Summer Programs

I. Program 

Organized by the School of International Studies at Harbin Institute of Technology, the  International Summer School  of  International  Languages  operates mainly  through  the  Intercultural Communication  Teaching and  Research Center (ICTRC). The center is one of the earliest research institutes in China, with the earliest publication of monographs, the earliest offering of intercultural communication courses and great influence in this field at home and abroad. Professor JIA Yuxin, former director of the Center, was Vice President and President of the China Association for  Intercultural Communication  (CAFIC) (2007-20013 )  and President of the International  Association  of Intercultural Communication  Studies (IAICS, headquartered in the United States) (2003-2005). Professor Song Li, current director of the center, served as past president of IAICS (2011-2013), and is currently the Vice President of  CAFIC (2013--) and on the Board of  Directors  of  IAICS (2017--). The center has played an important role in the academic cooperation and exchanges between the Chinese and international academia in the field of intercultural communication studies and intercultural (foreign language) education. At present, as one of the Chinese participating institutions,  ICTRC  is jointly  undertaking the European Union Erasmus+Project  “RICH-Ed”  (Resources  of  Interculturality  for Chinese Higher Education) with KU  Leuven  in Belgium,  Durham University in Britain, University of  Bologna  in Italy and four other Chinese universities. The International Summer School makes full use of the  resources of ICTRC in intercultural learning  and intercultural research,  in particular,  the high-quality curriculum  resources in intercultural communication with both global and local visions, and lectures by well-known scholars at home and abroad. Through in-depth cooperation and resource sharing, the interculturally-orientated International Summer School of  International  Languages  is set up to be a brand program  that will  offer quality intercultural training for students from home and abroad and  spread  the influences of the university and the School of International Studies. 

II. Theme and Characteristics of the International Summer School 

The theme relates the local culture to international horizon. The theme of the 2019 International Summer School of  International Studies  is “Harbin Files  - Urban History and (Inter) Cultural Dialogue”. Compared with other ancient cities in China, the history of Harbin is very short, but  its development  reflects the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural  integration. With its inclusive mentality, the city has  absorbed  the characteristics  of other cultures.  With  its  remarkable  history or  the  current development after the Reform  and Opening-up, it presents a unique urban style. Through  the courses, lectures and experiential learning  in particular, the project will help  learners  to  understand a city through the development of a university, the historical changes of a city, and the past and future of China.   

Cultural knowledge accumulated through experiential  learning.  In the process of teaching and experiential learning, both Chinese and other cultures will be taken into account to appreciate the diversity of the world; through the comparison of Chinese and  other  cultures, the dialogue between cultures  will  be realized and intercultural awareness will be sought; and students’ intercultural communication and independent thinking will be enhanced.   

Cultural  tour  lead by famous scholars.  The  Summer School invites famous scholars in the fields of culture, literature and history at home and abroad to  teach in English. While learning culture, students get immersion learning and content-based English learning opportunities. 

Whole-person development enhanced by peer learning. The summer school is where ideas collide  in  learner-centered learning activities. In the process of accomplishing cultural exploration together, guided by the  teachers,  the learners will strengthen cross-cultural  awareness, develop tolerance towards  understanding other cultures, and foster global vision. 

III. Important dates 

The International Summer School will be opened  in the summer semester of 2019 for 2 weeks (8-18 July). 

IV. The enrollment plan of the International Summer School 

The International Summer School plans to recruit 60 undergraduates, including: 

1. 10 overseas students   

2. 25 students from C9 and 985 universities in China (not limited to majors); 

3. 25 students (not limited to majors). 

Selection criteria:  Chinese students  with  English proficiency above CET 6. International  students are required to have a strong interest in Chinese culture and have taken courses related to Chinese language or Chinese culture. 

