UMKC School of Law

Our school

China Summer Abroad


Questions or Comments:

Nancy Kunkel
Associate Director
Senior Program Coordinator

Timothy Lynch
Academic Director

Financial Aid Questions:

Linda Lawrence
Coordinator of the UMKC Student Financial Aid Office

ABA Required Information


Additionally, a downloadable PDF is available at the left under "Quick Links."



The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Summer Law School at Peking University (PKU) will take place May 17 - June 8, 2014 (including travel dates; coursework begins on Monday, May 19 and ends with the final exam on Saturday, June 7.) The program features 4.5 hours of transferable ABA-approved law school credit and is a comprehensive survey of Chinese law, political and legal institutions. Classes are taught in English by leading PKU faculty and features lectures and discussions primarily in the morning coupled with field trips to legal institutions and tours to cultural and historic sites in the afternoons. The academic program is a single broad survey of Chinese law. We anticipate enrollment of approximately 36 students in 2014; the maximum capacity is 45 students.


In Spring 1994, UMKC’s Professor Patrick A. Randolph, Jr. served as a Visiting Professor at the Peking University Department of Law in Beijing. He continued to travel to China regularly and established very strong ties with the law faculty at PKU. The UMKC Summer Study in China at Peking University premiered in Summer 1999, with PKU law faculty Dean WU Zhipan serving as Co-Director, and Professor LOU Jianbo serving as Associate Director of the program. In 2002, Professor Randolph and Professor Lou co-authored the book Chinese Real Estate Law, and in 2003 they co-founded the Peking University Center for Real Estate Law and continued to serve as Co-Directors until Professor Randolph’s death in October 2012. Professor Randolph was the first - and only - foreign director of a research center at PKU.

The program’s lectures are taught by English-speaking faculty from Peking University Law School. All classes are conducted in English. Field trips and cultural tours are coordinated by staff members of the PKU Overseas Exchange Center (OEC). Student housing is in the PKU-operated Zhongguanyuan Global Village Hotel.


Twenty students were enrolled in the UMKC China Summer Law program in Summer 2013; nine were from UMKC, six were from Lewis & Clark Law School, and two were from the University of Kansas School of Law. In addition, students from Seattle University School of Law, Nova Southeastern University-Shepard Broad Law Center, and Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law attended the Summer 2013 program.


In prior years, we’ve had student participants from law schools in Austria, Canada, New Zealand, and Singapore. It is likely that one or more foreign students will enroll again this year.


The academic program is a single broad survey of Chinese Law conducted over three weeks for a total of 4.5 ABA-approved credit hours. The program is currently expected to include the following classes:

  • China and the Rule of Law
  • Chinese Contract Law
  • Chinese Criminal Law
  • Chinese Real Estate Law
  • Currency Manipulation
  • Dispute Resolution - Arbitration and Mediation
  • Family Law
  • General Introduction of the Intellectual Property Laws of China
  • History and Political System of China
  • Introduction to the Legal System of the People’s Republic of China
  • Law of Business Organizations
  • Principles of Chinese Civil Law (including Torts)
  • The Sino-American Relationship
  • Trial Practice and Rules of Evidence

In addition, field trips to the Supreme Court, a district court, and two law firms are included as part of the curriculum.


  • Monday, May 19, 2014
    8:30 AM - 12:15 PM
    Introduction to the Legal System of the People’s Republic of China

  • Tuesday, May 20, 2014
    8:30 AM - 12:15 PM
    The Sino-American Relationship

  • Wednesday, May 21, 2014
    8:30 AM - 12:15 PM
    Chinese Contract Law

  • Thursday, May 22, 2014
    8:30 AM - 12:15 PM
    Family Law

  • Friday, May 23, 2014
    8:30 AM - 12:15 PM
    Law of Business Organizations

  • Monday, May 26, 2014
    1:30 PM - 5:15 PM
    Principles of Chinese Civil Law

  • Tuesday, May 27, 2014
    8:30 AM - 12:15 PM
    Chinese Criminal Law

  • Wednesday, May 28, 2014
    departure at 8:30 AM
    Morning field trip to Zhonglun W&D Law Firm, followed by an afternoon field trip to the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China

  • Thursday, May 29, 2014
    8:30 AM - 12:15 PM
    Trial Practice and Rules of Evidence
    Afternoon field trip departure at 12:20 PM
    Field trip to Jones Day law firm

  • Friday, May 30, 2014
    8:30 AM - 12:15 PM
    China’s Foreign Investment Law & Practice

  • Monday, June 2, 2014
    1:30 PM - 5:15 PM
    Dispute Resolution - Arbitration/Mediation

  • Tuesday, June 3, 2014
    8:30 AM - 12:15 PM
    History and Political System of China
    Afternoon field trip departure at 12:50 PM
    Field trip to observe a criminal trial at a Chinese district court

  • Wednesday, June 4, 2014
    8:30 AM - 12:15 PM
    General Introduction of the Intellectual Property Laws of China

  • Thursday, June 5, 2014
    8:30 AM - 12:15 PM
    China and the Rule of Law

  • Friday, June 6, 2014
    8:30 AM - 12:15 PM
    Chinese Real Estate Law

  • Saturday, June 7, 2014
    9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
    Final Examination


All students participating in a UMKC-sponsored study abroad program are subject to the policies of the UMKC School of Law Honor Code (available at:; the UM System’s Code of Conduct (available at: dard_of_conduct); the code of conduct at the host institution; and the laws of the host country. For specific information about the host country, including an overview of its legal system, visit the U.S. Department of State’s website:

Attendance is mandatory in all classroom and field trip sessions. An unexcused absence is grounds for failure. Chronic tardiness is not acceptable. Students arriving late to class will receive a 1/3 grade reduction per infraction; three tardy violations constitute grounds for failure of the course.

There will be a written examination at the end of the course on the morning of Saturday, June 7, 2014. All students will be given an exam number to maintain anonymity in grading. All visiting students’ home schools require a letter grade for transfer of credit. UMKC retains sole authority to evaluate student performance for ABA-approved credit.


Class size is limited to a maximum of forty-five students. Registration is open to all US and foreign law students in good standing who will have completed at least one full year of law school study by May 2014.

The University of Missouri System requires each study abroad participant to enroll in the UM HTH Worldwide Health Insurance Plan. HTH specializes in study abroad and the UM System has worked with them to create a comprehensive plan fitting our specific needs. Their website is filled with services such as doctor searches, country-specific health information, drug comparisons between countries, claim instructions, and many other features. The cost is approximately $45.00 per month. Program participants may enroll on-line at In order to enroll in the UMKC plan, participants should enter BJA-2348 in the “group access code” box. Failure to enroll in the UMKC plan through HTH Worldwide (including Medex) will render a student ineligible to study abroad and credits will not transfer.

