Home

Alumni & Sponsors

IUP is more than a language program, it is a community. Dozens of IUP alums live in Beijing (and elsewhere in China) engaged in a wide range of occupations. We host social networking events throughout the year for alumni and current students to keep the community growing and strong.

Alumni Testimonials

Classroom photo

"IUP was of course, very demanding — I probably underestimated some (a lot) the amount of time I'd have to devote to the lessons... I had a great time though — loved the small class sizes and the chance to really talk to the teachers and other students.
» more below. . .

"My experience at IUP was overwhelmingly positive. In my experience, the most remarkable thing about IUP is that it offers each student a highly individualized program."
-Julius Berman (2010 IUP Alumnus)
» more below. . .

"I never expected to be able to pick up a technical business document and read from start to finish without missing a word. It was my year at IUP-Tsinghua that made this possible."
-Josh Brookhart (management consultant, Beijing)
» more below. . .

"...the Beijing program offered me a chance to learn about the society I was researching at the same time that I was studying language...I was also able to begin to explore possibilities for dissertation research."
-Joel Andreas (Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins University)
» more below. . .

"I selected IUP for its strong academic reputation and for the opportunities afforded by living in Beijing. IUP has met and exceeded my highest expectations on both counts."
-Brian Goldstein (Research Manager, U.S.-China Business Council)
» more below. . .

"...taking classes at IUP has been absolutely ideal...Its young, energetic, and highly professional teaching staff is comprised of graduates from the best universities in China. As for IUP's students, they are smart, motivated, open-minded people from diverse backgrounds, fields and disciplines..."
-Eldon Pei (Deutsche Bank, Hong Kong)
» more below. . .

"I presently work for a news organization where I use my Chinese daily listening to and translating Chinese TV news into English, translating interviews, doing research over the phone, calling potential interview subjects...my classes at IUP prepared me perfectly for the sort of work I wanted to pursue."
-Cleo Leung (journalist, Beijing)
» more below. . .

"Recently I just got done leading a big change management project with...the world's largest shipping company...Everything was done in Chinese, including the 'teaching' aspect of it. If someone had told me three years ago that I would be able to create, plan and lead a major project like this, I would never have believed it! I am really thankful for...all the teachers' help at IUP."
-James Leininger (professional training company, Beijing)
» more below. . .


Mindy Chen (Summer 2012 Alumnus, UC Berkeley graduate student)

"IUP was of course, very demanding — I probably underestimated some (a lot) the amount of time I'd have to devote to the lessons... I had a great time though — loved the small class sizes and the chance to really talk to the teachers and other students. I've gotten much more comfortable reading and writing Chinese, which was my original goal for the summer, but far beyond just language skills, I feel like I gained a lot of insight into modern Chinese culture as well, and the major social debates happening now. It's not something I anticipated, but is really helpful in contextualizing a lot of otherwise puzzling instances... IUP can get a little repetitive, everyday with the same exact pattern, but my teachers were also pretty encouraging in letting us choose the directions of our conversations and discussions, which led to some pretty hilarious attempts at reconciling daily vocab with descriptions of hockey, astrology, or the best shopping districts."


Julius Berman (2010 IUP Alumnus)

My experience at IUP was overwhelmingly positive. In my experience, the most remarkable thing about IUP is that it offers each student a highly individualized program. The staff are all extremely well trained and capable of meeting each student's individual needs. From arranging class schedules to planning lessons, the staff show tremendous concern for each and every student. However, each student is ultimately held accountable for communicating his or her specific needs to the staff. Consequently, active communication on the part of each student is the key to getting the most out of the program.


Josh Brookhart (management consultant, Beijing)

At the time I decided I wanted to live and work in China, I was in graduate school at Stanford studying business. Every person I ever talked to who had worked in China stressed that without fluent Chinese one would always be relegated to outside status in China. So after my first year in graduate school, I decided to spend the summer learning Chinese. I could find only one program that combined small class size with flexibility in curriculum and subject matter, and that was the IUP — at that time located in Taipei. My summer studying Chinese was everything I had expected. In the first week I was incredibly intimidated...After only two months, I was discussing the latest news or political trends with taxi drivers.

There were four reasons why IUP was successful for me: very small class size, outstanding teachers, excellent text books, and a strict policy that forced you to work really, really hard — or suffer the consequences. After I graduated from Stanford, I decided to study full time for a year in the newly established IUP-Tsinghua program. My goal was to be fluent by the end of the year. I soon realized that "fluent" is an almost impossible standard for a language learner to reach, but by the end of the year I was truly functional.

I currently work for a management consulting company in China. My clients are local Chinese companies. I read Chinese-sourced materials, participate in Chinese meetings, and even (occasionally) make formal presentations in Chinese. I don't think I will ever be satisfied with my language skills, but considering the basic Chinese I started with only a year earlier, I made much greater progress at IUP that I ever expected to. Sure, I thought I would be able to hold a conversation in Chinese. But I never expected to be able to pick up a technical business document and read from start to finish without missing a word. It was my year at IUP-Tsinghua that made this possible.


Joel Andreas (Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins University)

When I decided to go to graduate school my aim was to study the aftermath of the Chinese Revolution. The biggest challenge was that I didn't know a word of Chinese. I am now beginning to do dissertation research, interviewing village teachers and college professors and poring through volumes of local gazetteers, memoirs and Red Guard newspapers. While I still rely on the patience and understanding of librarians and interviewees, my research is going well. I owe this in no small measure to the excellent language training I received at the Inter-University Program in Beijing and at other schools.

