Study Abroad

Notice: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the studying abroad semester at Peking University is currently suspended. But SDAC offers the following alternatives:

1st Alternative for Winter Term 2022/2023

Partner Universities of the MA in Development Economics and International Studies (MADEIS)

Please note that the application deadline is 31 January 2022. Therefore, if you are interested in this offer, you need to submit your application as soon as possible. Click here to see the application details.

2nd Alternative for Winter Term 2023/2024

ERASMUS + / SDAC Partner Universities

As part of our longer-term planning, we are in the process of establishing several new partnerships with various universities. It is important to us that the institutes of the new partner universities meet our teaching standards and are as close as possible to the curriculum of our program. In addition, we will conclude these partnerships within the framework of the ERASMUS + program, so there would be no tuition fees for you. Since such processes unfortunately also take a certain amount of time, this alternative will only be possible for the winter semester 23/24. We will keep you informed about this.

3rd Alternative: Self-organized semester abroad

You also have the possibility to organize your semester abroad by yourself. However, you have to keep in mind that in many cases you will have to pay tuition fees (which SDAC cannot cover). In addition, you have to make sure that the requirements for the crediting of your grades from abroad are met (you have to complete the learning agreements yourself, clarify which courses you are allowed to attend). The process can be time-consuming and requires a lead time of about one year. Therefore, if you are interested in organizing your stay abroad, please contact our program coordinator ( first with your concrete plans (host university, institute, course selection, time of stay, etc.). This way we can check your requests to see if we can accredit your studies abroad.


Please note that for all alternatives, the course selection should be as close as possible to the SDAC curriculum. This means that all fields of study that are taught in our program are eligible. For cases where you are not sure if they count, please contact Professor Stephanie Homola ( or program coordinator Oleg ( first to discuss your options.

Meanwhile, since we still cannot foresee how the pandemic will develop, all these alternatives are subject to adjust. We are still working hard to offer you more alternatives and have many more discussions in the coming weeks. In addition, we are doing our utmost to establish partnerships with top universities as soon as possible to offer you an “SDAC specific” study abroad program.

If you have any questions about this topic, feel free to contact SDAC program coordinator.

Study Abroad in Beijing (before the pandemic)

General Information

The first two cohorts SDAC students used to spend their third semester at Peking University (European Centre for Chinese Studies ECCS). As one of China’s most prestigious universities, Peking University is home to a great variety of study subjects and research fields. This is reflected in the teaching provided by the respective institutions on campus.

Although most classes are not accessible for exchange students, the ECCS will prepare a list of classes for every term. It will comprise a variety of courses with different subjects (mainly in English and mainly from the fields of humanities and social sciences) for students to choose from. During their stay at the European Centre for Chinese Studies (ECCS) in Beijing, graduates learn to apply their theoretical knowledge from the first phase of the degree program to academic and everyday situations in China. Language teaching is carried out by experienced language instructors who teach their classes almost entirely in Chinese and encourage students to speak, read and write from the very beginning of their stay.

You can find more general information on FAU’s abroad study section in the following link

Take a look at our student reports on their experiences in Beijing.

Life in Beijing

ECCS Information Sheet (January 2018)

General Remarks

If you have questions, please contact Dr: Martina Gottwald-Belinic or Dimitri Drettas. There is a tray for ECCS related documents at the secretariat office. Please make sure that you are on the relevant mailing list and consider that preparatory meetings may also be scheduled on relatively short notice!

Please read this information sheet carefully and pay due attention to your own financial planning (see exemplary calculation), because you will need for instance larger amounts of money ready before leaving and directly upon your arrival in Beijing. Make sure that your passport is valid for at least another six months after your scheduled return from China!


Time Schedule

You will receive a time schedule with the most important preparatory meetings etc. in advance.



After the end of the registration period, your notification of enrolment and a so-called “JW202 document” will be sent to your home university. These are required for successfully applying an X2 student visa. Please fill in your visa application form (keep a passport photo prepared) and hand it in together with your passport! The Visa is obtained with the support of a visa agency, the official visa fees are about 150 EUR, the fees for the visa agency about 50 EUR.

Your X2 student visa is usually valid for 180 days counting from the day of entry to the PR China. It cannot be extended. If you stay a second semester at the ECCS, it can be renewed in Beijing as soon as the enrolment documents for the new semester are ready. If you want to stay in China longer than 180 days, you can travel e.g. to Hong Kong or Korea and apply for a tourist visa there, which usually gives you another 30 days. Please do not leave China during the semester, because this will lead to the immediate expiry of your visa! If you urgently need to leave, please immediately contact the ECCS office and consider that it will require much time, money and formalities from you to do so!

