College of Arts and Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions


I will begin university studies in the fall. Am I eligible to apply for the summer institute?
Graduating high school seniors are welcome to apply for the Flagship Chinese Institute, even if you will be attending a different university than Indiana University in the fall. Applicants’ materials should reflect the ability to function and thrive in a university setting.

I am a new learner of Chinese. Can I apply to the Flagship Chinese Institute?
In previous years, the Flagship Chinese Institute has offered a Beginning level for those with no previous experience studying Chinese, but this level will not be offered at FCI any longer. Instead, the Beginning level will be offered through IU's Summer Language Workshop.

I am currently a graduate student or have already received my Bachelor’s degree. Can I still apply?
The Flagship Chinese Institute welcomes graduate students and those already with Bachelor's degrees to apply.

I am not a Flagship student. Am I still eligible to attend the Flagship Chinese Institute?
Absolutely! The Flagship Chinese Institute accepts both Flagship and non-Flagship students.

What makes a FCI applicant competitive?
The Flagship Chinese Institute is a rigorous program. Though participants are provided with top-notch language support, language advancement ultimately is determined by the drive and determination put forth by our students. Applicants should ensure that their ability to succeed is demonstrated in the application essay and reinforced by their supporting letter of recommendation.

Should my letter of recommendation be in Chinese or English?
Both English and Chinese letters of support are accepted.


How do you receive one year of language instruction in 8 weeks?
Participants receive four hours of classroom instruction, reinforced with language laboratories and individual tutorial sessions on a daily basis. Students also engage in extracurricular activities, take meals, and reside in a community sustained by the Language Pledge. Weekend real-life activities are also planned to reinforce student language development through participation in authentic tasks. These classes and activities all take place under the direction of skilled faculty and graduate students seeking advanced degrees in Chinese pedagogy at Indiana University.

How many undergraduate/graduate credits are offered for each course?
Please see Curriculum for detailed information, including course descriptions.

Will I be able to take other classes?
Because all levels of FCI are intensive, students are not able to take other classes concurrently. However, students may be able to take other Indiana University summer courses during the first 4-week IU summer session, which ends before the beginning of the FCI.

How will my language proficiency be determined?
Prior to the commencement of the institute, students will be given listening, reading, and speaking assessments to ensure proper placement.

Is your program taught in Simplified or Traditional Chinese?
All of our students are taught in both scripts. At Indiana University, our instructors teach drill sections in Simplified and lecture sections in Traditional.  For assignment submissions and testing, you will be allowed to write in either Simplified or Traditional as long as you stay consistent.

How is the Language Pledge enforced?
Institute faculty and staff are the arbitrators of the Language Pledge during the summer institute. Students are also expected to enforce this pledge in interactions with one another.

If I can’t speak English, how can I call my parents, significant other, etc. during the Institute?
Even though the Language Pledge is in force at all times, we understand the importance of keeping in contact with those who care about you. When you call others outside of the Institute, we ask that you respect the other students’ Language Pledge and separate yourself for the duration of the call. While we do not restrict or monitor the volume of calls made, we ask that you don’t call so much that it negatively impacts your language acquisition.  The more you immerse yourself in the language, the more you will receive from the Institute.

How do I receive academic/transfer credit?
The Flagship Chinese Institute offers both IU undergraduate and graduate level credits. Transfer of academic credit is dependent on the student's home university or institution. Please contact the staff of the institute (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for further information.


May I come to the institute early?
Early arrivals may be possible. Please contact the Flagship Chinese Institute staff should you need to arrive early.

May I live off-campus?
As the extracurricular and residential components are a critical component of the summer institute, living off-campus is not permitted for students.

May I spend weekends away?
FCI students and staff receive every Sunday as a "free" day throughout the duration of the Institute. No courses or other events will be scheduled on this day to provide decompression time.  Participation in Saturday activities is mandatory. In order to leave the Institute for any duration of time (other than Sunday), students must request permission from program administrators one week in advance.  No more than one full weekend away from the Institute (Friday evening - Sunday evening) will be approved, except in extreme or unusual situations.

Are guests permitted at the institute?
To ensure the sanctity of the Institute's Language Pledge, guests are not permitted to attend functions without prior permission or unless mentioned otherwise. Overnight guests are not permitted in the residence halls.

What will my accommodations be like?
Participants will have single rooms within a residential hall on campus. These rooms will be air conditioned with central bathrooms located on the floor.

What should I bring with me?
Participants in the Flagship Chinese Institute will be making Bloomington, Indiana, their home for eight weeks. As such, it is recommended that some "creature comforts" that do not detract from the learning environment be brought along. You will need a headset (USB or dual stereo/microphone connector) with built-in microphone for language laboratory work.

I have dietary restrictions. How will they be accommodated?
The majority of meals are provided by Residential Programs and Services (RPS) at their various dining locations across campus. RPS regularly accommodates a wide variety of restrictions and allergies. To view menus and calculate nutrition and other requirements, please go to: If you are still concerned, you may also contact the RPS Registered Dietician, Rachel Noirot at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  She will be able to help you create a dining plan that fits your requirements.