Beijing Language & Culture University

Consistently ranked as one of China’s most internationalized universities, BLCU is home to the largest Chinese language and culture education program in the world, making it the premier place to study Mandarin.

Founded in 1962, Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU), located at “Wudaokou”, the heart of Beijing’s university area, has become a leading public university with over 12,000 students.

BLCU offers a full-range of Chinese language courses to international students. Known as the “Little United Nations” and home to advanced research and teaching in Chinese language and culture, BLCU is globally connected and forward-looking, making it a great place to study abroad.

Key information


Beijing, China


English, Mandarin


Fall, Winter, Academic year

Program type


Application information

Application status



2023-2024 applications

First come first considered for remaining spaces until

Fall: March 15

Winter: October 15

University-specific additional requirements

Applicants do not need a reference.

2024-2025 applications

Open November 1, 2023

Program details

Areas of Study:

BLCU offers a selection of Chinese Language & Culture courses. 6 levels of courses are offered, from beginner to advanced. BLCU also offers more than 20 elective courses, including HSK Test Preparation, Business Chinese, Chinese Culture taught in English, Chinese Music, Chinese Calligraphy, Chinese Painting, Taichi, etc.

Chinese courses are offered at regular pace (20 hrs/week), or Intensive pace (30 hrs/week):  

Short Term Programs (1 semester or less): Regular Pace Here (20 hrs/week); Intensive Pace Here (30 hrs/week)
Long Term Programs (full academic year): Elementary ChineseIntermediate ChineseAdvanced Chinese

Course requirements:
Students at BLCU must take between 3-5 courses per semester.

The academic year is divided into two semesters.

  • Autumn Semester runs from early September to mid-January.
  • Spring Semester runs from mid-February to early July. 
  1. Costs

    Exchange students pay their tuition and academic fees to the University of Calgary. Other expenses are paid directly to the service provider. 

    A general monthly estimate of costs at BLCU:

    Monthly ExpenseMonthly Costs (in CNY/RMB)

    Student Accommodation2000-4960 CNY (65-160 CNY/day)

    Food/Meals1800 CNY (60 CNY/day)

    Toiletries60 CNY

    Laundry70 CNY for 10 washes

    Transit100-200 CNY

    Textbooks/Supplies150-250 CNY 

    Mobile/Cell Phone200+ CNY

    Internet60 CNY

    Gym50 CNY

    Total Estimate (not including funding)4490 - 7650 CNY per month

    Also, remember to include things like visas, insurance, vaccinations etc in your budget planning.



  2. Funding

    Did you know that you can take your UCalgary funding with you on exchange?  
    Since you remain a degree seeking student at UCalgary while on exchange you remain eligible for any awards and scholarships you are eligible to receive from the university as well as student loans.

    Our office administers several awards, including the Global Access Fund (based on a funding-first model where students apply prior to committing to a global learning program) and the Global Learning Award (students apply after being accepted to a global learnng program; the amount varies year-to-year as the money is split among chosen recipients). Students may only receive these awards once. Please see the funding page, linked below, for more information.

    CLIC Funding: The University of Calgary is a member of the Canadian Learning Initiative in China (CLIC) consortium. The China Scholarship Council (CSC) subsidises on-campus accommodation and pays a stipend which is 3000RMB/month.

    Also, the Chinese Government has scholarships available for foreign students studying in China. The CSC scholarship is available to all Canadians, and there are also CSC scholarships specifically for Alberta residents

    China International Study Travel Award: offered annually to continuing undergraduate students enrolled at the University of Calgary. The award is generally distributed as 4 awards of $5000 per student. No application necessary - students will be internally nominated by their program/exchange advisor, via the Study Abroad Office. See funding page for eligibility and additional details. 

    CNOOC International Canadian Global Leaders in China Award of $2000 per student is offered to up to 20 students participating in an approved UCalgary study abroad program in mainland China for 2019/20. No application necessary - students will be internally nominated by their program/exchange advisor, via the Study Abroad Office. Preference will be given to students based on academic merit. See funding page for more details. 

    HKCBA Award 3 prizes awarded annually. Apply directly to HKCBA ($3000/$2000/$1000)See funding page for more details. Deadline: October 31, 2022

Students nominated for this university will apply for dorms as a part of the application process to BLCU. Most rooms are double-occupancy, though single rooms can be requested (limited availability). 

Double rooms: 65-95 RMB/day
Single rooms: 90-160 RMB/day

See more on housing here:  

This exchange is open to regular, full-time students in the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures & Cultures (SLLLC) at UCalgary, who have completed at least 1 full year (10 courses) at the post-secondary level, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.

Please note: China restricts access to exchange programs to citizens of other countries. Students who plan to travel on a Chinese passport are not eligible for exchange in China.

What's special about BLCU and Beijing?

Student Tips: "The climate in Beijing is like none other. First off, it is a polluted city at times, but that doesn’t mean that it is polluted every day. Believe it or not, some days are beautiful! I simply avoided being outside on those smoggy days. The fall and spring are beautiful times to be in Beijing. In terms of temperature, it ranges between 15 to 25 C. The winter is relatively cold - furnaces don’t turn on until mid-November, which can make for a cold few weeks. Winters range from -10 to 10 C. The coldest days are when the wind picks up so a good winter coat is definitely needed. It rarely, if ever snows, but if it does, it’s only centimeters, and melts away by the end of the day. Transit is very convenient and most of Beijing is safe. I would definitely go see the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Hou Hai area, Nanluoguxiang street, Yuan Ming Yuan, Olympic Plaza, and DO explore the Hutongs, so many unseen treasure in there, etc. There are many great restaurants in Beijing too, so don’t be afraid to try something new. Ask your Chinese friends what restaurants they like. Chinese people love to talk about the foods that are native to their regions!"

Are there supports for students with accessibility needs or LGBTQ students? 

LGBTQ: There are no laws against homosexuality in China and it is legal to change one's gender, but positive/protective rights for LGBTQ people don't exist. Universities typically advise that students should keep a low profile in Beijing as one's sexuality is something that one might only discuss with close friends, and is not an identity that is shown publicly. 

Have questions?

Global Learning 101

Please watch this short YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment. In these videos, you will learn much of the basics about Global Learning, which may answer your initial questions.

Watch Global Learning 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how this program might align with your degree (e.g. best time to go, what courses you need).

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/transfer credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Global Learning Advising

If you have questions, please reach out to our office! We offer drop-in advising for general inquiries, and if you have questions about this specific program or any others, you can book an appointment with the responsible advisor.

Please use the link below to find the most up-to-date information about our current advising options.

View the Global Learning Advising page

The exchange advisor for this program is: Flavien Niederst

How to Apply

Download the application guide

This PDF contains information on how to complete your application and what to do after you have applied.

Application guide

Identify three programs of interest

We recommend applying for your top three programs for the priority application deadline, as placement may be competitive. We will assess your applications in ranked order.

Check requirements and deadlines

These may vary by program, so check the individual program pages and make sure that you are aware of any different application deadlines or eligibility requirements.

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.


International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular global learning program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Global Learning Advisors will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

If you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Global Learning Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.

Please note: All participants must adhere to COVID-19 and other vaccination-related requirements for the destinations visited on this program. Failure to do so may have consequences such as being denied access to accommodation/housing, program activities, or to the host country itself.