beijing royal garden

Tsinghua University

Located in a former royal garden, Tsinghua University is world ranked in both beauty and prestige; it is China's highest-ranked university, and is ranked #16th worldwide (QS, 2020).

The area around Tsinghua is a university district, noted for the Ginko trees (especially in the fall) and the Summer Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site. From campus, explore the rich excitement of Beijing, from Tienanmen Square to sites of the Great Wall.

Founded in 1911, Tsinghua was the first university under the PRC government to accept international students in 1950 and today has a student population of 31,000 with 3450 international students. They are particularly known for their programs in science, technology and engineering.

Key information


Beijing, 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

Applicants do not need a reference.

2025-2026 applications

Open November 1, 2024

Program details

Areas of Study:

English-taught: architecture, business, communications, development studies, economics, engineering (civil, electrical, mechanical), international relations, and science (biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, physics).

Students can also choose to study Mandarin in Tsinghua's Chinese Language Program.

Mandarin-taught: architecture, biochemistry, biology, business, chemistry, Chinese language & literature,  engineering (aerospace, biomedical, chemical, civil, electrical, environmental, materials, mechanical), environmental science, Humanities, information science & technology, journalism & communication, law, math, microbiology, physics, psychology public policy and social sciences.

Restrictions:  Graduate courses in English, Non-Chinese foreign language courses, kinesiology/sport courses, arts courses. 

Course information in English is listed per semester (use the previous year's information to make a tentative course list for your application). Examples: Spring 2019 coursesFall 2018 courses
For courses taught in Chinese, please look them up under the relevant faculty/department. 

Course Requirements:

In most cases, one UCalgary Half Course Equivalent (3 units) = 3 Tsinghua credits, although 4 Tsinghua credits may be required for some math, science and language courses. 1 Tsinghua credit = 16 academic hours at Tsinghua, and students are limited to a maximum of 20 Tsinghua credits per semester. 

The academic year is divided into two semesters.

  • Autumn Semester runs from mid September to mid January
  • Spring Semester runs from late February to mid 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. The CLIC funding (noted in "Funding" below) should be sufficient to cover living costs in China on a reasonable student budget.

    Tentative Yearly Budget for Study At Tsinghua (less for semester-only):

    ExpenseCost (low)Cost (high)General Cost est.

    On-campus Accommodation*CNY 15,000*CNY 30,000*30-50rmb/day

    Meals*CNY 11,000*CNY 18,000*500-1000rmb/month

    Textbooks*CNY 2,000*CNY 2,000*200-500rmb/month

    Chinese Injury & Hospitalization Fee*CNY 600*CNY 600*300rmb/semester

    Annual Cost Estimate On-Campus (not incl. CLIC funding)CNY 28600CNY 50600 

    *Cost subsidized in part or full by CLIC Funding


    Also, remember to include things like visas, flights, insurance, vaccinations, etc. in your budget planning. Laundry costs about 25 yuan for 10 loads. Purchasing a bike to get around is also recommended, or using the campus shuttle that runs a 20 minute route around campus. 

  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. 

    Important Note: There may be capacity limits on the CLIC funded spaces at Tsinghua. In this case, students receiving other UCalgary Study Abroad awards may not be put forward for CLIC as well. 

    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

Tsinghua offers three different types of on-campus dormitory rooms to international students at the Zijing International Student Apartments:

  • Single Room (Private bathroom & toilet)
  • AB Room (Shared bathroom & toilet)
  • Double Room (Public bathroom and toilet)

Bedding, TV, air-conditioning, telephone, internet access, and furniture are included with each room. Dormitory prices are RMB 80/day for Single/AB rooms, and RMB 40/day for double rooms. The apartments provide cleaning services every two days, and buildings provide study rooms, a laundry room, and public washing machines. Some buildings are also equipped with a shared kitchen and dryer. Application to the dorms is mentioned as part of the application process to Tsinghua. 

On-campus accommodation (for students who apply for CLIC funding by the relevant deadline) is covered by a housing subsidy.

Off campus accommodation is also possible but support is very limited - you may need to request assistance from your Chinese buddy or friends in Beijing. See the "Off-Campus Accommodation Booking" information here

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 2.7 (B-).

Tsinghua offers a selection of English-taught courses each semester. However, a minimum of Chinese 205/207 is required for this program and the language program.

