Spring 2023 Semester Cancelled; Fall 2023 Scholarship Announced
Travel restrictions and logistical obstacles have caused The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies, the only Jesuit education center in the Chinese mainland, to declare that the Spring 2023 semester will not herald the return of international short-term study abroad students.
“This decision is especially disappointing to have to make since we are marking our 25th anniversary next year,” said Dr. Simon Koo, executive director of The Beijing Center (TBC). “But we are an educational and research institution with strong Jesuit values, and that means putting our students’ health and experiences over everything else.”
Although many nations have changed their policies regarding international border entry, China is maintaining vigilance that can create significant complications in the overall student experience. Recognizing the extraordinary circumstances, TBC offered students who applied to participate in the Spring 2023 semester the ability to withdraw their application at no cost, or defer their application to Fall 2023 or Spring 2024, when TBC expects to be able to open doors to international students once again.
In light of this, TBC unveiled a new Early Bird scholarship, available to Fall 2023 applicants who indicate their interest on or before February 15, 2023. This scholarship offers $1,500 USD to each student who meets the criteria, regardless of other financial aid or scholarships they have.
“Effective from August 24, 2022, foreign nationals with a long-term degree student visa can enter China, and we’ve seen international students of UIBE (our host university) returning to campus for the fall semester since then,” said TBC’s Vice President of Student Life Queenie He in a recent statement. “We truly believe the recent entry of the degree students is a good sign and are hoping that Fall 2023 can be the semester to welcome our first study-abroad cohort after the pandemic.”
Other operations at The Beijing Center are still ongoing. Since the start of the pandemic, TBC has run a higher education program to high-achieving domestic students who will go on to study in the United States at one of our many partner universities such as Marquette Univeristy, Georgetown University, Seattle University, and Santa Clara University, to name a few. International students are still able to engage with web-based seminars and other online events. In addition, The Beijing Center still highly values its status as a research center and Jesuit community member, and continues to support China and China Mission research.
“The Beijing Center was founded with the goal to engage in cross-cultural friendship, education, and research,” Dr. Koo said. “We continue engagement with tenacity during the ups and during the downs, and look forward to welcoming friends both old and new back to Beijing next year.”
The Beijing Center was established in 1998 to be a hub for the international Jesuit higher education network in mainland China, an organization that serves the community, and the intellectual apostolate of the Chinese Province of the Society of Friends of Jesus. As a not-for-profit higher education institution, both international and domestic students take accredited classes held at United States-university level rigor. Upholding a tradition built over centuries of friendship, The Beijing Center builds bridges between China and the rest of the world through a passion for education, service, and engagement.