UChicago Arts and Sciences Summer in Asia

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Summer Program for International High School Students

28 Nobel Laureates  •  University Ranked in the Top 10 Worldwide  •  College Ranked 3rd Nationally

Arts & Sciences in Bengaluru Students in a bus Arts & Sciences in Beijing Students and instructors participating in discussion in a Beijing classroom Arts & Sciences in Hong KongHong Kong skyline

Arts & Sciences Summer in Bengaluru Program takes place on the campus of the Mallya Aditi International School in Bengaluru, June 19-30, 2017, Monday through Friday from 9am to 2pm (one-hour lunch break).

Please click on the course topic below to see the full description. Courses are taught by University of Chicago faculty.

Choose one of two options:

The Problem and Promise of Industrialization
Program Code: SUAS 10103 94
Instructors: Chad Broughton and Andrea Ford
Description: This course will examine industrialization historically, comparatively, and sociologically by combining the classical texts of Adam Smith and Karl Marx with rich case studies of industrialization in England, the United States, Mexico, China, and India. Students will be asked to think critically and imaginatively about broad structural processes linked to industrialization such as urbanization and migration, but also consider the concrete human consequences of rapid industrial change for communities, families, and individuals. Over the course of this exploration, we will consider fundamental questions of social life. What is development? What is wealth? What is the relationship of development and wealth creation with happiness and well-being? What, ultimately, makes for a good society?
Thinking about Justice
Program Code: SUAS 10203 94
Instructors: Aaron Tugendhaft and Alicia Riley
Description: What is justice? Why be just? What should one do about injustice? We will explore these and related questions through the close study of two classic texts---the first book of Plato's Republic and the biblical Book of Exodus---as well as supplemental works by authors like Niccolò Machiavelli, Bartolomé de Las Casas, Zora Neal Hurston, Bertolt Brecht, Hannah Arendt, Flannery O'Connor, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Frantz Fanon. We will encounter competing definitions of justice, arguments for and against living justly, and different approaches to dealing with injustice. Students will be encouraged throughout to connect the arguments of the texts to their own experiences and reflect upon how thinking about justice can contribute to a living happy and meaningful life.

Arts & Sciences Summer in Beijing takes place at the University of Chicago Center in Beijing, August 7-18, 2017, Monday through Friday from 10am to 3pm (one-hour lunch break).

Please click on the program topics below to see the full descriptions. The program is taught by University of Chicago faculty.

家长须知 (PDF)

August 7-18, 2017, Monday through Friday from 10am to 3pm (one-hour lunch break) at the University of Chicago Center in Beijing.

Choose one of two options:

Happiness in Western Thought, Art, and Culture
Program Code: SUAS 10102 94
Instructors: David Wray and Caterina Fugazzola
Description: This program will explore “happiness” as a set of ideas, artifacts, and problems in the cultures of Europe and the Americas. We will study works ranging from ancient Greek and Roman philosophy to modern short stories, lyric poems, and films, by authors such as Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, John Keats, William Wordsworth, Joyce Carol Oates, Woody Allen, and Lars von Trier. As we do so, we will examine the different definitions and understandings of happiness put forward by these texts. “Happiness” is defined sometimes as a set of qualities of a human life that make it worth living and worthy of praise, and sometimes as a set of thoughts and feelings that give a sense of satisfaction and meaning. Sometimes happiness is defined in terms of an individual’s experience, and sometimes it is seen as something achieved in community. Finally, as we read these Western texts in Beijing, we will ask if it makes sense to speak of specifically “Western” notions of happiness, and how a different cultural or historical perspective can affect our understanding of the texts we will study and the views of happiness they exemplify.
Law and Economics
Program Code: SUAS 10202 94
Instructors: James Leitzel and Bill Hutchinson
Description: The field of Law and Economics applies economic principles to the analysis of legal rules and institutions. In our study of this field, we will explore economic and psychological approaches to the choices that people make, and then examine cases that illustrate how different laws might inspire different choices, thereby affecting society as a whole. In so doing, we will compare rules in virtually all imaginable settings – criminal behavior, property disputes, contracting, and so on. Our tour of the field of Law and Economics has a busy (virtual) itinerary: we will visit the British Museum and a deserted isle, mingle with Vladimir Nabokov and Jeremy Bentham, and purchase goods on the black market. No visas and no immunizations are necessary, but a sense of adventure and discovery will help unveil the splendid vistas of Law and Economics.

