Seventh Grade Beijing Academy
What: The CAIS – SYA Beijing Academy is a three-week structured, language-intensive academic and homestay program. Students prepare with a “Getting to Know Beijing” unit in Chinese classes, and use interview and observational material collected during the program to complete a project showcasing their learning upon return.
Why: To boost students’ language skills, broaden their understanding of Chinese people, culture, and society, and help them forge real and lasting personal connections abroad.
Where: Classes are held at Xicheng Experiment School in Beijing, where students receive three to four hours of Chinese language instruction daily in small classes, along with individual tutorials and daily presentations. In the afternoons, students engage in field projects and experiential activities that take them outside of the classroom and require them to apply the language they have learned in a variety of contexts. On Saturdays, students participate in excursions in and around Beijing to places of cultural and historical significance. Students live with Chinese host families in the school area, and Sundays are spent with them.
Who: 7th graders! The CAIS Board of Trustees views this program as fundamental to the school’s mission and vision, and has therefore developed a long-term financial plan that ensures the program’s sustainability. As a result, all seventh grade students will have access to the program regardless of their families’ financial circumstances.