tianjin china

Nankai University

Explore the cosmopolitan port city of Tianjin at one of China's top 15 universities. 

Explore the Five Great Avenues that showcase the mix of Ming and Qing dynasy buildings with a variety of European architecture, to the modern Tianjin Eye, which is both a bridge and a ferris wheel! Located 25 minutes south of Beijing by train, Tianjin is a hub of international commerce and shipping. 

Nankai University was founded in 1919 and is in the top 3% of universities in the world, (368, QS 2020). Nearly 30,000 students currently study here, following in the footsteps of noted Nankai alum, the late Premier Zhou Enlai.

Key information


Tianjin, China


English, Mandarin


Fall, Winter, Academic year

Program type


Application information

Application status



2024-2025 applications

Fall 2024 and Winter 2025

Priority deadline: January 10, 2024

University-specific additional requirements

One academic reference required - see the Eligibility section below.

This reference will not be collected at time of application but during the partner application step.

2025-2026 applications

Open November 1, 2024

Program details

Areas of Study:

Students can take an intensive Mandarin program at the College of Chinese Language and Culture, which is also a designated HSK testing site. Besides Chinese classes, there are also cultural electives in art, music, history, urban studies, philosophy and communications.

Nankai offers some English courses in Computer and Electronic Engineering, Biology, Business and Economics, English literature, History, and International Relations. For more course offerings, scroll down to the "Exchange Students" tab and click on "Programs" to see the current offerings

Chinese taught: business, chemistry, computer science, economics, economic & social development, engineering (computer, electric environmental, materials, ) environmental science, finance, history, literature, life sciences (microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics & cell biology, plant biology & ecology, zoology & developmental biology.) math, philosophy, physics, political science, tourism.

Languages: French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish

Course Information:

Most classes are 2 Nankai credits and a full course load per semester is 15-17 credits. Students should expect to take at least 18 class periods per week in the language program and 6-16 normally.  You can take up to two classes outside the faculty you were accepted into. 3-4 Nankai credits = 3 UCalgary units (1 half-course). 

 English taught courses are available through the College of Chinese Language and Culture as well as the English-medium Programs.

There are two semesters at Nankai, Spring and Fall.

  • Spring Semester runs from late February to early July
  • Fall Semester runs from mid-September to the end of January
  1. Costs

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

    Nankai estimates that the cost of living is 3000-4000 yuan per month, (including the dormitory charge) which should be entirely covered by the accommodation coverage and stipend. 

    ExpenseCost in Chinese Yuan

    Housing60-65 CNY/day

    Food50 CNY/day

    Chinese-academic insurance400 CNY/6months, 800 CNY/12months

    Monthly estimate in CNY:3367-3517 CNY/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. Canadian UCalgary students receive the International Study Travel Grant for this program as our portion of the CLIC funding. 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 can live in the International student's dorm on campus (double occupancy). On campus accommodation is provided free of charge through the CSC at either Balitai or the Jinnan campuses.

This exchange is open to regular, full-time students in any faculty at UCalgary, who have completed at least 1 full year (10 courses) at the post-secondary level, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B).

While it is possible to attend the Mandarin intensive program without a background in Chinese, we recommend that students have at least Chinese 205/207 before going on this exchange. 

Students who want to take courses outside of the college of Chinese language and culture, or the English taught courses must have HSK level 5.

Please do not approach your professor for a reference until after you have been accepted by our office.

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.

There are two campuses, both located in Tianjin: Balitai campus, which is the main campus and the new Jinnan campus in the south part of the city in the Haihe Educational Park.

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. Our Chinese counterparts 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.

Accessibility: Students with accessibility needs are encouraged to contact our office early so that we may contact Nankai to determine if they can meet your needs.  

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.