General Information

Headquartered in
Hilde Becker, Interim Resident Director and Head of SYA China Summer

Contact Information

  • Telephone: 978.725.6828
  • Address: 439 South Union Street, Lawrence , MA 01843


Located on the campus of Beijing Normal University High School #2, SYA China opened its doors in 1994 and was the first high school program in the People’s Republic of China granted permission to place students with host families for the entire academic year. SYA China provides an exceptional opportunity to gain true insight into Chinese culture while mastering Mandarin through intensive language instruction.

In addition to taking 12 class periods per week of Mandarin Chinese language for two-and-a-half credits, SYA China students generally take four courses taught in English by American faculty: English, mathematics, Chinese history, and Chinese Culture and Society. Seniors may, on recommendation of the home school, elect not to continue in mathematics if they have met their home school requirement. These courses meet four or five periods each week with the exception of Chinese Culture and Society, which meets two periods each week in addition to guest lectures and field trips. All courses except for Advanced Algebra with Functions, Precalculus and Advanced Topics in Mathematics, and Chinese Society and Culture are taught at the honors or AP level.

Martial arts, traditional Chinese brush painting, calligraphy and music are offered as noncredit courses, pass/fail. Each course meets once per week. Home schools may accept these courses for credit if deemed appropriate. School Year Abroad does not distinguish between eleventh- and twelfth-grade students in the organization of classes.

Students are placed in class according to their proficiency in Chinese, which is assessed by a diagnostic exam administered at the beginning of the school year.