A completed and signed Assumption of Risk and Release form, Emergency Contact Information form, Registration form, Health Information form, photocopy of current passport, and $250 deposit must accompany the student’s application for enrollment consideration. Visiting students must also submit a letter of good standing from their home school’s Dean or Registrar.

It is the student’s responsibility, per the assumption of Risk and Release form, to stay informed of conditions in the country to which he/she is traveling to.


The decision to accept transfer credits and grades is the responsibility of each academic institution. Overseas study programs in general do not count towards school residency or accelerated graduation requirements. All students are advised to consult with their home school’s Dean or Registrar prior to application to ensure acceptance of credit for the overseas program, externship and/or Independent Study paper. Transcript request information will be provided to visiting students after completion of the program. Individual students are responsible for submitting their own transcript requests with appropriate fees. Acceptance of any credit or grade for any course taken in the program, including externships or papers, is subject to determination by the student’s home school.


Professor Patrick A. Randolph, Jr. was the founder of the UMKC China Summer Law Study program and served as its Academic Director and on-site Co-Director from 1999 - 2012. He was highly regarded for his expertise in real estate and development, particularly his knowledge of Chinese real estate laws. He was a professor of real estate law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law from 1980 - 2012 and served as Of Counsel at Husch Blackwell LLP in Kansas City. He received his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from the University of California-Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. He passed away in October 2012.

Professor Randolph was a past Chair of the Property Law Section of the American Association of Law Schools and also chaired the Missouri Bar Property Law Committee. He served six years on the governing council of the ABA Section on Real Property, Probate and Trust Law and was Co-Chair of its Joint Committee on E-Commerce and Electronic Transactions. He was a Missouri Commissioner on Uniform State Laws - a delegate to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL), and has been on the drafting committees for several Uniform Laws. He was a fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL), a fellow of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys (ACMA), and a fellow of the American Law Institute. He was a frequent speaker throughout the United States on real estate topics, and was also the founder, managing editor and website manager of the DIRT internet discussion group on real estate law.

Over the years, Professor Randolph lectured at more than 20 Chinese law schools. He began his work in China as a visiting professor in the Peking University Department of Law in Beijing in 1994. In 2003, he co-founded the Real Estate Research Center at Peking University where he served as the first and only foreign director of a research center at the university.

He was the author of Friedman on Leases (published by the Practising Law Institute), co-author (with program Associate Director, Professor Lou Jianbo) of Chinese Real Estate Law (published by Kluwer Law International) and was the Editor-in-Chief of the ABA Section on Real Property, Trust and Estate Law’s publication, Quarterly Report on Developments in Real Estate Law.

Professor Randolph received numerous awards for his work, including recognition by Who’s Who Legal USA and Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers. Realtor magazine named Pat Randolph as one of the twenty-five most influential people in American Real Estate Law, the only academic selected for this recognition. In January 2006, the Beijing Municipal Government awarded Professor Randolph the Great Wall Friendship Prize, its highest award given to a foreigner, in recognition of his many contributions to the Chinese legal system. In September 2008, Professor Randolph received the China National Friendship Prize, awarded by the Chinese Central Government at a gala ceremony which took place at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The National Friendship Prize, set up in 1991, is China's highest award for foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to China's economic and social progress.

Professor Timothy E. Lynch replaced Professor Randolph as Academic Director and on-site Co-Director in summer 2013. Professor Lynch received his B.A. at the University of Chicago, M.B.A. for the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, and J.D. from Harvard Law School. He specializes in the areas of international capital markets, private international law, public international law, international trade, and derivatives. Prior to his career in academia, he served as an officer in the United States Navy and was a two-time recipient of the Navy Achievement Medal; taught English in Yokohama, Japan; interned in the International Relations Department of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights in Cairo, Egypt; interned in the Conflict Resolution Program at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia; was an associate at Coudert Brothers in New York City; was the Executive Manager of the Abu Dhabi Public Works Department in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; was Founder, Director and President of the Avicenna East-West Student Exchange Initiative in San Diego, California; and a staff attorney at the Indiana Legal Services, Inc. in Bloomington, Indiana. He lived abroad for more than five years with his work in Australia, Japan, Egypt, and the UAE. Professor Lynch obtained a joint research fellowship appointment at the Maurer School of Law and the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University - Bloomington to launch his academic career and was a visiting assistant professor at Indiana University Maurer School of Law before joining the faculty at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. His most recent publications are Gambling by Another Name; The Challenge of Purely Speculative Derivatives (published by the Stanford Journal of Law, Business & Finance, 2012) and Derivatives: A Twenty-First Century Understanding (published by the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal, 2011).


Professor Timothy E. Lynch teaches Currency Manipulation and will serve as Academic Director and on-site Co-Director in Summer 2014. His bio appears in the previous section.

Associate Director Dr. LOU Jianbo teaches Principles of Chinese Civil Law (including Torts) and has also previously taught Law of Business Organizations and co-taught Chinese Real Estate Law with Professor Randolph. Dr. Lou is the co-author (with Professor Randolph) of Chinese Real Estate Law (published by Kluwer Law International) and the co-founder and co-director (with Professor Randolph) of the Center for Real Estate Law at Peking University. Dr. Lou received his LL.B. and LL.M. degrees from Peking University, and his Ph.D. from the University of London. He was the former Director of Chinese Legal Studies and a Lecturer in Chinese Commercial Law at Cambridge University in England, and was also a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Center for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary College, the University of London; a Visiting Senior Fellow at the National University of Singapore, and a Visiting Lecturer at Tsinghua University, the Chinese University of Politics and Legal Science, the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, and Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. Dr. Lou is currently an Associate Professor at the Center for Real Estate Law and a Research Fellow at the Financial Law Center at Peking University Law School, and a senior attorney at the law firm of Lehman, Xu & Lee in Beijing.

Dr. CHEN Ruoying teaches Chinese Contract Law. Dr. Chen received her LL.B. from Peking University, U.M. from Oxford University, and both a J.S.D and LL.M. from the University of Chicago Law School and is a member of the New York State Bar. She is an Assistant Professor at Peking University Law School, a Research Fellow at the Institute of Law and Economics at Peking University, and a Research Fellow at Shanghai Jiao Tong University KoGuan Law School. Prior to joining the faculty at PKU, she taught at the University of Chicago Law School as a Visiting Assistant Professor and Lecturer, and served as the John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics Program there. Her current teaching and research fields include law and economics, property in land and real estate regulation, corporate law, financial regulation, environmental law, and energy law.

Dr. FAN Shiming teaches The Sino-American Relationship. Dr. Fan received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Peking University. He is an Associate Professor at the School of International Studies at Peking University, focused on Sino-American relationships and the politics of international communications. Dr. Fan was formerly a Visiting Research Fellow at Harvard University and a Visiting Professor at Nihon University and Niigata University in Japan.