I studied at intensivesummer programs at Indiana University and Middlebury before spending a year at the Inter-University Program in Taipei. In 1998 I enrolled in the first summer program offered by the newly established IUP in Beijing. The most satisfying of all these learning experiences was at IUP in Beijing. I had been pleased with the instruction I had received previously and, indeed, I chose IUP in Beijing because of the excellent quality of the IUP program in Taipei. But the Beijing program offered me a chance to learn about the society I was researching at the same time that I was studying language...

Although IUP keeps its students very busy with class work, I was also able to begin to explore possibilities for dissertation research. I followed up on my master thesis research, interviewing former students who had been activists during the Cultural Revolution. I also met with professors doing research in the fields in which I was interested. Ultimately, I selected Tsinghua University as the central case for my dissertation research, in which I am analyzing the relationship between changes in education policy and class structure during the five decades since the Chinese Revolution. Although it was largely coincidental that IUP is located at Tsinghua, it certainly was helpful for setting up my research!


Brian Goldstein (Research Manager, U.S.-China Business Council)

I chose to attend IUP to solidifymy Chinese language skills prior to looking for work in China. I selected IUP for its strong academic reputation and for the opportunities afforded by living in Beijing. IUP has met and exceeded my highest expectations on both counts. The IUP curriculum is both focused yet broad enough to provide a well-rounded language foundation while remaining interesting. The core texts focus on topics of interest to anyone studying China. My interests revolve around modern political and economic issues in China, so I tailored my electives toward this end. Specifically, the newspaper reading courses served well to increase my vocabulary and reading speeds on topics of interest to me. Listening courses are based on materials taken from recent Chinese broadcasts and supplemented by recent articles from internet news services. These topics were not only fascinating in themselves, but allowed real exposure to what educated Chinese are listening to and reading today. In all, I found the IUP courses interesting and very challenging. How challenging? Each of the four hours of class each day require one to two hours of study outside of class. Simple math puts this at a total of 12 hours of Chinese language training per day!

Besides a well-designed curriculum and individual effort, the classroom experience at IUP is equally crucial to a successful academic experience. The student to teacher ration is roughly 2:1, so each day I would have a one-on-one class and three classes with no more than three other students. This intimate interaction with teachers and the chance to debate is essential to making rapid progress. Equally key is the high-caliber of the teachers themselves, most of whom are young, energetic, and intelligent graduates of Beijing's top universities. In short, classes at IUP encompass all I sought from a language program in China...

As someone interested in coming to China to study Chinese and work hard, IUP was a perfect place for me to spend the year. The combination of a first-rate language program and the location in the Beijing university district makes IUP the best language program I know of in China. I have no qualms in recommending this program to anyone engaged in university study of China.


Eldon Pei (Deutsche Bank, Hong Kong)

My experience taking classes at IUP has been absolutely ideal...Although when I began classes my advanced proficiency in Chinese already placed me at the top of my IUP class, this by no means detracted from how much I was able to gain from my nine months of study. On the contrary, IUP was always excellent about adjusting my class assignments to accommodate my proficiency level and individual goals. As a result, my coursework throughout the entire year was consistently challenging and engaging. Moreover, the individual attention I received from my instructors helped me to correct many of my bad habits, especially grammar and pronunciation mistakes, and taking IUP's radio broadcast and newspaper reading classes taught me to understand the more formal and sophisticated Chinese language used by the media...

I highly recommend IUP's academic year program to advanced students of Chinese who want to attain full literacy and near-native level fluency. In addition to academic excellence, the program offers many other outstanding aspects. Its young, energetic, and highly professional teaching staff is comprised of graduates from the best universities in China. As for IUP's students, they are smart, motivated, open-minded people from diverse backgrounds, fields and disciplines...


Cleo Leung (journalist, Beijing)

In 1998, after obtaining a degree in documentary film, I decided to go and brave a future in China. But I could barely uphold a simple conversation in Putonghua. That's when I made the decision to commit a whole year of my life to the regimens of IUP.

I presently work for a news organization where I use my Chinese daily listening to and translating Chinese TV news into English, translating interviews, doing research over the phone, calling potential interview subjects, talking with different government departments to secure passes and of course, and conversing with my colleagues.

For me, speaking and listening skills were the areas where I most wanted to be proficient. I think that my classes at IUP prepared me perfectly for the sort of work I wanted to pursue. In the process, by the end of the program, I was also able to read newspapers and magazine articles and write about 90% of all the characters I actively used in conversation. All in all, I was very satisfied with IUP's language program and would highly recommend it to anyone who seriously wants to acquire an active use of the Chinese language.


James Leininger (professional training company, Beijing)

I have been working with "I Will Not Complain" (a firm that trains Chinese managers and employees in modern professional ethics, interactive techniques, etc.). Recently I just got done leading a big change management project with Maersk, the world's largest shipping company. We did 20 programs here in China and did them for every employee in the company here. Everything was done in Chinese, including the 'teaching' aspect of it. If someone had told me three years ago that I would be able to create, plan and lead a major project like this, I would never have believed it! I am really thankful for...all the teachers' help at IUP. I am eternally grateful and appreciative.