Although the IUP course is primarily administered by Berkeley University, it takes place at the prestigious Tsinghua University. You’ll be along good company here, Hu Jintao is a former graduate and guest speakers have included Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Henry Kissinger. Unlike other courses you can’t enter IUP as a beginner, there’s a perquisite of at least two years of Mandarin study.
IUP distinguishes itself through its small class sizes. There are three hours of classes with two other students and one hour of private tuition every day. The course is not for the light-hearted and according to former student Alexander Farbstein ‘Because the curriculum is so intense, it’s hard to find a school/life balance. You’re kidding yourself if you think you’ll be able to hold down a job and go to school at the same time.’ Another downside is the expensive tuition fees. That said, there is an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the IUP course. As Michael Keefrider, another former student, describes it ‘[IUP is] not cheap but totally worth it.’
Cost per term: 7,500 US dollars
What you get: one-on-one intensive teaching for serious Chinese learners.