V. Teaching Arrangements 

1. Courses 

The International Summer Program will arrange two courses, 16 class hours and 1 credit each. The details are as follows:  

Course 1: Intercultural Dialogue in a Globalized World 

Lecturer: Edwin McDaniel   

Course 2: History and Intercultural Understanding 

Lecturer: David Frank   

2. Lectures 

The International Summer Program will arrange four lectures, 2 class hours each, totaling 8 hours and 0.5 credit. The details are as follows: 

Lecture 1: The Painful Body and Self-recognition from the Medical Perspectives 

Lecturer: Ronald Schleifer 

Lecture 2: Historical Research of Jewish Communities in Harbin 

Lecturer: Mara Moustafine 

Lecture 3: Construction of National Image and Overseas Dissemination 

Lecturer: Wang Ning 

Lecture 4: Opportunities and Challenges of "Going Out" of Chinese Language and Culture 

Lecturer: Cheng Aimin 

3. Practicum 

The International Summer School will arrange four learning-by-doing sessions in the form of teamwork with a total of 0.5 credit. The details are as follows: 

Overall objectives:   

To help students understand Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) and the historical and current situations of Harbin, and identify with the national characteristics and identities of Chinese culture, such as pluralism, openness and tolerance, devotion to the family and country. Based on these, to cultivate their vision for internationalization and awareness of global citizenship, and to enhance their abilities to think cross-culturally and critically and to learn in an exploring way.   


(1) A Cultural tour: History Museum of Harbin Institute of Technology 

Objectives:  To understand the establishment and development of HIT, and the interrelation of Harbin  to the progress of the People's Republic of China through the growth of HIT. To experience the traditions and spirits of HIT, and to enhance the sense of mission and citizenship, and the resolution to strive for national rejuvenation and a community with a shared future for mankind. 

(2) Experiencing Harbin’s urban culture and building the relationship between individuals and history, culture and the world 

①  Discovering the history of an ethnic group and witnessing the multicultural 

collision: Jewish tombs and Jewish memorials 

Objectives: To understand the history of Harbin and the deep friendship between Jews and people from Harbin. To learn about the city characters and traditions of Harbin, namely, benevolent, open, tolerant and harmonious, in comparing with the exhibition hall of 731 invading troops in China, and apply them to cross-cultural communication in the era of globalization.   

②  Exploring the progress of civilization and appreciating human treasures: Jin Shang Jing Site 

Objectives: To know the history of Jinhangjing, and the development of ancient Chinese civilization and culture, to  understand the  ancient Chinese civilization, and to enhance the national and cultural identity and knowledge of Chinese cultural diversity. 

(3) Expanding the Connection between People  and Space: Harbin Chinese Baroque Historic and Cultural Conservation Block 

Objectives:  To experience the city spirit of internationalization, openness, inclusiveness and enterprising innovation, to  know Harbin’s urban development history through experience and observation, and to reflect on the impact of the urban history and the architectural environment on lifestyles. To enhance the national cultural identification, to contemplate  on the relationship between urban sustainable development and environment,  and to improve the intercultural competence and critical thinking  as well as citizenship awareness. 

Mode of Assessment: Teamwork Project Demonstration 

Requirements of Demonstration:  English; Multiple forms (speeches, plays, etc.);  8 minutes in length. 

VI. Introduction to Teachers 


Closing Remarks 

The summer school is launched by the School of  International Languages, HIT, after rounds of discussion and elaborate design. A number of distinguished experts at home and abroad are invited to give lectures and seminars. Their presence and engagement promise a constructive, substantial and fruitful summer school. Featuring Harbin Archives, this summer school will serve as a platform for getting to know the world-renowned Harbin Institute of Technology, the beautiful city of Harbin, and the rich history of China. By listening to lectures by experts and completing project-based learning, students will experience the history and culture of Harbin  personally and expand their international horizons. They will also show the spirit, style and uniqueness  of HIT to  the peers from Top-9 universities and other prestigious universities in China. Through the study at the summer school, every participant will be expected to think about what kind of person he wants to be. He will also be more 

likely to understand how to maintain his subjectivity in cultural clashes by placing his personal development in the context of globalization. This summer school will also 

foster participants’ better understanding of their connection with society, that between nation and the world, and the coexistence of nation and culture.