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The Summer Academic Program is an intensive academic learning program initiated by HD Ningbo School. It provides international high school students access to high quality, university-level education. The program consists of two dynamic parts:

■ The non-credit summer courses
■ Academic Research Project

While preparing the students for U.S. colleges/universities by the summer courses, the program also enables the talented students to work with the top scholars around the world, engaging them with ample learning experience and academic challenges.

The courses in Summer Academic Program are taught by the faculty invited to participate from U.S. colleges/universities, who design and teach the summer courses in the same manner and with identical requirements of their U.S. home institution.

The courses are taught in the same manner with identical requirements of the faculty’s U.S. home institution:

■ Face-to-face instruction in English.
■ The same course content, the same hours, the same workload, and the same discussion sessions if applicable.
■ The instructors teach in the classroom, hold office hours, and actively interact with the students in and outside the classroom.

The program enables international high school students to better prepare for American higher education and increase their competitiveness in university applications.

It also helps admitted students to get familiarized with college academic challenges, especially the class atmosphere and academic requirement.

For talented high school students who seek more intensive learning experience, they may be invited by university faculty to participate into some college-level research projects.

"The most important thing that I learned from my time at Summer Academic Program was thinking big, but starting small. The summer school faculty have a tremendous amount of insight, experience, and knowledge about not only what they teach, but also how to help each individual student."
Kong Lingjie, Class of 2013, Currently Stanford Master’s student, UC San Diego BA

"Two of my favorites, American History and Human Geography developed my critical thinking. Also, the discussion sections helped me review the course readings and understand the main argument of the authors." 
Zhou Haiyun—Class of 2015, Currently George Washington undergraduate  
Academic Information

The Summer Academic Program allows high school students to challenge themselves and develop greater confidence for the next stage.

Each student can choose up to two courses or attend one research project to explore their interests and get a flavor of American General Education. Only students who meet the placement requirement are allowed to enroll to the summer courses/research projects.

The maximum class size per course is 25 or 3 in each research group to encourage an active and in-depth discussion. The work load in university-level courses is far more rigorous than the typical high school curriculum and requires heavy reading and assignments. Each student is encouraged to sign up for a maximum of two courses or one research project during the four-week summer session. 

Course Options Non-credit General Education Courses Academic Research Project
Length 4 weeks 4 weeks
Minimum TOEFL requirement 83 and 20 lowest in one section 100 and 22 lowest in one section
Interview pass for placement Not required Required
Course Options

  Course Code Course Title Teaching Faculty
1 JOUR-101 Introduction to Journalism Clare Morgana Gillis
2 POL-101 Refugee Law and Policy Hans Leaman
3 HIS-101 Western Civilization since 1450 James Barnhart
4 BIO-101 Topics in Brain Science Xiaoyu Peng
5 WRT-101 Analysis and Expression Lauren Seaman
6 WRT-102 Expository and Creative Writing Lauren Seaman

Faculty Information

Clare Morgana Gillis
Dartmouth College
Ph.D. – History, Harvard University
Lecturer, Dartmouth College, Department of Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies
Teaching Fellow, Harvard University, Departments of History, Government, Classics, and Core Curriculum
Freelance Print Journalist, had experience in Palestinian territories (West Bank).
Hans Leaman
Yale University
Ph.D. – History & Renaissance Studies Program, Yale University
Mellon Postdoctoral Associate in the Integrated Humanities
Co-Editor-in-Chief, Yale Journal of Law & The Humanities, Yale Law School
Richard J. Franke Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Studies, Yale University, 2001 – 2005
James Barnhart
Pennsylvania State University

Ph.D. – History, University of Chicago, Distinction (Honors) for Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Chicago
Fulbright Travel Fellowship to France, U.S. & French Governments
Teaching experience in half a dozen countries around the world.

Lauren Seaman
Yale-NUS College
Bachelor of Arts and English Literature, Honors, Barnard College, Columbia University
Dean’s Fellowship, Yale-NUS College
Global Academic Fellowship, NYU Abu Dhabi
Xiaoyu Peng
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, Postdoctoral Research Associate in Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Lecturer and guest lecturer in University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania SAS Dissertation Research Fellowship
Multiple publications in top journals.
Course Information

JOUR-101 Introduction to Journalism
Clare Morgana Gillis

This course addresses basics of news and information gathering for public consumption. Students will study and grapple with the methods, objectives, ethics, skills, theoretical and historical underpinnings, of journalism in the various iterations it is practiced in today. Students will identify topics of interest and practice reporting and writing in news, feature, and multimedia formats.

