Frequently Asked Questions

HPCH 636

HPCH 636/PHST 470

Healthcare System in China, summer 2018

1. What’s eligibility of signing up this course?
If you are a current student
in Texas A&M University in summer 2018. If you are a graduate student, you need to have a 3.0 GPA; if you are an undergraduate student, you need to have a GPA of 2.5. 

2. How to I sign up this course?
You will sign up through the TAMU Study Abroad Office,  with your UIN. Keep in mind that in addition to registering with the Study Abroad Office, you will also register the course as a summer course to receive credits (more in #13 and #14).

3. When is the deadline of registration?
The deadline for registration is January 20, 1018 through the TAMU Study Abroad Office. Application is processed as first come first served, once we have 10 students, we’ll put you on waitlist.

4. What if I change my mind after I sign up?
When you register, you will need to pay $100 desposit. If your application is accepted, this money will be applied to the total program fee. If your application is not accepted, the money will be returned to you. We’ll collect all the program fee by the end of March, after that, your program fee will not be refunded.  

5. What’s the actual program cost? What’s covered and what’s not covered?
The program fee includes study abroad fee, mandatory insurance, honorarium for guest speakers, airport pick-up and drop-off, local transportation during site visits, lodging, most meals, air tickets from Beijing to Xiamen, Xiamen to Shanghai, and
train ticket from Shanghai to Beijing. The program fee does not cover tuition and fees for this course, international airfare from Houston to Beijing, non-program transportation, some meals, some admission tickets in site visits, passport and visa application fee. An estimated cost is $1,500 program fee plus $1,200 airfare (estimate) and pocket/emergency money. The final cost will be available in early February, 2018. 

6. Is there financial aid or scholarship for studying abroad?
Yes, various financial aid and scholarships are available for studying abroad. The TAMU study abroad scholarships are available when you sign up this course. The Texas A&M Health Science Center also has scholarships for study-abroad. The deadline for application is April, we will send out information to the students who have signed up the course.

7. Do I need a visa to China? How do I obtain the visa?
Yes, you will need a visa to go to China; you can get it from the Chinese General Consulate in Houston. All students will receive an invitation letter from our Chinese host. This invitation letter will facilitate your visa application.

8. Can international students take this course?
Yes, international students can take this course. You will also need a visa to go to China (unless you are a Chinese citizen). You will also need a valid visa to return to U.S. Talk to an officer in the TAMU International Students Office to double check your status in U.S. and if you can return to U.S. after the trip to China.

9. Is my travel to China covered by insurance?
Yes, all TAMU students doing study abroad will be covered by CISI international travel insurance. Our Chinese hosts will also provide additional coverage for foreign tourists in China.

10. How should I pack?
You should pack light as we will travel
in three cities in China (Beijing, Xiamen, and Shanghai). You can do laundry while in China. During our travel time (May 16-29), it’s warm in China, so you only need to pack summer clothes. Pharmacies, convenience stores, and super markets are conveniently located within walking distance from the hotels we will stay, in case you forget something. Please wear comfortable shoes as we will walk A LOT.

11. How much pocket money should I prepare?
You can do currency exchange in all banks in China; banks are conveniently located
in almost every street corner. The current exchange rate is about 1 US dollar=6.5 Chinese Yuan. In terms of pocket money, it really depends on how much shopping you plan to do. Our program cost has covered most of the expenses in the trip. You may prepare $150-250 for other expenses including small souvenirs.

12. Is this an elective course?
Yes, this is a 3-credit graduate elective course with letter grading, and it’s a summer course. You will have two lectures prior to the trip, followed by
two-week trip to China; when you return, you will complete a paper and other assignments. More details about the course grading and schedules please refer to the syllabus. You will receive a letter grade in August (like other summer courses).

13. When do I register this course?
You should register the course like other summer courses. You should register it before China trip to receive
grade for this course.

14. What’s the emergency contact when in China?
You will have instructor’s cell phone in China, study abroad office’s emergency contact, our China hosts’ cell phone numbers, U.S. Embassy in China’s phone, all printed
in one card, before your trip.

15. Will I receive orientation before the trip to China?
You will receive two orientations before China trip, one is focused on safety and security conducted by the Study Abroad Office, the other is
on Chinese culture, conducted by the faculty, staff, students who have visited China. The orientation is scheduled in April 2016.

16. What if I have other questions?
Please contact the course instructor Dr. Hong at