signs which read, "Becca is the boss" and "Let's Go!".” – Ben Percifield, BA, Economics with double minors East Asian Language and Cognitive Science