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CUDC (China UK Development Centre) Exchange Programme

a 2-week cultural/academic exchange with Universities in China

Apply online here!

The College has an annual exchange scheme in collaboration with CUDC (China UK Development Centre) and Maxer Education Institute. This cultural / academic exchange programme allows 12 undergraduate students to visit several Universities in China, in order to gain insight into the Chinese culture and way of living. The aim of the programme is to promote long-term interests in other cultures and increased international understanding.


Undergraduate students from all year groups (including finalists) and across all subjects are invited to apply. The selection is done on the basis of academic excellence and the successful applicants are the ones who are expected to benefit more from the exchange.


St John’s students are invited to go to China for 2 weeks. The nominated students will be divided into two groups of six students each. One group will visit China during the Easter break and the other in September. The dates for this year's programme will probably be 7th April – 22nd April 2018 and 8th September – 23rd September 2018.

Please make sure that you state in your application your preference or if you would like to be considered for either of the two options.


St John’s students will be involved in a mixture of academic and cultural activities, during their visit in China. These activities may include:

  • Lectures, focusing on aspects of the Chinese culture, history and way of living
  • City tours
  • Museum visits
  • Visits to Chinese companies or institutions
  • Dancing and music performances

This year’s programme is still tentative but the Easter group will most likely visit Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xiamen and Quanzhou, whereas the September group will visit Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, and Xi’an.

For examples of previous programmes organised by CUDC/Maxer, please see the attached documents at the bottom of this webpage.  

Costs covered

  • Travel / Insurance / Visa costs
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Programme activities in China

Additional Information

The exchange students from China normally visit Cambridge in the Long Vacation. We hope that some of the host students will be able to assist their peers during their visit, if this is possible. The visiting students will have the opportunity to benefit from academic lectures, as well as participate in cultural events, day trips to London and Oxford and visits to leading companies.

Application Procedure

The application procedure starts on Friday, 17th November 2017 and the deadline for applications will be on Monday, 18th December 2017.

Students who wish to apply will be asked to also attach: (i) a basic CV, and (ii) a personal statement of the reasons why they are interested in the CUDC exchange and how they feel that it would benefit their academic and personal development. Please remember to state which of the two periods you are applying for or if you would like to be considered for either of the two options.

The successful candidates will be notified at the end of January.

Student Services would be happy to respond to informal enquiries and requests for information.


- “Thank you from all my heart for the opportunity of taking part in CUDC Exchange! This exchange opened my eyes and taught me that trying new things makes you a more complete person and, in my case a more self-aware student. I do not feel any tiredness at all, I just feel richer from many points of view“

- "As someone who had never travelled beyond Europe prior to this exchange, this trip was a truly eye-opening experience. It introduced me to a whole new culture with a completely different outlook on life, which definitely made for fun and exciting conversations between us and the people we met. We were treated with the highest of hospitality everywhere we went - with everyone making sure that we had everything we needed for a great first visit to China. The pure friendliness and genuiness of the people from both CUDC and the different universities probably stood out as the main highlight of the trip for me – I know that I’ll be welcome in China if I was to ever visit again!”

- “The most enjoyable part of the exchange was the balance between the academic side, which included being able to talk to Chinese students in top universities, and the learning about the immense culture of China through visiting local areas.”