Dr. GE Yunsong teaches Chinese Contract Law. Dr. Ge received his LL.B. from Nanjing University and his LL.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Peking University. He is an Associate Professor, the Assistant Dean for Research Affairs, and the Deputy Director for the Center for the Law of Nonprofit Organisations at Peking University Law School. Dr. Ge is a member of the Peking University Law Journal’s Editorial Board, and a member of the Advisory Council at the International Center for Not-for-profit Law based in Washington, DC.

Professor GONG Wenxiang teaches The History and Political System of China. Professor Gong received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Peking University. He is a Professor and the Executive Dean of the School of Journalism and Communications at Peking University.

Dr. GUO Li teaches Introduction to the Legal System of the People’s Republic of China. Dr. Guo received his LL.B. from Peking University, LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from Southern Methodist University Law School, LL.M. in International Finance from Harvard University Law School, and LL.D. from Peking University Law School. He is an Associate Professor at Peking University Law School and a former Visiting Professor at Cornell University Law School. He is a board member of the China Economic Law Society, the China Securities Law Society, China Banking Law Society, and the International Economic Law Institute; an Arbitrator for the Southern China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission and the ShenZhen Court of International Arbitration; a Fellow of the Asian Institute of International Financial Law and the Center for Chinese Law in Hong Kong; a Visiting Scholar at Vanderbilt University Law School; and an Adjunct Professor at Case Western Reserve University Law School. Dr. Guo is a member of the New York State Bar and the P.R. China Bar.

Dr. GUO Yu has previously taught Dispute Resolution - Arbitration and Mediation. Dr. Guo received her LL.B. from Fudan University, LL.M. in Maritime Law from Shanghai Maritime University, LL.M. in International Commercial Law from Cambridge University, and Ph.D. from Peking University Law School. Dr. Guo is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Maritime Law Research Center at Peking University Law School.

Dr. JIANG Su teaches Family Law. Dr. Jiang received his B.A at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law and his J.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Peking University Law School. He was an Associate Specialist in the Criminal Justice Program at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and a Postdoc Researcher at the Max-Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg, Germany prior to joining the faculty as a Postdoc Researcher at Peking University Law School in 2010, and is currently an Associate Professor of Law at Peking University Law School.

Dr. JIN Jinping teaches Family Law. Dr. Jin received her B.A., LL.M., and Ph.D. degrees from Peking University Law School. She was a visiting scholar at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law in 2003, at Yale Law School in 2005, and at Michigan Law School in 2006. She was a CASS Post-Doctoral Fellow from 2004 - 2006. Dr. Jin is currently an Associate Professor, Assistant Dean, the Director of the Center for NPOs Law, the Vice Director of the Center for Civil Society Studies, and the Vice Director of the Center for Real Estate Law at Peking University Law School.

Dr. LIU Yan teaches Law of Business Organizations. Dr. Liu received her B.A., LL.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Peking University Law School. She was a Research Fellow at the Center of Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary College, the University of London; a Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, the University of London; a Visiting Scholar at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands; and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. Dr. Liu is currently a Professor of Law at Peking University Law School.

Dr. LIU Yinliang teaches General Introduction of the Intellectual Property Laws of China. Dr. Liu received his B.S. from Yantai University, his M.S. from Peking University, and his Ph.D. from Peking University Law School. He has been a Visiting Professor at Temple University in the USA and Paris I University in France, and was an Associate Professor at the Institute of Intellectual Property at China University of Political Science and Law prior to joining the faculty of Peking University as an Associate Professor.

Dr. SHAO Jingchun teaches China’s Foreign Investment Law and Practice. Dr. Shao received his LL.B., LL.M., and LL.D. degrees from Peking University Law School. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy; a Visiting Professor at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan; and a Visiting Professor at Hong Kong Shue Yan College in Hong Kong. Dr. Shao is currently an Associate Professor and the Director of International Economic Law Studies at Peking University Law School, and also serves as an Arbitrator for the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commissions. In addition, Dr. Shao serves as a professor to the Senior Judges Training Center of China in Beijing, teaching Private International Law and International Investment Law.

Professor WANG Shizhou teaches Chinese Criminal Law and Trial Practice and Rules of Evidence. Professor Wang received his LL.B. and first LL.M. degrees from Law Faculty of Peking University, and his second LL.M. degree from the University of California at Berkeley Law School. He spent two years as an Alexander-von- Humboldt Research Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute of Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg and at the University of Augsburg in German, and an additional year at the University of London as a British Academy K C Wong Research Fellow. Professor Wang has been a Visiting Professor at Stanford University’s Bing Overseas Program and Huaquiao University. He assisted with the drafting of the Chinese Anti-Security Fraud Regulation, provided legal consultative opinions for Chinese Security Law and Copyright Law, participated in the preliminary work for the drafting of the Chinese Criminal Code of 1997, and is the Director of the Chinese Criminology Association. Professor Wang was also the winner of the Humboldt Research Award in 2009. Professor Wang is a Professor and LL.D. Supervisor at Peking University Law School. Dr. WEI Zhi previously taught General Introduction of the Intellectual Property Laws of China. Dr. Wei received his LL.B. from Southwest Institute of Political Science and Law, his LL.M. from Renmin University Law School, and his Ph.D. from München University in Germany. He serves as an Arbitrator of the Beijing Arbitration Commission. Dr. Wei is an Associate Professor at Peking University Law School.

Dr. WU Zhipan teaches China and the Rule of Law and has also previously taught Banking and Finance. Dr. Wu received his LL.B., LL.M., and Ph.D. degrees from Peking University. He has been a Visiting Scholar and Lecturer at Hong Kong Shun Yan College and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University School of Law. Dr. Wu served as Vice Dean of Peking University Law School from 1994-1996, Dean of Peking University Law School from 1996-2001, and Assistant President of Peking University from January 200-2002. He is the Executive Vice-President of Peking University and has held that position since 2002. Dr. Wu is also a Professor of Law, LL.D. Supervisor, and the Director of the Financial Law Institute at Peking University Law School. In addition, he is the President of the Research Association of China’s intellectual Property in Universities and Colleges; President of the Research Association of China’s Economic Laws; Expert Counsel of China’s Supreme People’s Court; Advisor for the Drafting Committee of China’s Commercial Bank Law of the People’s Bank of China; Expert for the CSRC Listing Division; Member of the Legal Education Directory Commission of the Ministry of Education; Expert Advisor for Beijing Municipal People’s Procurator, Haidian District People’s Court, and Haidian District People’s Procuratorate; Standing Director of the Institute of Law of China and of the Institute of China’s Civil and Economic Law; Coordinate Professor of Nan Kai University; and Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of Legal Education of the National Law Academy, China.

