Suzhou-Shanghai Field School

China's Politics, Diplomacy and Economic Development

2017 New Colombo Plan Short Term Program
Applications for this program have closed. Please stay tuned for the 2018 field school program.

NCP Studnet group

The Suzhou-Shanghai Field School is a three-week intensive program offered by the University of Sydney China Studies Centre for the 2017 winter break, running from 3 to 23 July.

This incredible opportunity will allow you to join other students of various disciplinary and cultural backgrounds to develop your Chinese language skills and gain first-hand understanding of China’s politics, economy and foreign relations.

During the field school, you will undertake intensive language training in small, intimate classes, attend a series of lectures on China’s politics, diplomacy and economic development, and gain personal insights by visiting government agencies such as the Australian Consulate-General, AusTrade and AustCham, as well as Australian companies such as Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Wagas fast food chain, Mr Willis Restaurants, and Detmold Packaging.

The first part of the field school takes place in the lower Yangtze town of Suzhou, known for its canals, bridges and beautiful gardens. You’ll spend the next two weeks in the renowned international metropolis of Shanghai, one of the world’s fastest-growing financial hubs. You’ll stay in campus accommodation in downtown Shanghai with the bustling inner city literally on your doorstep.

Funding is available to some students through New Colombo Plan grants of A$3000 to partially cover the costs of the program.

The Suzhou-Shanghai Field School is a rare opportunity to build the necessary knowledge, skills, cross-cultural abilities and networks for your globalised future by gaining exposure to business and politics in China. Places are limited so apply now.


Field school dates
3–23 July 2017

Application deadline
21 April 2017
Entrance to this program is highly competitive, so please submit your application as early as possible.

Places available

Shanghai and Suzhou, China

You need to be a current student of the University of Sydney Business School or the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and have permission from your home faculty to attend the field school.

Language skills
Classes will be instructed in English. No previous knowledge of Chinese language is required.

Program leader
Dr Minglu Chen, Senior Lecturer, Department of Government and International Relations

After returning to Sydney, you need to submit a 2000-word research report on the topic of ‘Understanding Business in China’ or ‘International Business, Politics and Diplomacy in China’.

Upon completion of this program, you will receive 6 credit points of intermediate unspecified credit that can be counted towards a Government and International Relations major.


The total cost for attending the Suzhou-Shanghai Field School program, including tuition fees, airfares, accommodation, meals and other incidentals, is estimated at around A$4000.

In 2017, 10 New Colombo Grants valued at AUD$3000 each are offered to eligible students in the program. These grants are intended to cover some but not all of the associated costs.

A portion of the grant will be retained by the University of Sydney to pay for shared expenses, including:

  • coursework tuition fees
  • accommodation
  • local transport
  • five group meals
  • sightseeing admission.

The China Studies Centre will also make financial contribution to cover part of the expenses.

In addition, there are certain costs that you need to cover. These include:

  • Airfares: $1000-1500 (the grant allocated to you might be sufficient to cover this)
  • Chinese visa: $110
  • Individual meals for three weeks: about $500
  • Other incidental costs such as shopping: $300.

You may also need to purchase travel insurance if you wish to do any extra travel in China while you are there. While you are participating in the program (from 3 to 23 July), you are covered by the University’s insurance, but not outside those dates.

Please note: the above costs are in Australian dollars, and are indicative – intended as a guide only.

In order to be eligible for a New Colombo Plan grant, you must:

  • be an Australian citizen
  • be enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences or Business School at the University of Sydney
  • have a minimum credit (65%) average
  • have room in your degree for the credit specified above
  • be aged between 18 and 28 years of age on 3 July 2017
  • be available to attend interviews and pre-departure training
  • have not previously received funding for a short-term New Colombo Plan mobility project.

OS-HELP loans may be available to eligible students enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place where the program is approved for credit prior to departure. You will need to apply for this separately.

How to apply
2017 NCP program applications have closed.

Contact us
For more information about the Suzhou-Shanghai Field School, New Colombo Plan grants, or the application process, please contact:

Mrs Li Ozinga
China Studies Centre
The University of Sydney
+61 2 9114 0837

In the first week, the program will use the University of Sydney’s newly established Centre in China (located in Suzhou) as the main educational venue.

You will engage in language classes provided by the Renmin University, attend a seminar on Chinese Economy, and visit a number of domestic and international organisations and companies, as well as historic and cultural sites.

In the second and third week, you will stay in on-campus accommodation at Shanghai Jiaotong University’s Xuhui Campus. This premier location provides a unique opportunity to experience university life in downtown Shanghai and mingle with many domestic and international students attending the summer study programs at Shanghai Jiaotong University.

The School of International & Public Affairs at Shanghai Jiaotong University has designed a five-day program during the second week to enable you to enjoy an intensive experience of Chinese economy, politics and culture. The program consists of six lectures: Introduction to Chinese Political System, International and Regional Conflict, China’s Economic Policy, Political Economy of China’s Development, China’s Economy, and Challenges of Doing Business in China.

During this time, you will visit many notable companies in Shanghai, such as SAIC Motor Corporation Limited (SAIC Motor), Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd., and Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

In the third week, you’ll gain first-hand experience of the topics covered in the lectures by visiting Australian agencies such as the Australian Consulate-General, AusTrade and AustCham, along with the very successful Australian and American companies Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Wagas fast food chain, Mr Willis Restaurants, Detmold Packaging, and General Motors.

On each of these visits, you will have the rare opportunity to tour the organisation or company, hear the real life ‘doing business in China’ stories, and have face-to-face discussions with the organisations’ leaders.

While in Shanghai, you will also explore many historic and cultural sites, and be offered opportunities to participate in activities such as food DIY, a tea ceremony and Chinese calligraphy, while experiencing the excitement of life in China’s most international city.





Suzhou is a major city located in southeastern Jiangsu Province of East China, about 100km northwest of Shanghai. Founded in 514 BC, Suzhou has more than 2500 years of history, with an abundant display of relics and sites of historical interest. The city's canals, stone bridges, pagodas, and meticulously designed gardens have contributed to its status as one of the top tourist attractions in China. The Classical Gardens of Suzhou were added to the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997 and 2000. Suzhou is often dubbed the ‘Venice of the East’.

China Centre in Suzhou

The University of Sydney Centre in China (based in Suzhou)

Based in the Suzhou Dushu Lake Science, Education and Innovation District in the Suzhou Industrial Park in Jiangsu, China, the University of Sydney Centre in China provides a base to learn more about China, its society and language.

The centre fosters greater collaboration and understanding between people and institutions across China, and brings industry and academia together. The centre aims to build innovative partnerships, drive Australia-China collaboration and exchange, and deepen our understanding of China.



Shanghai is the most populous city in the world, with more than 24 million inhabitants. Shanghai sits on the south edge of the mouth of the Yangtze in the middle portion of the eastern Chinese coast. The city has been described as the showpiece of the booming economy of mainland China; renowned for its Lujiazui skyline, and museums and historic buildings, such as those along the Bund, as well as the City God Temple and the Yu Garden.

Jiaotong University

Shanghai Jiaotong University Xuhui Campus

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) has a long history and esteemed reputation in China and the world. Since its launch, 121 years ago, it has become a top-performing, comprehensive, research-oriented, and internationalised university, teaching across a wide range of disciplines. Today SJTU has 64 undergraduate programs covering nine major disciplines: economics, law, literature, science, engineering, agriculture, medicine, management and arts. Its Xuhui Campus is located in downtown Shanghai.