Semester Abroad

The Li Ka Shing Semester Abroad aims to integrate and immerse students for one semester in the educational, cultural and linguistic context of the host university. Each year, two (2) McGill Arts student are selected to study at Shantou University for either the fall or winter term while up to five (5) Shantou College of Liberal Arts students come to McGill University.

Shantou University

A comprehensive university founded in 1981 under the Project 211 program in the Guangdong province with the approval of the State Council. It is a public university that receives funding from the Li Ka Shing Foundation.

Semester dates


  • Late September until end of January


  • Early March to early July

Language of instruction

Chinese with some courses taught in English

McGill student application


Students who meet the following criteria are invited to apply:

  • display a strong interest in Chinese culture and language
  • are registered in the current academic year in a Bachelor of Arts, Arts & Science, or Social Work degree
  • have a minimum CGPA of 2.7 or greater

Application periods & deadlines

Fall term

  • As of FEBRUARY 1 to JUNE 1

Winter (spring) term

  • As of SEPTEMBER 15 to NOVEMBER 15

Application procedure

Step 1

  • Submit a MINERVA STUDY AWAY ONLINE APPLICATION: Follow how to apply details on this page
  • Select “Shantou Univ” from the drop-down host institution menu;
  • For the “Statement of Purpose”, write the reasons why this opportunity is relevant to you and how it how it will enhance your program of study and larger educational objectives (maximum of 500 words). Also indicate if you have a knowledge of Chinese and, if applicable, the level (beginners, intermediate, advance or native speaker).

​Step 2

Submit a Letter of Reference: From a referee who is familiar with your work. The letter should stress the academic qualities that makes you outstanding in comparison with other students. The referee should send the letter directly to shantou.arts [at] by the deadline shown above.

Step 3

Submit an Updated Curriculum Vitae: Send directly to shantou.arts [at] by the deadline shown above.

Step 4

Interview: Once a shortlist of candidates is compiled, you will be contacted for an interview with the Administrative Assistant of the LKS Initiative.

The extras


The funding for the semester abroad covers return airfare (Montreal/Shantou), Shantou tuition and related fees for up to 15 undergraduate credits, Shantou campus accommodations, some living expenses as well as travel stipend to Beijing and Shanghai.

Reporting requirements

Upon their return, students will submit a detailed report of their Shantou University experience (maximum 5 pages). They must also supply detailed accounting of expenses and provide supporting receipts and documentation – including flight/train boarding passes.

Any questions?

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