Dr. XU Defeng teaches Chinese Contract Law. Dr. Xu received his LL.B., J.M., and Ph.D. degrees from Peking University Law School. Prior to joining the faculty at PKU Law School, he spent two years as a post-doctorate researcher at Renmin University Law School. He was a Visiting Researcher at Ludwig-Maximilians- Universität and obtained his LL.M. there. He was also awarded a German Chancellor Fellowship by the Humboldt Foundation. Dr. Xu is an Associate Professor at Peking University Law School.


For questions regarding the substance of the course you may contact the Academic Director, Professor Timothy Lynch, at (816) 235-2390 or email For registration or administrative matters, please contact the Senior Program Coordinator, Nancy Kunkel, at (816) 235-1647 or email Their fax number is (816) 235-5276. The mailing address for either Professor Lynch or Mrs. Kunkel is:

UMKC School of Law
5100 Rockhill Road
500 East 52nd Street, LAW 2-200
Kansas City, MO 64110


A student budget estimate is provided for all potential students as part of their information and application packets. Estimated costs for the 2014 program are:

Program Fee (includes instructional fee, text & materials, double-occupancy housing in Zhongguanyuan Global Village, field trips & cultural tours) $3,895.00
Food (average $20/day x 21 days) $420.00
Passport & Visa *$370.00
Insurance **$45.00
Local Transportation/Laundry/Personal Items/Leisure ***$600.00
Optional Weekend in Xi'an (estimated) $500.00
Airfare from Kansas City ****$1,875.00
Total $7,705.00
*Passport & Visa: passport application fee is $110 plus a first-time applicants execution fee of $25, visa application fees is $140, visa agents fee plus shipping averages $95.
**Insurance: emergency medical evacuation and expatriation of remains coverage is required by the University for all program registrants for the duration of their stay. Program participants (both students and companions) must provide proof of required insurance to the Program Administrator no later than April 30, 2013. Students with externships must enroll in two months of the mandatory HTH coverage. See the HTH insurance information to the left for additional details.
***Personal/Leisure: costs may vary considerably more or less, depending upon the individual's habits.
****Travel: costs may vary substantially, depending on choice of airlines, point of departure, routing, and itinerary, as well as timing of purchase. Some may find airfare at significantly higher or lower rates - up to $500 or more - than the estimate. Early reservations are highly recommended due to the ongoing increases in jet fuel costs and subsequently higher passenger fares.

The student budget estimate is also forwarded to the Coordinator of the UMKC Student Financial Aid Office.


The classrooms are located in the Yingjie Exchange Center building on the Peking University campus. The Yingjie Exchange Center is on the northeast portion of PKU campus, just a few blocks west of the Zhongguanyuan Global Village Hotel. Most classes will take place in Meeting Room #8 on the 2nd floor. Classrooms are air-conditioned and have adjustable lighting. Seating is typically four chairs per table in standard classroom-style seating. Electrical outlets require an adaptor and electrical cord for usage with student laptop computers. The administrative offices are also located on the 2nd floor of the Yingjie Exchange Center. Students will be provided with emergency contact information for Professor Lynch, the Overseas Exchange Center staff, and several Chinese student assistants on-site.


Public access accommodation in China is not equivalent to US standards. Persons with disabilities should discuss any concerns with the UMKC course director. Travelers with disabilities should review the U.S. Department of State’s website at for links to the Country Specific Information for China, and at for additional information and resources.


UMKC reserves the right to cancel for insufficient enrollment or under extraordinary circumstances such as natural disaster, war, political instability or emergency. In such an event you will receive notice via email regarding the circumstances, and a full refund, including the deposit, within twenty (20) days after the cancellation. If requested, the program director will use best efforts to arrange for the student to enroll in a similar program.

In 2003, the program was cancelled due to SARS. Prior to the cancellation we kept the enrolled students apprised of the situation, as it developed, via email. We relied very heavily upon the official warnings of the three most authoritative oversight organizations - the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and the U.S. State Department - with daily monitoring of developments from each of their websites. We also consulted with the UMKC offices of the Provost, Chancellor, and International Academic Programs, the UM Board of Curators, and program directors and staff from other U.S. schools with planned China (or other Asian) summer study programs. In addition, we maintained email correspondence with faculty and staff at Peking University (PKU) for first-hand accounts and observations of the situation in Beijing in general, and at PKU in particular. When the U.S. State Department issued a Travel Advisory, our students were given the option of cancelling and receiving a full refund. Although the majority of our students opted to stick with the program (and additional students from other cancelled programs clamored to sign up), as the situation continued to deteriorate with more and more confirmed SARS cases, the U.S. State Department ultimately issued a Travel Warning and on April 17, 2003 we cancelled the program. All of the registered students were notified of the cancellation via email, a notice was posted on our website, and full refunds were issued for all enrolled students.


US Department of State website:

Travel Warning website:

Travel Warnings are issued when long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable lead the State Department to recommend that Americans avoid or consider the risk of travel to that country. A Travel Warning is also issued when the U.S. Government’s ability to assist American citizens is constrained due to the closure of an embassy or consulate or because of a drawdown of its staff.

Current Travel Alerts website:

Travel Alerts are issued to disseminate information about short-term conditions, either transnational or within a particular country, that pose significant risks to the security of U.S. citizens. Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, coups, anniversaries of terrorist events, election-related demonstrations or violence, and high-profile events such as international conferences or regional sports events are examples of conditions that might generate a Travel Alert.

International Travel website:

The State Department’s Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management (ACS) administers the Consular Information Program, which informs the public of conditions abroad that may affect their safety and security. Country Specific Information, Travel Alerts, and Travel Warnings are vital parts of this program.

ACS supports the work of our overseas embassies and consulates in providing emergency services to Americans traveling or living abroad. We also assist in nonemergency matters of birth, identity, passport, citizenship, registration, judicial assistance, and estates. ACS can facilitate the transfer of funds overseas to assist U.S. citizens in need, repatriate the remains of loved ones who have died overseas, assist victims of crime, and help U.S. citizens who are detained in foreign prisons. In other words, ACS is here to assist you and your family whenever and wherever we can.

ACS also administers a repatriation loan program to bring home destitute Americans. We operate a 24-hour Duty Officer Program and Crisis Response Teams who work on task forces convened to deal with natural or man-made disasters.

China-Specific Information website:


Recent Embassy Notices for American Citizens
For the most current list, check the website:

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: The People’s Republic of China was established on October 1, 1949, with Beijing as its capital city. With well over 1.3 billion citizens, China is the world's most populous country and the world’s fourth-largest country in terms of territory. Although political power remains centralized in the Chinese Communist Party, China is undergoing profound economic and social changes. Modern tourist facilities are available in major cities, but many facilities in smaller provincial cities and rural areas may be below international standards. Read the Department of State Background Notes on China for additional information. (Note: Background Notes are no longer being updated or produced and have been replaced with U.S. Relations With China. See for the most recent version.)

SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM (STEP) / EMBASSY LOCATION: If you are going to live in or visit China, please take the time to tell our Embassy and Consulates about your trip. If you enroll, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency. Here’s the link to the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

Local embassy information is available below and at the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates.

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing China
No. 55 An Jia Lou Road
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100600
Telephone: (86) (10) 8531-4000
Emergency after-hours telephone: (86) (10) 8531-4000
The Embassy consular district includes the municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin and the provinces/autonomous regions of Gansu, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Inner Mongolia, Jiangxi, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, and Xinjiang.

The U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu
Number 4, Lingshiguan Road, Section 4, Renmin Nanlu,
Chengdu 610041
Telephone: (86)(28) 8558-3992
Emergency after-hours telephone: (86) (10) 8531-4000
This consular district includes the provinces/autonomous region of Guizhou, Sichuan, Xizang (Tibet) and Yunnan, as well as the municipality of Chongqing.

The U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou
Number 1 South Shamian Street, Shamian Island
Guangzhou 510133
Telephone: (86)(20) 8518-7605
Emergency after-hours telephone: (86) (10) 8531-4000
This consular district includes: the provinces/autonomous region of Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, and Fujian.

The U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai
Westgate Mall, 8th Floor, 1038 Nanjing Xi Lu,
Shanghai 200031
Telephone: (86)(21) 3217-4650
Emergency after-hours telephone: (86) (21) 3217-4650
This consular district includes Shanghai municipality and the provinces of Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

The U.S. Consulate General in Shenyang
No. 52, 14th Wei Road, Heping District,
Shenyang 110003
Telephone: (86)(24) 2322-1198
Emergency after-hours telephone: ((86) (10) 8531-4000
This consular district includes: the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning.

The U.S. Consulate General in Wuhan
New World International Trade Tower I
No. 568, Jianshe Avenue
Hankou, Wuhan 430022
Telephone: (86) (027) 8555-7791
Emergency after-hours telephone: (86) (10) 8531-4000
[Please note that consular services are provided only during quarterly outreaches in Wuhan. Contact the Embassy in Beijing for other consular and emergency services.]

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: BEFORE YOU GO: To enter China, you need a visa as well as six months' validity remaining on your passport. If you do not have a valid passport and the appropriate Chinese visa, you will not be allowed to enter China, you will be fined, and you will be subject to immediate deportation. U.S. citizens traveling to China may apply for up to a one-year multiple-entry visa. Check your U.S. passport before applying for a visa to make sure that it has one year or more validity remaining; otherwise, you may be issued a visa for less than the time you request. The Chinese Embassy and consulates general in the United States do not always issue maximum validity visas even if requested to do so. A multiple-entry visa is essential if you plan to re-enter China, especially if you plan to visit either Hong Kong or Macau and return to China. Visit the website of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China for the most current visa information.

Many regions, such as the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and other remote areas, require special permits for tourist travel. Permits are not always granted, as during certain times the PRC may not allow foreigners to enter an area it deems restricted. The easiest way to apply for the appropriate permit is through a local Chinese travel agent. Permits usually cost approximately RMB 200, are single-entry, and are valid for a maximum of three months. The TAR remains a sensitive area for travel, and even when travel to Tibet is allowed, usually only Lhasa and part of Shan Nan are open to foreigners. If you do enter a restricted area without the requisite permit, you could be fined, taken into custody, and deported for illegal entry. A Border Travel Permit (bianfangzheng) is required for travel in and around the TAR and the Nepal border area. Applications for the permit are made at the Public Security Bureau’s office in Lhasa. To learn more about specific entry requirements for restricted areas, check with the Visa Office of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States by telephone (202) 338-6688 between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday, fax (202) 588-9760, or e-mail

China no longer restricts tourists with HIV from visiting, but will not issue them residence permits. Please verify the restrictions with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China before you travel.

For information about U.S. customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.

The Embassy of China’s website also has a list of other available services and frequently-asked visa questions with links to their consulates general in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

UPON ARRIVAL: Once you are in China, the PRC expects you to comply with the requirements of your visa. For example, if you are on a tourist visa, you are not allowed to work; if you are on a work visa, you typically cannot become a full-time student. It is difficult to change or renew your visa within China. Visitors cannot change tourist (L) and exchange (F) visas to other visa types. Entry and exit requirements are strictly enforced. Police, school administrators, airline and train officials, and hotel staff may check your visa to make sure you have not overstayed. You will typically not be allowed to check into a hotel or travel by plane or on some trains if your visa has expired, and you may be taken into custody. If you intentionally or inadvertently violate the terms of your Chinese visa, including staying after your visa has expired, you may be charged a RMB 500 fine per day up to a maximum of RMB 5,000, experience departure delays, and face possible detention.

Whether you are traveling to or living in China, you must register with the police within 24 hours of your arrival in the country. Even foreigners with residence permits are required to register after each re-entry. If you are staying in a hotel, the staff will automatically register you. However, if you are staying in a private home with family or friends, you should take your passport to the local police station to register. Failure to do so could result in fines and detention. Chinese law requires that you carry a valid U.S. passport and Chinese visa or residence permit at all times. If you are visiting China, you should carry your passport with you, out of reach of pickpockets. If you live in China and have a residence permit, you should carry that document and leave your passport in a secure location, except when traveling.

Some parts of China are off limits or accessible only if you travel with an organized tour. You should always use common sense and avoid unlawful entry to sensitive areas, including military zones or bases and places where there is current civil unrest. If problems arise, the U.S. Embassy has limited ability to provide assistance. The Chinese government will not usually authorize the travel of U.S. government personnel to Tibet or areas where there is civil unrest, even to provide consular assistance to U.S. citizens.

LEAVING CHINA: You must have a valid visa not only to enter China, but also to leave China. If your visa has expired while you are in China, immigration authorities will not permit you to exit the country until you receive a new visa. You must apply for an extension from the Entry/Exit Bureau before attempting to leave the country. The time it takes to get a visa replaced varies depending on where you are in China; however, in Beijing, it can take at least one week from the date of application, regardless of your previously-scheduled departure date. You should not expect the Chinese visa renewal or replacement process to be expedited to meet your travel schedule.

If your passport is lost or stolen in China, you will need to replace both the U.S. passport and the Chinese visa, which can take at least a week, before you can depart China. You should report the loss or theft of your passport immediately. Regulations vary from place to place. For instance, if you lose the passport in Beijing, the local authorities will require you to file a police report at the local police station before they will issue a replacement visa in your new passport, while in Shanghai you must report the loss to the Entry/Exit Bureau. In Chengdu and Chongqing, the local authorities will require you to file a report first with your local police station and then with your local Entry/Exit Bureau.

If you are a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident, make sure you have up-to-date U.S. residence documentation, especially your valid Permanent Resident Card ("Green Card"), to avoid delays when leaving China or re-entering the United States.