Students who want to take courses taught in Mandarin must have high intermediate to advanced Mandarin (HSK 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.

Do I have to speak Mandarin for this exchange?

For courses in English, a minimum of Chinese 205/207 is required. However if you want to take courses taught in Mandarin, you must have high-intermediate to advanced Mandarin (HSK 5).

What's special about Tsinghua?

Tsinghua University, one of the most esteemed universities in China (and the world) is an open university, with nearly all student organizations and activities open to international students. Chinese students studying at Tsinghua University are among the best and brightest of their peers in China - many of them can use English proficiently, and are very happy to help and communicate with international students. At the beginning of each semester (two weeks into the new term), hundreds of Student Associations will conduct a large-scale recruitment event, usually located around the Zijing field and opposite to the C building. International students can join any of these organizations.

Additionally, Tsinghua's Buddy Program and AICE association are two Student Associations that are dedicated to serving the diverse community of international students at Tsinghua. Other registered international student associations where students can meet like-minded friends at the university include: the Korean Students Association, Russian Students Association, Malaysia Students Association, Japanese Students Association, Canadian Students Association, Vietnamese Students Association, Indonesia Students Association, Thailand Students Association, African Students Association, and the Latin American Students Association.

Tsinghua only permits smoking on campus in designated, remote outdoor locations.

What resources are available for new students?

Campus Life: See information about a variety of campus life features here.

There is a buddy program at Tsinghua for all incoming exchange students, which is useful for transitioning to life in China. 

Student Dining: Tsinghua student dining halls are famous for their good service and reasonable price among the universities in Beijing. There are more than 10 student dining halls  on campus, providing a variety of dishes including Muslim and Western food. Close to the Zijing International Student Apartments are the Zhilanyuan, Zijingyuan, Taoliyuan, and Yushuyuan dining halls. In addition, there are several fast food restaurants and cafes on campus, and a bakery.
Off-campus, there are a variety of restaurants just outside the Main Gate including McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Subway, Yoshinoya, and a variety of Chinese restaurants.

Sports & RecreationVarious sports facilities are provided on campus, which include: the West Lake outdoor swimming pool, the Natatorium (swimming and diving), the Comprehensive Gymnasium (badminton, table tennis, basketball, and gymnastics), the West Gymnasium (badminton, basketball, volleyball, and billiards), the West Sports Field, the East Sports Field, Zijing Sports Complex (basketball, tennis, volleyball, and soccer), and Inflatable Dome (badminton and table tennis).

Music, Art & Culture: Professional music and art performances such as symphony, drama, song and dance are frequently staged in the New Tsinghua Xuetang and Meng Min Wei Concert Hall. Movies screenings are available in the Auditorium. Most shows offer discounted ticket prices to students but you should queue early for the shows that you want to catch due to the popularity of these tickets. To know more about the upcoming shows, keep a lookout for the billboards along the roads in school and at the New Tsinghua Xuetang. You can also check out the website: add "新清华学堂" if you have a renren account at to get the latest updates.

What supports or services are available at Tsinghua?

Counselling and Learning Supports: The Center for Student Learning and Development at Tsinghua provides guidance, academic counseling and support services to improve the learning quality of the students. For the students with difficulties in course study, the Center organizes student volunteers and faculties to offer Q&A and counseling services, helping the students improve their confidence, methodology and capability in study.

The Student Counseling Center provides services to help students adapt to society, explore student's potentials, promote their personal growth, relieve psychological conflicts and pressure, and prevent psychological crisis. Counseling services in English are available to the international 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 Tsinghua to determine if they can meet your needs.  

Halal: Muslim students can enjoy halal food from Tsinghua's Muslim Canteen. 

What's the weather like in Beijing?

In north China, public heating is generally turned on from mid-November (around November 15th) to mid-March (around March 15th). In order to provide proper internal air circulation, public areas will often open windows for ventilation, even in cooler weather, so it is important to pack some warm clothes for the winter, even if the winters aren't as cold as in Calgary. 

  • Spring: Except for the occasional, mild sandstorm, the weather is pleasant. Temperatures fluctuate between 0°C to 26°C.
  • Summer: Hot and humid. Temperatures range from 18°C to 35°C.
  • Autumn: The weather is cool with occasional rain. Average temperatures hover between 0°C to 26°C.
  • Winter: The weather is dry and windy. Daily temperatures are between -8°C to 5°C.

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.