Home » APSA



Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA) is a nonprofit organization created by a group of Americans who live and work in China. Their mission is to provide fully-funded study abroad opportunities for high school students in American urban public school districts who might not otherwise have the opportunity.

The APSA China Scholars Program is a challenging and life-transforming summer Chinese language and culture program in Beijing for competitively selected public high school students. The program, which runs 4-6 weeks, includes:

  • Daily morning Mandarin language classes (3-4 hours a day).
  • On-the-street, real world application of their Mandarin.
  • Afternoon culture classes (art, calligraphy, traditional dance, martial arts).
  • Field trips to sites of historic significance, such as the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.
  • Meetings with business leaders, journalists, diplomats and NGO leaders to learn about contemporary issues, as well as future career opportunities.
  • Community service activities.

In summer 2008, the program launched with five (5) DCPS students joined by five students from Rochester City School District (NY). With assistance from the Embassy of China and the Beijing Municipal Education Commission, the students lived and attended classes at Number 2 High School Affiliated with Beijing Normal University.

Read the first 2008 DC China Scholars’ report on their summer experience: 2008 DC China Scholars Report

And check out the students’ blog at http://china2008trip.blogspot.com/.

Nine (9) DCPS students traveled to Beijing, along with 18 other students from Atlanta, Rochester, and Boston public schools, for APSA’s second-year summer program in 2009. Also in 2009, a documentary filmmaker followed the students through the pre-travel, travel, and post-travel phases of the China Scholars program. The result is the recently completed Beyond The Wall documentary, which focuses on the inspiring stories of four of our DC student participants. This film has been broadcast on local public television and is now available for purchase or rental by schools, universities, libraries, nonprofits, and individuals (click here for more information).

Since its inception, CGEL (Globalize DC) has partnered with APSA on its program design, DC-based pre-travel orientations, as well as DC student selection, pre-travel preparation, and post-travel follow-up. Each year, from 2008-2015, DC students have participated in the China Scholars Programs – many are continuing with their China/Chinese studies in college and beyond.

What’s Next?

After a hiatus last summer, APSA has announced its new 2017 summer program. The application period is now open until February 10, 2017. While APSA is no longer free for all students, two (2) full scholarships have been earmarked for DCPS or DC charter school students, and partial scholarships will be available for other selected students. This year students with no prior Chinese language experience are being invited to apply. Click below for application instructions. Deadline: February 10.


Contact sally@globalizedc.org if you have any questions about this year’s summer program and application process.