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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Suzhou, China
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring
  • Restrictions: Binghamton applicants only
  • Dates / Deadlines
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA: 3.0 Housing Options: Dormitory
Language of Study: English, Mandarin Class Level: Undergraduates: Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors
Program Type: Direct Enrollment, Exchange Student Type: Binghamton University Students Only
Flight Arrangements: Self-Arranged Flight Program Advisor: Allison Nyamuame:
Program Description:

Soochow University

Soochow 20Soochow 34

Academic Features
Student Life
Estimate of Costs
Application Process


Soochow University is home to a Binghamton exchange program for the study of Chinese language. Classes groom students for success in completing the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) while also including some aspects of culture and history. Binghamton students study at the School of Overseas Education with other international students. They live in on-campus residence halls for foreign students, dine in campus cafeterias, and can participate in university activities. Students with sufficiently proficient Mandarin may enroll in regular university coursework in a wide variety of fields.


Soochow University is located in the city of Suzhou. Only sixty miles from Shanghai's airports and cosmopolitan amenities, Suzhou lies at the heart of the Juangnan region in central-eastern China and is only a few hours by car, bus, train or boat from Hangzhou, Nanjing, Yangzhou, Wuxi and other well-known cities in China. Famed for its canals, cobblestone alleyways, classic gardens, temples, silks and literati culture, Suzhou is the only major Chinese city to have successfully preserved some of the spatial and cultural sense of its heralded past. The classical gardens built during the Ming and Qing dynasties are premiere examples of Chinese garden design and have been designated a World Heritage Site.

Today, Suzhou is one of the most pleasant and interesting cities in China. Along with its famous sites and celebration of imperial era glories, Suzhou boasts an economic and cultural vibrancy that has brought a new generation of entrepreneurs as well as artists, writers, musicians and designers to congregate here. The Suzhou New District (to the west of the old city) and the Suzhou-Singapore Industrial Park have combined to make the city a leading player in China's rapid economic development. These zones are especially notable for fostering high-tech industry and attracting foreign investment from Fortune 500 and equivalent firms.
soochow pagodasoochow night

The University
Soochow University, established in 1900 as an American Methodist missionary college, is the leading provincial-level university in Suzhou. The stately buildings and lawns of the old central campus date to this famous pre-1949 institution. China's central government has named Soochow a "provincial key comprehensive university" and awarded it "state 211 project" funding. It has over 46,000 students; 24 doctoral programs, 47 master's programs, 124 undergraduate programs, 6 campuses, and institutional partnerships with more than 80 institutions around the world.

For more information, visit the university website:


The following are estimates, actually dates for upcoming semesters can be checked on Soochow's academic calendar:
Fall semester: early/mid-September ~ late-January
Spring semester: late-February ~ early-July.

Academic Features

The academic program is focused on the study of Chinese language in all of its aspects to achieve high results on the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK). All instruction is in Chinese. Upon arrival, students will take a placement test to determine the appropriate level of coursework. Chinese language courses are intensive and meet four hours in the morning Monday through Friday. A few elective courses covering a variety of cultural and linguistic topics are offered in the afternoons.

* Students who have completed one semester or year of college-level Chinese or the equivalent will take Chinese language courses in beginner's or intermediate level.
* Students who have completed two years of college-level Chinese or the equivalent will take a combination of language courses and courses about Chinese culture taught in Chinese.
* Students who have completed three years of college-level Chinese or the equivalent will take courses in language, culture and other topics.
* Students with sufficiently proficient Chinese may enroll in regular university courses in a wide variety of fields.

Sample courses include:

Listening Comprehension
Reading Chinese
Chinese Conversation
Chinese Writing
Reading the Chinese Press
Inter-cultural Communications
Chinese Conversation for Business
Introduction to Chinese Computing
Ancient Chinese
Classical Literature
Chinese Grammar
Folk Customs
Martial Arts

A full course load at Soochow is equivalent to 16 credits at Binghamton University. At Soochow, students will take 8-12 credits of Chinese language, and an additional 4-6 credits of elective topical coursework. Generally, students will choose three or four of the 2-credit elective courses in addition to their language courses for a total of five or six courses during a semester at Soochow.

To see a list of courses students have previously taken at Soochow University and how these classes were shown on Binghamton transcripts, check out our Study Abroad Course Equivalencies page

soochow (Huaxu 1)

Student Life

Students will live in residence halls for foreign students and eat meals in cafeterias on campus. All of the residence hall rooms are equipped with a bathroom, air-conditioning, TV, refrigerator, and broadband Internet access. Staff in the Overseas School will provide support for students participating in the program, including an orientation upon arrival to introduce students to the campus and assist with arrangements for accommodation, finances, and course placements. In general, the staff in the Overseas School will be available to answer questions and offer assistance. There is generally a cultural excursion for all students in the Overseas School as well as calligraphy lessons, art , music and a sports activity to choose from.

Estimate of Costs

Please download this cost sheet for details on the estimate of costs for Fall 2018: Exch Soochow Fall18.pdf 
As a reference, the estimated cost of attendance at Binghamton University during the 2017/2018 year was $26,100. Cost for one semester at BU was $13,050.

Financial Aid
Federal and New York State financial aid is generally applicable to study abroad programs. The amount of financial aid that you may be eligible to receive is of an individual nature. All students should print out the above estimate of costs sheet, bring it to the Financial Aid office, and consult with a counselor there about what the implications of this cost would be for them individually. The Binghamton Financial Aid Services Office is able to consider only the application of students matriculated at Binghamton for degree study.

Binghamton, SUNY, and National Scholarships
Students applying for this program are highly encouraged to apply for:

The Dr. Israel J. Rosefsky Language and Culture Scholarship ($3,000)
The Myers Family Scholarship if eligible ($1,500)
The Freeman-ASIA Scholarship (up to $5,000)

Other scholarships may be applicable to you. For more information about scholarships through Binghamton, click here.  For more information about scholarships through departments and SUNY, click here. And, for information on nationwide scholarships, click here.

Withdrawal Policy: 
When a student commits to an education abroad program in their Terra Dotta online program application, the Office of International Programs (IEGI) mirrors the Binghamton University Student Accounts refund policy for tuition, tuition differentials, and all program fees.

Application Process

Click on "apply now" to get your application started today! 

In addition to this application, once accepted into the program you will be required to complete Soochow University's online application. Your application material through BU will provide you the link to the Soochow application page, but you may not be able to access this page right away. Contact the program advisor with any questions you have about this process after you are accepted through Binghamton.

Professor Chenqing Song is the Faculty Director for this exchange program at Soochow University. She can be reached at LSG 619, 607-777-3864 or Information is also available from the Office of International Education and Global Initiatives.

Students must have completed the equivalent of one semester of college level Chinese language instruction.  An overall 3.0 grade point average is required as well as a 3.0 average in Chinese language courses.  Students must be in their sophomore, junior or senior year to participate in the program.

The application deadline for the fall semester and academic year is March 15.
The application deadline for the spring semester is October 15.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2019 10/01/2018 ** Rolling Admission 03/01/2019 07/03/2019

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.