Lakeside Institute (LSI) - Zhejiang University (ZJU) Partnership

In 2020, Lakeside Institute LSIpartnered with Zhejiang University (ZJU) to offer students a study in China experience. Founded in 1897, Zhejiang University is one of China’s oldest, most selective, and most prestigious institutions of higher education. The university is organized into 37 colleges, schools, and departments offering more than 140 undergraduate and 300 graduate programs.

Students currently enrolled in a Western university who would like to earn college credit for a full term or academic year are encouraged to apply. Non-degree seeking students who wish to enroll as full-time students at ZJU may also apply. In addition to ZJU coursework, Study Abroad students will attend between 3 and 10 weekly hours of one-on-one Chinese language training at LSI (see Standard vs. Intensive below).

LSI Study Abroad students will spend each day immersed in the full study abroad experience with daily large classroom learning in a university setting, which is then coupled with daily intensive language instruction and community support at LSI.

To learn Mandarin Chinese is Easy!

Earn college credits with LSI

ZJU issues official transcripts for all coursework completed via LSI’s Study Abroad in China program. Over 100 international universities have accepted ZJU transfer credit, including most recently University of Illinois, The University of Edinburgh, SUNY Plattsburgh, Imperial college London, University of York.

All LSI students are responsible for arranging credit transfer with their home university. Most colleges and universities have an “Authorization to Take Courses Elsewhere” form or an equivalent. Please contact your study abroad office for more details in order to ensure that your LSI course credit successfully transfers. Students must receive a passing score (>60) in order to receive credits for a given class.

Standard vs. Intensive

The main difference between LSI’s standard and intensive Study Abroad in China program is the number of weekly hours spent with your one-on-one teacher. In addition to full-time enrollment at ZJU, the Fall and Spring Semester standard program provides students with three additional weekly hours of one-on-one lessons at LSI, while Intensive Program students attend ten weekly hours of one-on-one training.

Summer and Winter course, students are enrolled in one-on-one & small group  coursework, with 20 hours of language training per week at the LSI Center.

Standard Program: For Fall and Spring semester students, the core of LSI’s standard program is full enrollment in ZJU’s Chinese language and culture courses and three additional weekly hours of one-on-one Mandarin training. Learn alongside students from all over the world while benefiting from daily one-on-one language course. For the student looking to balance language and culture study with fun and exploration, LSI’s standard program is a perfect fit.

The standard program is not offered during LSI’s Summer and Winter Sessions.

Intensive Program: If speaking fluent Mandarin is your goal, then LSI’s intensive Study Abroad in China program is your best choice. During the Autumn and Spring semesters, in addition to full enrollment at ZJU, you will also attend ten weekly hours of one-on-one language training with LSI’s highly qualified Mandarin teachers.

Language environment is essential to rapid improvement in Mandarin Chinese. What LSI is not only offering you a unique curriculum, enthusiastic teaching staff, but also a way to join in the local community, to build your own networks in China, to help you learn real China.

Students having fun during their study in china

Activities & Travel Excursions

LSI organizes weekly activities and monthly travel excursions designed to immerse students deeply into Chinese language and culture.

Join other LSI students and team members for mountain bike riding in 9 Creeks forest, hikes up Hangzhou’s breathtaking LongWu, river rafting in 9 Dragon Creek , cooking lessons with Chinese chefs, tea field visits to Longjing village, and more.

See the Included in Tuition section for details on our Activities & Travel Excursions pricing.


Why chose to come to study in China? A conducive learning environment is not just helpful to your Chinese studies, it’s essential. With very few English-speaking locals and a small expat community, Haining provides a perfect Chinese language learning environment. Moreover, LSI has carefully designed your core curriculum, culture activities, living arrangements, local assistance and travel excursions to always ensure the high quality of your Chinese immersion.

Study in China students have a wide variety of housing options available through LSI, including international dormitory housing at ZJU, and homestay and apartment options off campus. All living accommodations include heating and A/C, hot and cold shower water (some sinks do not have hot water), and internet connection. Apartment options additionally include a washing machine, refrigerator, and cable television. Weekly maid service is included in all housing options. See the Housing Options section for more information.

A central part of your Study Abroad in China experience will be one-on-one intensive Chinese lessons at LSI. One-on-one instruction is essential to fast improvement in all aspects of Chinese language. Students have the option of attending either three or ten hours per week of one-on-one language lessons (Standard v. Intensive). See the Overview section for more information.

LSI’s orientation is designed to make sure you will have the general idea of the city that you will be living in. We’ll introduce you to your new living and learning environment and we’ll share tips and advice on how to navigate your China experience and how to maximize your language learning. Your orientation includes a welcome meal with local team members and other program participants, an introductory tour of Haining & Hangzhou, and a comprehensive look at how to make the most of your upcoming studies. See LSI’s Orientation Booklet for more information.

We know that many students who want to study in China, are going to China for their first time. At LSI, we pride ourselves on providing comprehensive support and assistance to students. From the moment you arrive in Haining until the day you leave, LSI will be there to assist you with questions, problems, and logistics in order to make your transition to China as smooth as possible – your tuition even includes airport pick-up and drop-off. In addition, we have team members on call 24/7 to handle any emergency situations that may arise.

Each week, LSI hosts a variety of events and activities for the entire LSI community. In order to build a vibrant learning environment, LSI invites all program participants, Chinese locals, and LSI team members to take part in our excursions and weekly activities. Activities include group potlucks, tours of Haining, Hangzhou and its surroundings, boat rides on the Xihu Lake, guest lectures at ZJU, movie and games nights, dark beer at the German Bar, bike rides to the countryside, Calligraphy class, supplemental language activities, and much more.

In addition, Study Abroad tuition includes one travel excursion per every two months of your program length. These excursions allow students to take a broader look at southern China’s rich culture and offer an additional opportunity for students to practice their Chinese language skills.

LSI also helps students organize optional local travel on select weekends and provides free travel arrangement assistance (e.g. ticket-purchasing assistance, safety tips, travel itineraries, recommendations for lodging) to all students who wish to travel on their own. Students are encouraged to take advantage of breaks and long weekends to explore China’s diverse cities and provinces.

LSI provides all semester students with assistance in obtaining a six-month Cultural Exchange (F) visa, or a Student (X) visa. Visa costs are the responsibility of the student and are not included in tuition fees.

Financial Aid

In an effort to enable students with financial need to attend our various programs, LSI awards several $300 and $550 scholarships each year. Applicants are selected to receive this scholarship based on two factors: financial need and academic merit. To apply for a LSI Scholarship, please e-mail LSI’s Admissions Manager (t [email protected], subject line: “LSI Scholarship – Immersive Program”) with a 400–600 word essay answering the following two questions:

What are the three main reasons you wish to learn the Chinese language?

How does Chinese language proficiency fit into your short- and long-term personal, professional, and academic goals?

In addition to scholarships awarded directly by LSI, there are countless online resources available to students seeking financial aid for study abroad. Please see the other info boxes in this section for links to some available options. – Features detailed descriptions of hundreds of study abroad scholarships, fellowships, and grants for U.S. undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students, as well as working professionals. – Provides a college scholarship search and grant listing, as well as international student loan programs and other information promoting study abroad. – The U.S. Federal Student Aid office provides money for college to eligible students and families, including grants, loans, and work-study. – Offers a comprehensive source of student financial aid information, advice, and tools. – Offers access to a range of student loan options for U.S. students studying abroad.

Apply now

Images of student trips to learn mandarin in Hanzhou

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