The Diplomat Program

The JSA Diplomat Program in Shanghai

Pre-College Academic Experience in China for High School Students


Tuition for the Diplomat Program in Shanghai, China is $7,500, which covers courses and textbooks, activities and excursions, housing, all meals (including meal stipends), supervision and staff support, medical and evacuation insurance, transcripts, and visa support. Airfare is not included. For questions regarding tuition please contact our Admissions and Enrollment Coordinator, Felice Judkins, at (650) 393-7730.


The program runs from June 25th - July 25th 2020.

Courses Offered

Each JSA Diplomat will take two courses:

Chinese History and Politics

Chinese Language (Mandarin)

*Students will be assigned their language course based on current Chinese speaking proficiency.

Program Details

To read more specific information about the program click the button below.

Be a Diplomat

An Emphasis on Experiential Learning


The opening line of “The Analects”, the collected sayings of Confucius (551-479 BCE), is “Oh, what a joy, having learned something, to try it out.” The Diplomat Program is all about learning through doing. Classroom time is balanced with a wide array of exciting excursions and events throughout the trip. After learning how to barter in Chinese, take those skills to the streets at Panjiayuan Market. Practice your accent with your Chinese buddies while on a scavenger hunt around Hou Hai Lake. Learn the mysteries of the Forbidden City and the secrets of Tiananmen Square—not just in the classroom—but on a tour guided by your professor of those very locations. Each excursion is tailored to maximize your ability to connect with the course content and practice your abilities in real world situations. Since you're going all the way to China, we'll make sure you don't spend all day in the classroom. 

See what Diplomat Program Alumni have to say

A Worldly Experience

Young leaders from across the world travel to Beijing, China, to learn about modern China and the art of diplomacy. The JSA Diplomat program aims to provide America’s future leaders with the skills to represent their country effectively on global issues. Students will gain an in-depth look at the world’s most dynamic economy, the political changes that have enabled China’s economic growth and the accompanying cultural shifts that have resulted. Students will observe and study a society engaged in massive transformation, and analyze and interpret its significance to the future of America and the world.

Classes offered are Mandarin Chinese Language and Chinese History & Politics. During the month-long session, students can earn college credit in courses in Chinese history and language.

Each JSA Summer School Program delivers a unique experience and lens through which the student can explore the historical and practical dimensions of democratic civic leadership, gain perspective and insights, and strengthen skills for success. America during the 20th and 21st centuries has transformed from a somewhat isolationist, largely inner-focused nation to the predominant power in global geo-political affairs. Thus the JSA Summer School program portfolio would not be complete without a world-class summer school course that takes students on a learning journey to the one country that likely will have more impact on the future of American international leadership than any other – China.

Living In Shanghai

New this year--hosted in Shanghai. More information to come.

Two College-Level Courses

Modern Chinese History & Government (3 Credits*)

Students will study the period of China’s history in the years immediately prior to the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, China under Mao ZeDong, and Gaigekaifang (Reform and Opening Up). This course will introduce you to the political systems and structures in place in China today. It will provide a basis for comparison with Western democratic systems and for addressing major issues in U.S.-Chinese relations.

This is a hands-on course, with frequent field-work, including visits to historical sites and meetings with policy experts, NGOs, and government officials. This college-level course is equivalent to a one-semester honors history course. 

Chinese Language & Culture (1 Credit*)

Classes will be taught by Chinese faculty members in small groups to give students individualized attention with a special emphasis on day-to-day travel/survival Chinese. Students will be assigned groups based on their prior Mandarin speaking ability. In this experiential learning course, you will have opportunities to practice your new language skills in fun and encouraging ways, from buying souvenirs at the Great Wall to arranging sightseeing events with your Chinese friends. In addition to the academic coursework, students will have program-organized activities with local high school students to practice language skills and promote cross-cultural communication. You’ll also learn to understand contemporary issues and further your language abilities through service-learning opportunities at local non-profit organizations around Beijing.

This college-level course is equivalent to a one-semester language course.

*College credit issued in partnership with Beijing Union University.