If you should be the holder of a so-called “grey” passport, please contact Dimitri Drettas as soon as possible!



Medical issues are your own responsibility. Vaccination against hepatitis A and B, Japanese encephalitis, typhus and rabies make sense, please contact your physician also for suggestions concerning medicine and other items you should bring along. Consider that HIV is widespread in China and avoid endangering yourself and others!

The ECCS Office provides you with updated information on the medical supply in Beijing. If you need further information or support, do not hesitate to contact the ECCS Office. In case you suffer from a longer or more serious physical or mental disease or instability, it is absolutely necessary to inform Anna Schneider and the staff member accompaning you to Beijing. Your information will be treated with highest confidentiality.


Liability Insurance and Health Insurance

All ECCS students are required to provide proof of a liability insurance as well as an overseas health cover with return transport guarantee. If you have questions, please contact the SDAC Beijing Coordination and make sure you provide the required proof in due time!


BAföG abroad (federal student financial aid program)

For BAföG abroad, other financial thresholds are valid then for regular BAföG; it is entirely paid as a grant and not as a loan. Please inquire yourself on time with Studierendenwerk FAU Erlangen.

It is recommendable to file a so-called informal application (“Formloser Antrag”) before the beginning of the semester (i.e. before October or before April of each year).


Language Partner

During the first month of every semester, the ECCS office organizes a “language partner party” with interested PKU students to facilitate the establishment of language partnerships.



The ECCS office supports the students by searching and arranging apartments for them. It is, however, no real estate agency and cannot take responsibility for all aspects of quality in the flats as well as for problems appearing during the rental period. You are not obliged to make use of this support, but we strongly advise you to do so because the search for accommodation around the university especially at the beginning of the semester can be extremely difficult and conditions negotiated by the ECCS office are mostly better and more reliable than through agents on the free market. However, if you already know that you can live with friends or family or have other options that you prefer, please inform the SDAC and the ECCS office early about this decision!

All flats arranged by the ECCS Office are rented for six months. In some cases, the rent for all six months plus one month of deposit needs to be paid at the beginning, three months of rent plus one month of deposit is most common. The deposit is returned by the end of the rental term but deductions for various reasons can easily occur. Additional costs for water, electricity and internet need to be calculated though these are usually considerably cheaper than in Germany. During your rental term please pay attention that you obey the regulations in the rental contract the house rules and the general customs of your guest country!

Please consider that despite the high rent prices you can by no means expect a standard similar to the one you are used to from Germany. This concerns especially the interior applications, kitchens and bathrooms but also insulation of walls and windows! The ECCS office attempts to arrange for the flats until the beginning of February or August. It can, however, easily occur, that by that time not all required flats are obtained yet, and the last arrangements can only be made shortly before your arrival.



For the winter semester you arrive during the hottest time of the year and leave during the coldest. Though buying clothes in China is not expensive, this has to be considered when you pack your clothes. Spring and autumn in Beijing are very short, September and May are usually entirely hot like summer while November and March are completely cold like winter.


Flight tickets

Buy your flight tickets well in advance in order to secure affordable prices! The ECCS office usually fixes two possible arrival days during which everything is prepared for receiving you. It is generally highly appreciated that you fly together in larger groups on the same planes because this facilitates pick up and other arrangements enormously!



If you arrive in somewhat larger groups during the two days fixed by the ECCS office, we will pick you up at the airport and bring you to your flats. For students arriving alone or in very small groups we try to do the same but naturally need to give priority to larger groups. In any case every student will receive an individual welcome letter several days before his or her arrival in which all the details are explained.


Police Registration

Within 24 hours (during working days) upon your arrival in China you are obliged to register at the nearest police station. Your landlord or his representative will take care of this and make arrangements with you upon your arrival. Please strictly cooperate with these arrangements, failure to do so can cause much trouble!


Introductory Meeting and ECCS office

After your arrival, the ECCS office will hold an introductory meeting for all ECCS students of the semester. This meeting will take place at the ECCS office in the Wang Kezhen Building at the southeastern corner of the PKU campus. The office staff consisting in the Managing Director (currently Christian Buskühl) and the Project Manager (currently Mr. Lu Yang 芦阳, B.A.) will distribute teaching materials, guide books, campus cards etc. and answer your questions. In the following, there will be a campus tour to make you familiar with all the important locations you need to know inside of your university including the classrooms at the Department of Language and Literature.

