Study Abroad: Beijing & Shanghai | Webster University

Study Abroad: Beijing & Shanghai

Summer 2020: Contemporary Chinese Pop Culture

Program Description 
This course examines the rapidly developing cultural scene in China from the onset of the "reform and opening up" policies of the late 1970s to the present. The course hopes to showcase the drastic historical transformation of the cultural landscape from the revolutionary era to the contemporary period, but also situate the urban experiences of the two Chinese cities in the context of globalization and trans-culture interaction. The objective is to not only develop an understanding of life and culture on the mainland, but to live it.

During the online portion of this course, students will explore popularly consumed music, film, television, and other modes of expression in this period. Via both popular and academic sources, they will also immerse themselves in the most recent trends in domains ranging from fandom to sports to the internet.

The travel component of this course will take place in Beijing and Shanghai –two cities as different as they are integral to understanding China today. The experiences in China will prepare students for a deeper understanding of the popular culture and public life of Chinese society today. No prior knowledge of Chinese is required.

Program Highlights

  • Visit some of the great historic symbols of China – from the Great Wall to the Forbidden City
  • Take language and culture courses at Beijing Language and Culture University
  • Interview professionals in the mass-culture industry and visit a variety of public spaces that reflect contemporary Chinese culture

Program Dates: June 1 to July 24
Travel Dates: June 18 to June 30

Course: ILC 2150, Contemporary Chinese Pop Culture (3 credits)
Course Description:
This course will examine the development of Chinese popular culture in the 20th and 21st centuries through the contexts of tradition, history, and globalization. Exploring the different aspects of Chinese media, entertainment,
and leisure, students will gain a fundamental understanding of the forces shaping contemporary Chinese society. This course aims for a balance in breadth and depth, culminating in a final research project on a narrow aspect of current Chinese pop culture. The sixth and seventh weeks of this course will take place in China in the cities of Beijing and Shanghai.

[Global Citizenship Program Credit: Global
Understanding, Intercultural Competence]

Program Faculty Leader: Courtney LeCompte
Courtney LeCompte is a coordinator at the Confucius Institute at Webster University, where she enjoys sharing her love of the Chinese language. Prior to coming to Webster, she spent five years teaching history and geography to students in China. She believes there is much to be gained through increasing the cultural understanding and appreciation between people of Western and Chinese cultures. Courtney has a Teaching Certificate in Secondary English and Social Studies and recently completed her M.A. in Applied Educational Psychology.

Program Flyer
Contemporary Chinese Pop Culture (ILC 2150)

Program Cost
Program Fee: TBD
Study Abroad Fee: $175
What's included: Double accommodation, course activities, daily meal allowance to cover most meals
What's not included: Tuition, application deposit, roundtrip airfare, visa, personal spending money
Application Deposit: $100
Tuition: Undergraduate students: pay the 2020/2021 per credit hour undergraduate rate

Students may be eligible for the following Webster study abroad scholarships:

  • Next Century Leaders Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Marilynne Bradley Endowed Fund for Undergraduate Study Abroad
  • Dr. Roy Tamashiro Endowed Travel Scholarship

For a complete description of scholarships along with eligibility and requirements, please visit the Study Abroad scholarship website.

Scholarship Deadline- March 15th

Application Process
Application Deadline: March 15th

To apply, follow these steps:
1) Ensure you meet the study abroad eligibility requirements
2) Start an application via the Webster online application system
3) The application will ask you to fill out a number of forms, pay the $100 study abroad fee*, write a brief statement of purpose, and submit a passport-sized photo.

*The $100 application deposit is refundable to if ALL of the following conditions are met:
1) Student attends the program
2) Student completes the pre and post-study abroad surveys
3) Student does not have any outstanding program charges.


Study abroad students in front of Shanghai skyline
Students posing in Beijing