The Associated Colleges in China program has tried to minimize rules because we plan to treat you as serious and mature adults who do not need a regulation for every occasion. Still, some guidelines are necessary for your protection and to support the program. 

Language Pledge

As a student you may speak only Chinese, especially with other members of your group, roommates, teachers, staff and other people you may encounter while you are in the program. This is the most important regulation and constitutes the very backbone of the program’s philosophy. The consequences of violating the language pledge are outlined below. The purpose of the pledge is to help you become immersed in the language and to encourage you to think in Chinese as well as speak it. When you or other students speak English, you make full immersion impossible and hinder the learning process.

You should not consider reverting to English or any language other than Mandarin Chinese at any time during the program unless you must speak to someone who doesn’t understand Chinese or you are faced with an emergency situation. Failure to adhere to the language pledge will result in disciplinary action:

  • First offense: written warning
  • Second offense: one full grade reduction for a course taken in that term
  • Third offense: expulsion from the program

Documentation of offenses will be kept in the office in Beijing and at Hamilton.

If you  are not able to observe this rule faithfully you should not be part of the program. The Associated Colleges committee is charged with confirming the expulsion of any student who does not conform to the language pledge.

The language pledge becomes effective right after the orientation meeting at the start of each term. Students are asked to sign a pledge at that time.

Honor Code

Any form of academic dishonesty — cheating, falsification, misrepresentation, forgery or plagiarism — is a serious offense in any academic community. In the ACC program, such dishonesty typically will result in removal from the course, expulsion from the program or both. It is essential, therefore, that every student understands the standards of academic honesty.

Plagiarism is a violation of intellectual honesty. The practice of intellectual honesty is the foundation of an academic community. Effective evaluation of student work and helpful instruction can take place only in an environment where intellectual honesty is respected. Plagiarism represents a failure to acknowledge the source of ideas or language gained from another person when used in any paper, exercise or project submitted in a course. All students will sign an honor code upon arrival.

In all cases, the field director reserves the right to suspend a student whose academic work or social conduct warrants such action.

Classroom Behavior

Please be culturally sensitive and respectful. For example: do not bring breakfast to class; turn off your cell phone; do not put your feet on desks or tables; knock on the door before entering a space that is not your own room (especially the office); and use both hands to submit an assignment or give a gift. Please remember that what one culture values, another may not value as much – or at all.

Also, please do not be overly sensitive. In China, it is okay to ask people about their family life and wages, among many other things. For example, you may also be asked questions like: “Are you considered fat in the U.S.?” You will probably hear conversation about topics western culture deems inappropriate, such as ??? (ladùzi – diarrhea). When conversing with people, remember: “When in Rome…” (????rùjìngsuísú).

Be cooperative, even when you are not fully prepared, interested in a topic or in a good mood. Be respectful. Always be active and energetic in class, and participate in discussions.

Be realistic about the goals you set for yourself, especially when planning your independent project or term paper (????dúlìbàogào).

Please do not disrupt the harmony of the learning environment. If you have to leave the classroom, ask politely to be excused. Exit and re-enter as quietly as possible.

Regulations of Host Institution

Program students are subject to the regulations of the Minda Guest House. These regulations include – but are not limited to – rules about visitation hours and overnight guests. Failure to adhere to the “overnight guests” rule will result in fines by the host institution.


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Associated Colleges in China

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