TRANSITING CHINA: In general, if you are travelling through China en route to another country, you do not need a visa, as long as you stay in China less than 24 hours and do not leave the airport. If, however, you are a transit passenger and have more than one stopover in China, you must exit the transit lounge at the first stop to apply for an endorsement in your passport that permits multiple stops in China. As long as you have a ticket that continues on to an international destination, the endorsement should be routine. If Shanghai Pudong airport is your international transit point, you may stay in Shanghai for 48 hours if you have a valid passport, a visa for your destination, and an onward plane ticket. Make sure you get an endorsement stamp at the immigration desk before you leave the airport.

DUAL NATIONALITY: China does not recognize dual nationality. If you are a dual national, you should strongly consider which passport you will use to enter and exit China. The ability of the U.S. Embassy or Consulates General in China to provide you with consular protection is not afforded under the U.S. – China Consular Convention if you do not use your U.S. passport to enter China.

Chinese authorities generally consider a child born in China to be a Chinese citizen if one parent is a Chinese national, even if the child is issued a U.S. passport while in China. In such cases, prior to departing China with your child, you should contact the local Public Security Bureau and/or Entry-Exit Bureau for information on obtaining a travel document.
Information about dual nationality
and the prevention of international child abduction
can be found on our website.

THREATS TO SAFETY AND SECURITY: For most visitors, China remains a very safe country. Petty street crime and business disputes between U.S. and Chinese partners are the most common safety concerns for U.S. citizens in China.

Some parts of the country are restricted or you may need a special permit to travel there. Please keep in mind that you are a guest in a foreign country where U.S. laws do not apply. You are subject to Chinese law and legal procedures.

Security personnel carefully watch foreign visitors and may place you under surveillance. Hotel rooms, offices, cars, taxis, telephones, Internet usage, and fax machines may be monitored onsite or remotely, and personal possessions in hotel rooms, including computers, may be searched without your consent or knowledge.

Violent crime is not common in China, but violent demonstrations can erupt without warning and in past years there have been some fatal bombings and explosions which could pose a random threat to foreign visitors in the area. The vast majority of these local incidents are related to disputes over land seizures, social issues, employment disputes, environmental problems, or conflicts involving ethnic minorities. Some incidents have become large-scale and involved criminal activity, including hostage taking and vandalism.

Stay up to date:
* By bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts
as well as the Worldwide Caution

* Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.

* Downloading our free Smart Traveler IPhone
to have travel information at your fingertips.

* You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or call a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

* Take some time before traveling to improve your personal security—things are not the same everywhere as they are in the United States. Here are some useful tips for traveling safely abroad.

CRIME: When visiting China, you should always take routine safety precautions and pay attention to your surroundings. Petty theft remains the most prevalent type of crime encountered. Pickpockets target tourists at sightseeing destinations, airports, markets, and stores. Make sure you guard your passport and wallet, as most incidents tend to involve items kept in back pockets, backpacks, or bags/purses swung over a shoulder or set down in a taxi, another vehicle, a restaurant, or a shop.

Narcotics-related crimes and use are also on the rise in China. Chinese law enforcement authorities have little tolerance for illegal drugs, and they periodically conduct widespread sweeps of bar and nightclub districts, targeting narcotics distributors and drug users. Expatriates from various countries have been detained in such police actions.

Con artists targeting visitors are also common in popular tourist sites. A common scam involves younger Chinese “English students,” often women or a couple, offering a local tour and an invitation to tea at a nearby restaurant. When the bill comes, the restaurant owners force victims to pay an exorbitant bill before they can leave the premises.

Taxi drivers, especially at airports, sometimes target arriving travelers, refusing to use the meter or claiming they are a limousine and can charge higher fares. Always have the name of your destination written in Chinese to show the driver, and get a receipt when you arrive at your destination. It is a good practice to keep valuables such as purses, camera bags, and computer cases next to you or in your lap rather than in a less-accessible area of the taxi. Ask the driver to remove the bags from the trunk before you get out of the taxi and before you pay, so he cannot drive away with your luggage.

Do not buy counterfeit or pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them, you may also be breaking local law. Some U.S. citizens report that items purchased, even at state-owned or museum stores, believed to be antiques or genuine gems are later determined to be reproductions.

Counterfeit currency is a significant concern in China. Cab drivers and businesses have given many people, not just tourists, counterfeit currency. Carrying small bills or using exact change, particularly in taxis, can help protect you. Some merchants will switch a large bill with a counterfeit bill and return it to you, claiming that you passed them the counterfeit bill. If you must pay with RMB 100 bills, it may be useful to note the last few serial numbers before paying in case they get switched. There have been cases of people receiving counterfeit bills from free-standing ATMs. Use only ATMs at financial institutions or those recommended by your hotel.

Political protest is not legal or permitted in China and is rarely encountered by foreigners. Travelers who have attempted to engage in political protest activities in public places have been deported quickly, in some cases at their own expense, usually before the U.S. Embassy is aware of the situation.

Participating in unauthorized political activities or protests against Chinese policy in China, may result in lengthy detentions and may impact your eligibility for future visas to visit China. Foreigners engaging in pro-Falun Gong or pro-Tibetan activities have been detained or immediately deported from China, usually at their own expense, after being questioned. Several reported they were subject to interrogations and were physically abused during detention. In addition, some alleged that personal property, including clothing, cameras, and computers, was not returned.

U.S. citizens have been detained and expelled for distributing religious literature. Chinese customs authorities have enforced strict regulations concerning the importation of religious literature, including Bibles. If you bring religious literature with you, it should be a "reasonable amount” for your personal use only. If you attempt to bring larger quantities, the literature will likely be confiscated and you may be fined, detained, or deported.

VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate (see the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates We can:

· Replace a stolen passport.

· Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape.

· Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, we can contact family members or a friend on your behalf.

· Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in China is “110”; however, very few English speakers staff this hotline. Please note that the local police can be reached only by calling “110” from the location where the crime occurred. Remember that if your passport is stolen, you must not only apply for a new passport at the U.S. Embassy or consulate but must also apply for a new visa. To receive the new visa, Chinese visa officials may require that you file a police report about your stolen passport at the police station nearest to where the theft occurred. You may also be directed to file a report at the local Entry/Exit Bureau as well. If someone steals your passport, save yourself possible inconvenience by filing the police report right away.

Please see our information on victims of crime,
including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.

CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in China, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. For example, you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States If you break local laws in China, your U.S. passport will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It is very important to know what is legal and what is not wherever you go.

China gives the police the authority to detain and deport foreigners for a wide variety of reasons, including engaging in prohibited religious activities and soliciting prostitutes. If you do not have your passport with you, you may be taken in for questioning. China has strict laws against driving under the influence of alcohol that can lead to immediate detention on a criminal charge.