POL-101 Refugee Law and Policy
Hans Leaman

There are currently more people who are involuntarily displaced from their homes than at any time since the end of World War II. About 20 million people qualify as refugees under international law. Refugee movements from war-torn Syria have greatly challenged neighbors in the Middle East as well as Europe, and the politics of countries like Australia and the United States have recently been shaped by sharp disagreements over policies for hosting refugees. In this course, we will learn what it means to be a “refugee”: first, under the law of the United Nations’ Convention concerning the Status of Refugees, and second, from the perspective of many people who have experienced life in refugee camps, refugee resettlement, and applying for asylum in another country.  We will also learn about humanitarian aid organizations’ strategies for making life better for refugees and political debates over asylum law in countries that host many refugees.

HIS-101 Western Civilization since 1450
James Barnhart

The goal of the class is to provide a broad and meaningful foundation for Chinese students to understand Western culture.  Such preparation is often sorely lacking among many Chinese who go abroad to study.  While many Chinese students spend years studying the fine points of English grammar and spelling, relatively few achieve – or even attempt – a qualitative understanding of Western history and culture before moving abroad.
This class will seek to account for the rise of the West (Europe & America), from a relative global backwater in the 1400s to the dominant political, economic, and cultural force in the 20th century world. At the same time, the class will trace the origins of today's highly integrated, cosmopolitan world system through the growth – and eventual, relative decline – of European influence. Major topics will include: The Age of Exploration; Renaissance, Reformation, and Scientific Revolution; Atlantic Revolutions of the 18th Century; Industrial Revolution; Colonialism in Asia, Africa, and the Americas; World War I and World War II; and, finally, the periods of Cold War, Decolonization, and Globalism.  The class will treat not only conventional historical events (such as the French Revolution), but also cultural currents, such as art, religion, economics, philosophy, and popular culture. Special emphasis will place on the West's evolving relationship with the Non-Western world, particularly with China.

WRT-101 Analysis and Expression
Lauren Seaman

How do we come to know about something unknown? This course provides instruction in critical thinking and academic writing, placing the writing process at the crux of us of exploration, reflection and knowledge production. Students build a foundation for their future scholarly inquiry, gaining insight into how to ask and answer genuine questions through academic writing. Students engage with a variety of texts and learn how to analyze and express complex ideas in both written and spoken form. Each assignment is the result of a progression of structured exercises with an emphasis on drafting and developing deeper ideas with each iteration of writing.

WRT-102 The Writer’s Process Across Disciplines
Lauren Seaman

In the 21st century, trends in higher education place new emphasis on interdisciplinary thinking that establishes interrelationships across scholarly disciplines. As students learn to craft and answer complex questions in their academic writing, this course draws upon various approaches that students can take in university contexts to think and write across disciplines. Students use different forms of expression including writing, speaking and visual art to develop patterns of thought that helps generate writing that makes discoveries across disciplines and genres. Each assignment is the result of a progression of structured exercises with an emphasis on drafting and developing deeper ideas with each iteration of writing.

BIO-101 Topics in Brain Science
Xiaoyu Peng

The first part of this course will survey topics about the brain: the building blocks of our brains, sensory and perception, emotions, decision making, learning and memory, how a brain changes in development and aging, female and male brains, neurological and psychiatric disorders. The second part of the course will cover current research topics and technology advancement in various topics of brain sciences, application of the neuroscience knowledge, and skills in writing and communication.
Academic Research Project

The research program aims at providing the talented Chinese 11th grade students with academic and challenging learning and working experience.
The students will be selected and interviewed from all over China. In the four-week program, the faculty is expected to work closely with the students in two small groups (usually 3 students in each group with a separate topic), teach them background knowledge about the research topic, and guide them to work out a study report.
Started in 2014, the Summer Research Program has collaborated with the faculty from Harvard University, Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, University of Southern California, and so on. Students with high academic promise from across China worked with the faculty, gained their experience in a genuine “western” style, and challenged their academic potential from Mathematics, Finance, Economics and History.
In the program in 2015, a number of the research program students were admitted by Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Vassar College, Cornell University, University of California Los Angeles, Wesleyan College and so on.

Research Projects Information

Clare Morgana Gillis
Dartmouth College

Research Topic 1: North Korea
China’s relationship with North Korea can be investigated and reported from a number of angles: business and finance, political, military, diplomatic, cultural. Interviews with diplomats, businessmen, tourists, military officials. Theoretical issues of state control of news and possibilities of independent verification.

