In addition to the formal curriculum, students take part in numerous activities, as described below, which are designed to support their learning Chinese in a natural setting. Students pay no extra charge for participating in these events.
Only Chinese will be spoken, especially with other members of the group, including roommates, instructors and staff. This is the Program's most important regulation and constitutes the very backbone of its philosophy. The purpose of the Language Pledge is to help you become immersed in the language and to encourage you not only to speak Chinese, but to think Chinese as well. When English is spoken by students, their immersion into the Chinese language is limited and the learning process is hindered.
All students who are admitted will be asked to sign a language pledge, indidcating their agreement to speak Chinese to all people at all times (with the exception of dire emergencies). Failure of students to abide by the language pledge will result in disciplinary action, including possible expulsion from the program.
Each week, students participate in two to four hours of language practicum, where they are assigned projects which require them to use their Chinese outside of the classroom with local citizens. The formats include on-site visits, information-gathering, interviews, oral presentations, news reports and debates. Once a project has been completed, students report on it to their class.
All students have host families with whom they may visit during the weekends. Experience from over the years has proven that this is one of the most successful features, since students can observe and participate in the daily life of Chinese families and gain some knowledge of Chinese culture, social etiquette and customs--all in a friendly and supportive environment.
All students in the program meet every Friday to eat lunch with several of the instructors. This is a good opportunity for teachers and students from all levels to become acquainted with each other.
Every few weeks, outside speakers will be invited to give a talk or a demonstration.
During each semester, ACC will organize field trips for all students. The summer students will visit the Yungang Buddhist Cave in Datong. In the fall and spring, students will go on two or three field trips to places of cultural interest in various parts of China. The field trips not only offer a change from the usual high-intensity language classes but offer students an opportunity to strengthen their knowledge of Chinese area studies and to continue their practice of Chinese outside the classroom.
On certain Friday afternoons or Saturdays, students may take part in excursions to nearby scenic locations such as the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and the Great Wall. Students may also attend cultural events such as Beijing opera, plays, and acrobatics.
Students meet once a week to learn calligraphy, tai-chi, cooking and to take choir classes. Toward the end of the semester, students demonstrate the skills they have learned in front of an audience of classmates, faculty and friends.
Minzu University of China (MUC) is one of China's most important comprehensive universities with an advantageous geographical position, being located in an urban district of Beijing, near the National Library of China. The university has a beautiful, garden-like campus, something rarely seen in northern China.
The university is well equipped with modern educational facilities. It has a comprehensive set of university disciplines and its ethnic characteristics are highly distinctive. At present, MUC has 23 colleges and 5 departments, 55 bachelor degree programs, 64 master degree programs and 25 doctor degree programs.
All students as well as the Field Director and the primary teachers are housed in doubles in the Foreign Students Dormitory. This complex has comfortable rooms with air-conditioning, private baths and a 24-hour hot water supply.