The Managing Director plays a special role inside the ECCS as a representative of the European partner universities in China. At the same time, he is your most important person of trust in Beijing; please inform him immediately about any serious illness or injury, loss of passport, accident, encounter of crime like burglary etc. He will support you with any practical or personal problems you may encounter and is your shoulder to cry on if needed.


Behavior at the ECCS

ECCS students are obliged to adapt to their Chinese living and studying environment and to especially conform to the PKU behavioral customs. Violations against this, especially those damaging the reputation of the ECCS or its partner universities will be reported to the European Board of the ECCS, which will decide about the consequences. Serious violations can lead to an immediate dismissal from the ECCS (without refund of any already paid costs and fees).


Excursions, travels and activities

Given sufficient interest from the side of the students, the ECCS will organize a number of activities and excursions. Shorter ones inside of Beijing including visits to a Peking Opera performance, a Chinese Acrobatics show, the Great Wall or a hiking day are usually included in a package to be paid for in advance in Euro. During the first month of your stay, we will usually have a weekend trip to Chengde, for which we very strongly advocate your participation because it is something of an “initiation activity” for your time in Beijing.

If you decide to travel by yourself, please remember that you are responsible for yourself and strictly avoid missing your classes because of this!


Participation in regular PKU classes and HSK preparation classes

As a student of PKU, you are generally welcome to participate in the regular classes offered by your University. Different departments and teachers, however, handle this differently so that it may easily occur that places in classes are reserved for regular students only. If you wish to participate in a regular PKU class, please contact the MD and he will help you to get in contact with the responsible institution.

For a fee you can take HSK exams, the ECCS office will arrange for your participation. Moreover, a HSK preparation class will be provided usually for eight weeks before the exam.


Class participation

The following regulations are valid for class participation, the ECCS office is obliged to enforce them:

  • Students have to participate in at least 80% of the entire class time of each class in order to be admitted for the final exam. Failure to do so will result in an exclusion from the exam.
  • Times of participation in different classes cannot be calculated cumulatively.
  • In the case of an exclusion from the final exam, participation and performance in a class will not be certified.
  • Teachers control class participation exactly to guarantee comparable conditions in all classes.
  • Teachers can decide about consequences when students come late or leave early. This includes point deduction as well as calculation into the percentage of participation.
  • If students do not reach 80% of participation in classes amounting to at least 12 hours per week, no general participation certificate will be issued for them.
  • In case of illness or other important reasons, please inform your teacher IN ADVANCE about your absence. If your absence exceeds three successive days, a doctor’s attest has to be presented to the MD.


Exemplary Calculation for one semester at the ECCS

It is important that you plan the finances for your stay at the ECCS considerately! For this, the institute can only provide you very limited help. Especially before and directly after departure you have to face high expenses. Due to enormous price increases in China, living expenses have in many fields reached the level of Germany and in some -such as apartment rent- even exceeded it!

It is generally recommended that you apply for the BAföG federal student financial aid program, since the financial thresholds for BAföG abroad are much higher than for regular BAföG and are paid as a grant, not as a loan!

This exemplary calculation roughly follows the exchange rate of 1 € = 7,6 RMB. Please consider that although we are striving to stay up-to-date, sudden price increases cannot be excluded!


1. Before Departure


Health cover

Visa and visa agency


< 150 €

ca. 180 €

                                                                                                                                        ca. 800 €

2. After arrival in Beijing   



   3.000-3.500 RMB x 6 months; altog. 18.000-21.000 RMB

   Deposit (usually one month of rent)

   3.000-3.500 RMB (refunded upon move-out)

2.300–3.000 € 

350–500 € 

3. Facultative


Excursion Golden Week (3-5 Days)

HSK Exam (Level 4)

HSK Exam (Level 5)



ca. 3.000 RMB        ca.  400 €

455 RMB        ca.    60 €

555 RMB        ca.    72 €

4. Monthly in Beijing


Additional Costs (Water, Electricity, Gas)

  • 250 RMB x 6 months; altog. 1500 RMB

Transport (Bus, Metro, Taxi, Bike)

  • 250 RMB x 6 months, altog. 1.500 RMB

Communication (Mobile Phone, Internet)

  • 100- 150 RMB x 6 months, altog. 600- 900 RMB

Living expenses (Food, Clothing etc.)

  •   Per day ca. 100 RMB (180 x), altog. 18.000 R


200 €


200 €


80–120 €



ca. 2.500 €

Scolarships and Finances

For more information on scholarships and finances, please click here