Research Topic 2: China’s Industrial Businesses and Green Energy
Currently China’s coal consumption fuels about 60% of its economy, yet it has announced an ambitious plan to “go green” in the industrial sector by 2020. The government has also indicated it will provide assistance to businesses in the transition phase. As the world’s most populous state and a unique example of state capitalism, China will serve as a fascinating example to other countries, all of which must eventually confront carbon emissions.

Hans Leaman
Yale University

Research Topic 1: Migration and Memory
Today’s globalized economy has opened up opportunities for many people to live and work outside the countries of their birth. This international migration is changing the not only the cultures of the countries where migrants move, but also the communities where they have left.  Students will develop a research project in which they explore how nations and local communities have memorialized migration. We will ask: how do international migrants speak of their identities in ‘diaspora’, how do family members who stay behind deal with their sense of loss, and how has national identity in countries like China, India, Philippines, the United States, and Australia, been forged through national narratives of migration?
Research Topic 2: Law and Religion in Modern Societies
How have religious practices and ethical teachings shaped notions of justice and human rights in modern societies?  Students will have the opportunity to answer this question through a research project on a country or religion of their choice. Possibilities could include the contributions of Confucianism to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through Dr. Peng-chun Chang, the background of the United States’ First Amendment on freedom of religion and assembly, and contemporary conflicts in many countries between the freedoms of religious minorities and state interests in public health, national sovereignty, and cultural cohesion.

James Barnhart
Pennsylvania State University

Research Topic 1: Westerners and Chinese in Imperial Ningbo
Ningbo was an early and important center for Western settlement in China. This project will seek to understand how the Chinese and the European missionaries perceived each other (and themselves), by reading documents in both Chinese and English. The focus will be not so much religious as cross-cultural. The instructor will assign historical documents – and also scholarly articles – in English to illuminate the Western perception of Chinese society. Meanwhile, as the actual research component, students will locate, read, and summarize (in English) Chinese historical and scholarly documents about the same missionary communities in Ningbo and other nearby centers. We will also devote some attention to the small, but important Jewish community that developed in Ningbo (as one of the end-points of the Silk Road). At the climax of the project, students will compose a research essay on one aspect of the overall problem. By analyzing the mutual perceptions of these two cultures, the project will seek to clarify not only the local history of Ningbo, but also the continuing misperceptions and distortions that plague interactions between Westerners and Chinese to our own day.

Xiaoyu Peng
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research Topic 1: Mini Proposal on Mechanisms of Anxiety Disorder Treatment
Stress has positive and negative impact on our lives, but maladaptation to excessive stress can trigger anxiety disorders and many other psychiatric diseases.  While almost all people experience some level of anxiety at some point in their lives, few drugs on the market can treat the root of the disorders and they also have severe side effects. On the other hand, a growing usage of complementary and alternative treatment, including herbal medicine and acupuncture, leads to great interest in investigating their mechanisms. We will explore the alternative treatment practice for anxiety and depression in China, search for evidence about their effectiveness, and write mini-proposal to investigate its mechanisms and explain the significance of the work.
Research Topic 2: Building Small Neuron Networks Using Neuron Program
Neurons, one type of brain cells, are the building blocks of our brains. There are billions of neurons in our brains and each of them may form tens of thousands of connections called synapses with other neurons. Within this massive network, each neuron sends and receives electrical and chemical signals to other neurons back and forth. Thus it is impossible to understand how the neural circuits work without computation modeling tools. Using an empirically-based simulation tool called Neuron developed by scientists from Yale and Duke Universities we will build a microcircuit simulating the basolateral amygdala, a brain region storing fear memory. Then we will carry out a few experiments with this model. We will learn how to form hypotheses, how to test them, and how to report the results. We will also learn how to report our results in a power point presentation.
Student Life

Weekend Activities
Weekend excursion of neighborhood to understand the culture and economic development will be arranged.
Students will be staying on campus assigned to a double-room sharing with another student from the program. School staff will be in residence to provide overview and support for all students.
All rooms are equipped with window coverings and furnished with a desk and chair and independent bathroom and restroom.  WiFi and air-conditioning are available on campus and dorm rooms. Laundry room is also available in each floor.

The HD Yinzhou School offers three meals on campus with world-class ISO9000 certified school canteen service provider.
Campus View


Recommended Deadlines
Early Bird - May 30th, 2016
Final Deadline – June 20th, 2016
Admission is based on first come first serve basis.
Application Eligibility
To be eligible to apply, applicants must be:
■ Incoming or current Grade 9 – 12 students
■ For those who apply for non-credit course must have TOEFL of no less than 83
■ For those who apply for research projects must have a minimum of TOEFL 100 and SAT 2000
Qualified applicants will need to go through interview to obtain the final admission status.

Consulting Emailzhang.will@hdningbo.org