If you are arrested in China, the U.S.-China Consular Convention requires Chinese authorities to notify the U.S. Embassy or nearest Consulate General of your arrest within four days. If you hold the citizenship of another country, including China, and entered China using a passport of that country, Chinese authorities are not required to notify the U.S. Embassy or a U.S. consulate of your arrest and they will not permit U.S. consular officers to visit you. Typically, the police will not allow anyone other than a consular officer to visit you during your initial detention period, including your family or even an attorney. Bail is rarely granted in China, and you can be subject to detention for many months before being granted a trial.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: North Korea: China shares a lengthy border with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea or DPRK), a country with which the United States does not maintain diplomatic or consular relations. If you cross into North Korea, even inadvertently, you will become subject to North Korean law. For further information about travel to North Korea, consult the North Korea Country Specific Information webpage: and the Travel Warning for North Korea:

Natural gas: U.S. citizens who rent apartments with gas appliances should be aware that, in some areas, natural gas is not scented to warn occupants of gas leaks or concentrations. In addition, heaters may not always be well vented, allowing excess carbon monoxide to build up in living spaces. Fatal accidents involving U.S. citizens have occurred. If you plan to live in China, you should ensure all gas appliances are properly vented or install gas and carbon monoxide detectors in your residence. These devices are not widely available in China, and if possible, you should purchase them prior to your arrival.

Cell phones: In China, most people use cell phones for calls and SMS messaging. Telephones and SIM cards are widely available, and minutes can be purchased at many convenience stores. Vendors require identification from anyone purchasing a SIM card, and the purchaser’s identity is registered with the government.

Internet access: The Internet is used widely throughout China. Most hotels, even in remote areas, offer Internet access, often for a fee. Low-cost cyber cafes or Internet bars are widely available and are often open 24 hours a day. You may have to show your passport and have your photo taken before you can log on. Many websites are blocked, including social networking sites such as Facebook, and you can expect that your Internet activity may be monitored.

Contracts: Anyone entering into a commercial or employment contract in China should first have it reviewed by legal counsel, both in the United States and in China. The U.S. Foreign Commercial Service can assist you in identifying and vetting business contacts and opportunities. Many U.S. citizens have reported difficulty getting their contracts enforced by Chinese courts, and others have reported being forced out of profitable joint ventures and being unable to secure legal recourse in China. If you are the subject of a court order requiring you to pay a settlement in a legal case, failure to make this payment may result in an exit ban which will prohibit your departure from China until payment is made.

Commercial Disputes: If you become involved in a civil business dispute in China, the Chinese government may prohibit you from leaving China until the matter is resolved under Chinese law. There are cases of U.S. citizens being prevented from leaving China for months and even years while their civil cases are pending. In some cases, defendants have even been put into police custody pending resolution of their civil cases. Some local businesspeople who feel that they have been wronged by a foreign business partner may hire "debt collectors” to harass and intimidate the foreigner in hopes of collecting the debt. Foreign managers or company owners have in some cases been physically detained as leverage during dispute negotiations. The U.S. Embassy and consulates general have no law enforcement authority in China and cannot recommend a specific course of action, give legal advice, or lobby the Chinese government regarding a private citizen’s commercial dispute. The Embassy and consulates general can provide a list of local attorneys who can be hired to provide counsel. For information on commercial contracts and disputes and for general assistance to U.S. exporters, please consult the U.S. Commercial Service website for China.

English/Secondary School Teachers: English teachers in China frequently report having contract disputes, which can result in termination, lost wages, having school authorities confiscate their passports, forced eviction from university housing, and even threats of violence. It is important to research the school at which you will be teaching to make sure that you have the proper visa to legally teach English in China. Do not accept a one-way airline ticket from a school to teach English in China, as some U.S. citizens have reported that the school never provided their airfare back home. If you do have a dispute with your school, you may wish to consult with or hire a local attorney; seek assistance from the police if your safety is threatened. Prospective teachers are encouraged to read the Teaching in China Guide on the U.S. Embassy's American Citizen Services website.

Social Insurance: China has recently instituted a social insurance system to which foreigners who work in China must contribute. When you sign an employment contract, you must apply for a social insurance number, and it is important that your employer work with you to comply with the new regulations. Please check the official website for updated information.

Air Quality in China: Air pollution is a significant problem in many cities and regions in China. Pollutants such as particle pollution and ozone are linked to a number of significant health effects, and those effects are likely to be more severe for sensitive populations, including people with heart or lung disease, children, and older adults. While the quality of air can differ greatly between cities or between urban and rural areas, U.S. citizens living in or traveling to China may wish to consult their doctor when living in or prior to traveling to areas with significant air pollution.

The Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection provides its own air quality data for cities throughout China. You can view the information at

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the U.S. Consulates in Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Shanghai make air quality data available to the U.S. citizen community. View these data from the following links:

*U.S. Embassy Beijing air quality data:

*U.S. Consulate in Chengdu air quality data:

*U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou air quality data:

*U.S. Consulate in Shanghai air quality data:

Typhoons: The southeast coast of China is subject to strong typhoons and tropical storms, usually from July through September. For current information about typhoons and tropical storms, please consult the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Honolulu and the National Weather Service's Central Pacific Hurricane Center

Earthquakes: China is a seismically-active country, and earthquakes occur throughout the country. Notable earthquakes include one in Qinghai in 2010 in which 3,000 people were killed and a major quake in Sichuan in 2008 when more than 87,000 people perished. U.S. citizens should make contingency plans and leave emergency contact information with family members outside of China. Check here for information about earthquake preparedness, and general information about natural disaster preparedness is available from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency

ACCESSIBILITY: While in China, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what they find in the United States. Standards adopted for making roads and buildings accessible to persons with disabilities are subject to the Law on the Handicapped, which calls for their "gradual" implementation; however, compliance with the law is lax. Even in newer areas of large cities, sidewalks often do not have curb cuts, making wheelchair or stroller use difficult. Many large streets can be crossed only via overhead pedestrian bridges not accessible except by staircase. Although some sidewalks have special raised “buttons” or strips to help those who are blind or have restricted sight to follow the pavement, they are unreliable. While most public buildings have elevators, they are often locked, and the responsible official with the key must be located before they can be used.

In major cities, public restrooms in places visited by tourists usually have a least one handicap-accessible toilet. International signage is used to identify handicap-accessible facilities. Free or reduced-entry fares on public transportation is sometimes provided for a handicapped person and a companion, although this is usually stated only in Chinese and is often restricted to residents with special identification cards.

MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION: The standards of medical care in China are not equivalent to those in the United States. If you plan to travel outside of major Chinese cities, you should consider making special preparations.