Newly added for 2017, Arts & Sciences in Hong Kong program will take place on the Tai Tam campus of the Hong Kong International School in Hong Kong, July 17-28, 2017, Monday through Friday from 10am to 3pm (one-hour lunch break).

The 2017 program topic will be Imagining the Modern City, taught by a University of Chicago faculty member. Please click on the topic below to see the full description.

Imagining the Modern City
Program Code: SUAS 10104 94
Instructors: Larry Rothfield and Victoria Nguyen
Description: The rise of the modern city, whether in the West or in China, makes possible new ways of living, new kinds of people, and new kinds of stories. To appreciate these novelties, we will start by looking at sociologist Georg Simmel’s “The Metropolis and Mental Life”. Then we will explore how writers and filmmakers have tried to capture this experience of city life in different genres (the detective story, romantic comedy, modernist poetry, realism), and from different social perspectives. Texts and films may include Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde; Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep; Spike Lee, Do the Right Thing; Woody Allen, Manhattan; Eileen Chang, “Love in a Fallen City”; T.S. Eliot, “The Waste Land”; Gwendolyn Brooks, “We real cool”; James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues”; Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway; ; Ridley Scott, Blade Runner; Carol Reed, The Third Man; Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation.
Imagining the Modern City Syllabus

This summer, high school students in Bengaluru, Beijing, and Hong Kong can experience what it is like to be a part of our community without leaving home.

This 2-week intensive program, held at locations in each of these three cities, provides high school students with the opportunity to hone skills that are essential to success at selective U.S. universities and colleges. Directed by University of Chicago faculty member and advanced graduate student teams, participants engage in critical thinking, close reading, persuasive writing, and open discussion both in and outside the classroom, tackling big problems and fundamental questions in the University of Chicago’s distinctive interdisciplinary style. Program participants and their parents can also join an online informational session with a representative of UChicago College Admissions, in which they learn about the U.S. college admissions process.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today to learn more about Arts and Sciences in Asia and review several Frequently Asked Questions about the program.

Students in Bengaluru classroom posing. Students in Bengaluru posing Students observing materials.

“I enjoyed meeting so many talented and unique individuals who keep the discussion so lively, who have so many questions. Meeting people from all aspects and from so many different fields and getting to interact with them. I’ve built a much greater network. They’re all wonderful people. It’s been an amazing experience.”

Apekshita A.
Delhi Public School RK Puram
New Delhi, India

“We were exposed to intensive readings from philosophical books and literature. Through in-depth discussion every day we can get a better understanding of the philosophical concepts from our daily reading. I feel that is has really broadened my horizons: I have a better understanding of the concept of happiness and I will live a more reflective life from now on.”

Da T.
Beijing National Day School
Beijing, China


Program Fee


$2,800 for each 2-week program


  • All instruction and educational activities, including excursions to local sites
  • Course materials
  • Lunch daily

This is a non-residential program; housing will not be provided.

Highly competitive prizes will be awarded.


  • Eligibility: current high school students in 9th, 10th, or 11th grade, 14 years and older.
  • Applications accepted beginning mid-November.
  • Rolling admissions: program can fill before the deadline, so submit your complete application as soon as possible.
  • All application materials must be submitted by May 15, 2017.
  • Applicants must meet the program’s English proficiency requirement.

You can also review the Apply page for detailed information.

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