Travelers have reported difficulty passing through customs inspection when arriving with large quantities of prescription medications. If you regularly take over-the-counter or prescription medication, bring your own supply in the original container, including each drug's generic name, and carry the doctor’s prescription with you. Many commonly-used U.S. drugs and medications are not available in China, and some that bear names that are the same as or similar to prescription medications from the United States may not contain the same ingredients or may be counterfeit. If you try to have medications sent to you from outside China, you may have problems getting them released by Chinese Customs and/or you may have to pay high customs duties.

Reuse of medical supplies such as syringes and needles or poor sterilization practices are problems in China, contributing to transmission of diseases such as hepatitis, which is endemic in China. To avoid contamination, travelers should always ask doctors and dentists to use sterilized equipment and be prepared to pay for new syringe needles in hospitals or clinics.

In emergencies, Chinese ambulances are often slow to arrive, and most do not have sophisticated medical equipment or trained responders. In most parts of China, helicopter evacuations are not commercially available. Many travelers choose to take taxis or other vehicles to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for ambulances to arrive. Most hospitals demand cash payment or a deposit in advance for admission, procedures, or emergencies, although a few hospitals in major cities may accept credit cards.

Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and a few other large cities have medical facilities with some international staff. Many hospitals in major Chinese cities have so-called VIP wards (gaogan bingfang). Most VIP wards provide medical services to foreigners and have some Englishspeaking staff. However, even in the VIP/foreigner wards of major hospitals, you may have difficulty due to cultural, language, and regulatory differences. In China, it is customary for patients’ families to help care for them in the hospital and to supply their toiletries, paper supplies, and meals. Hospitals often refuse to perform surgery or administer treatment without the written consent of the patient’s family, even if they are not in China, and doctors frequently will only tell the family members the patient’s diagnosis and prognosis, but will not discuss it with the patient. Physicians and hospitals sometimes refuse to give U.S. patients copies of their Chinese hospital medical records, including laboratory test results, scans, and x-rays.

Mental health facilities or medications are not widely available in China. If you are traveling to or studying abroad in China, before you go, put a plan in place for managing your mental health.

In most rural areas, only rudimentary medical facilities are available, often with poorly trained personnel who have little medical equipment and medications. Rural clinics are often reluctant to accept responsibility for treating foreigners, even in emergency situations.

If you elect to have surgery or other medical services performed in China, be aware that there is little legal recourse to protect you in case of medical malpractice. The U.S. Embassy and consulates general in China maintain lists of local English-speaking doctors and hospitals, which are published on their respective American Citizens Services web pages.

Most roads and towns in Tibet, Qinghai, parts of Xinjiang, and western Sichuan are situated at altitudes over 10,000 feet. If you plan to travel in these areas, you should seek medical advice in advance of travel, allow time for acclimatization to the high altitude, and remain alert to signs of altitude sickness. Air pollution is also a significant problem throughout China, and you should consult your doctor prior to travel and consider the impact seasonal smog and heavy particulate pollution may have on you.

You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website

For the first time in 10 years, an outbreak of polio has been reported recently in China. Although all cases have so far been in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, the CDC recommends that travelers to all parts of China ensure that their polio vaccinations are up to date. Please consult the CDC’s notice about this polio outbreak.

Tuberculosis is also an increasingly serious health concern in China. For further information, please consult the CDC's information on TB tuberculosis.htm.

HIV is a significant concern in China. An estimated quarter of a million people in China are living with HIV, most of who are not aware of their status. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information

MEDICAL INSURANCE: You cannot assume your insurance will go with you when you travel. It is very important to find out BEFORE you leave whether or not your medical insurance will cover you overseas. You need to ask your insurance company two questions:

· Does my policy apply when I’m out of the United States?
· Will it cover emergencies like a trip to a foreign hospital or a medical evacuation?

In many places, doctors and hospitals expect payment in cash at the time of service and may not begin treatment without payment or may discontinue treatment if you become unable to pay. Your regular U.S. health insurance may not cover doctors’ and hospital visits in other countries. If your policy does not cover you when you are abroad, it might be a good idea to take out another one that covers you for the duration of your trip. For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page

TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in China, you will encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Rules, regulations, and conditions vary greatly throughout China, but a general rule of thumb is that traffic safety is poor and driving in China can be dangerous.

Traffic is chaotic and largely unregulated, and right-of-way and other courtesies are usually ignored. The average Chinese driver has fewer than five years’ experience behind the wheel and the rate of traffic accidents in China, including fatal accidents, is among the highest in the world. Cars, bicycles, motorbikes, trucks, and buses often treat road signs and signals as advisory rather than mandatory. Pedestrians never have the right of way, and you should always be careful while travelling in, or even walking near, traffic. Child safety seats are not widely available in China, and most taxis and other cars do not have seat belts in the back seats. Motorcycle and bicycle accidents are frequent and often serious. If you decide to ride a bike or motorcycle, wear a helmet.

You may not drive in China using your U.S. driver’s license or an international license. If you have a resident permit, you can apply for a PRC driver’s license, although regulations for obtaining a license vary from province to province. Liability issues and the difficulty of passing the driver’s test may make it preferable to employ a local driver.

If you are involved in a traffic accident, stay calm; road altercations sometimes turn violent quickly. The safest course is to call the police and wait for them. Even minor traffic accidents can become major public dramas. In some instances bystanders have surrounded accident scenes and nominated themselves to be an ad hoc jury. The parties involved in an accident may offer money to the crowd in exchange for favorable consideration. If there are no injuries and damage is minimal, the parties often come to agreement on the spot. If no agreement is reached and the police are called, the police may mediate or conduct an on-site investigation requiring those involved to come to the police station to sign statements. Unresolved disputes are handled by the courts. In cases where there are injuries, the driver whose vehicle is determined to have inflicted the injury will often be held at least partially liable for the injured person’s medical costs regardless of actual responsibility for the accident. Many foreigners have been involved in incidents where the victims appear to have purposely caused accidents and claimed to have been injured in order to get payment for their supposed damages and medical care. When foreigners are involved in an accident, the police will sometimes hold their passports until the other parties are satisfied with the compensation they receive.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Also, we suggest that you visit China’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of China’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of China’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page

CHILDREN’S ISSUES: Please see our Office of Children’s Issues webpages on intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction

* * *

This replaces the Country Specific Information for China dated April 24, 2012, to update the section on Special Circumstances.

China country-specific information obtained from:


The $250 deposit is non-refundable. Due to the non-refundable nature of our accommodations arrangements and host institution’s policies, cancellations received between April 1 and May 1, 2014 will incur a $500 per person penalty. If cancellation occurs after May 1, there is a 100% penalty. Penalties may potentially be waived if a qualified substitute is found to fill the vacancy.

If the program is cancelled under extraordinary circumstances such as natural disaster, war, political instability or emergency, a full refund (including the deposit) will be issued to all enrolled students within twenty days of the cancellation and the program director will, upon request, use best efforts to arrange for the student to enroll in a similar program.