Academic Bridge at ZJU 2021

Start at ZJU-UIUC Joint Institute in Fall 2021

We want you to make The Grainger College of Engineering your next home. However, we understand there are consulate backlogs and travel restrictions caused by COVID-19 closures. If you are a Chinese citizen and worried about visa issues getting in the way of starting your Grainger Engineering experience, we have a viable option for you.

Start Fall Semester at ZJU-UIUC Joint Institute, located in Haining, China. As a first-time UIUC freshman, if you cannot travel to Urbana for the fall semester due to visa or travel restrictions, you have the opportunity to be a UIUC student studying at ZJU-UIUC Joint Institute in Fall 2021. This allows you to begin your Grainger Engineering studies even if you cannot make it to the Urbana campus this fall.

Engineering Academic Bridge at ZJUI

Choose this path with two simple steps:

  1. Accept your offer to UIUC, if you haven't already.
  2. Complete the supplemental application for study at ZJU-UIUC Joint Institute. 

Important instructions for completing the supplemental application: 
If you are not already registered for classes for the upcoming semester, you will need to temporarily login to MyStudyAbroad as a non-Illinois student: On this webpage,, click on “New User Registration”

  1. Select “I do not have login credentials to this site.” and click “submit”
  2. Select “I am not currently registered at an institution.” and click “submit”
  3. Fill out your identifying information 
  4. Select “I understand…….” and click “create account”
  5. Check your email for your login and password information
  6. On this webpage,, login with the login and password information sent via email
  7. Continue setting up your account

You should then be able to apply to the ZJU-UIUC program’s supplemental application.

Guide for International Students Attending ZJUI-UIUC Joint Institute

We know you have a lot of questions about starting your college experience at Zhejiang University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (ZJU-UIUC) Joint Institute. This guide walks you through everything from getting to campus, cards you'll use as a student, and safety tips.

Let us know if you need additional help. 

View Guide


  1. Why is this beneficial for me?
    You would start as a Grainger Engineering student with a residential experience, while progressing toward your degree, even if you can't physically make it to our campus in Urbana, Illinois, United States.
  2. How soon must I make a decision on attending ZJU-UIUC Joint Institute?
    You must notify us of your commitment to attending ZJU-UIUC by June 1, 2021.
  3. What courses would I take?
    You would enroll in courses normally offered at ZJU-UIUC Joint Institute. These courses are taught in English by a combination of faculty from ZJU-UIUC and UIUC faculty. These are the same courses you would take as a first-year student on the Urbana campus and you will work with your academic advisor at your summer registration appointment to create a course load that matches your academic goals. 
  4. How would I begin building my Grainger Engineering community?
    We will provide a summer orientation program for you and your peers starting ZJU-UIUC in Fall 2021. You will also be in a special online section of Engineering 100, which is taught by UIUC staff.
  5. How long will I be at ZJU-UIUC Joint Institute?
    We anticipate this opportunity will last for the Fall 2021 semester and you would start classes on our campus in Urbana for Spring 2022.
  6. How will tuition be charged?
    Tuition fees will be assessed and charged from UIUC, not ZJU. This happens through your UIUC student account. Housing fees will be assessed separately through ZJU in the fall and your housing unit in the spring at UIUC.
  7. Do I need to complete ZJU graduation requirements?
    No. You work toward graduation requirements for UIUC. You are essentially a UIUC student studying abroad during your first semester as a college student.
  8. Do I still need to apply for I-20?
    Yes. You will proceed through the UIUC admission process. I-20s are being sent digitally sent. If you get an I-20 and get visa and but cannot get a flight, we will cancel your I-20 for the fall. You may then need to reapply for I-20 for Spring 2022.
  9. What is the value in choosing the option to attend at ZJUI over a gap semester/gap year?
    Attending at ZJU-UIUC Joint Institute in a residential experience with other students experiencing will enable you to meet your peers, develop a stronger connection with your fellow engineering students and the UIUC community. You will also have access to additional academic and student life resources you wouldn’t have if at home.
  10. What are the requirements to study at ZJU-UIUC Joint Institute?
    You must have accepted your offer to UIUC and be a first-time freshman in The Grainger College of Engineering (or approved program) and currently reside in China and hold Chinese Citizenship.
  11. ZJU-UIUC Joint Institute only has 4 majors. If I have a different major, am I still eligible to participate? What courses do I take if they don’t have my major?
    Yes, students with all majors in the Grainger College of Engineering are eligible to attend, with the exception of CS+. The first semester of all our engineering programs are quite similar, so almost all of your courses will be available at ZJU-UIUC Joint Institute. However, if there is something not available, it may be available online through UIUC.
  12. My advisor told me students in LAS physics can also apply, is that true?
  13. Are the classes the same as UIUC? Who are they taught by and are they held to the same standards?
    Some courses are taught by ZJU faculty and others by UIUC faculty. All courses are recognized by UIUC as having transferable credit. These classes have been screened, reviewed, and approved for educating our students–who are some of the brightest in the world. We prepare our students to move into their engineering careers with the expertise of Grainger College of Engineering within them and no matter where you begin your collegiate education, you will be educated in the highest quality.
  14. How do I register for classes?
    Registration for ZJU-UIUC Joint Institute courses will occur in person on September 10, 2021.
  15. Can I take UIUC courses online if they don’t have the classes I want at ZJU-UIUC Joint Institute?
  16. How is GPA calculated?
    Some of your courses will be calculated from UIUC, others will be by ZJU-UIUC Joint Institute. Academic credit earned at another accredited University or college and accepted by the University of Illinois is recorded in semester hours. Coursework will be listed on the transcript with the institution’s name, total credit hours, GPA hours, Grade Points, and total GPA.  Individual classes and grades are not listed. Learn more about transfer credit →
  17. Is there a chance I won’t get in to this program at ZJU-UIUC Joint Institute?
    As long as you meet the admission criteria and there is enough space, no. The secondary application is a tracking mechanism and allows us to communicate with the group that is attending at ZJU-UIUC Joint Institute.
  18. I’ve finished my application, what’s next?
    Application processing will begin June 1, 2021, after the deadline. Engineering Academic Bridge Programs will follow up with additional steps.
  19. When will the final course list at ZJU-UIUC Joint Institute be available?
    By August 1st.
  20. How much are tuition/fees?
    Tuition and fees are paid to UIUC, while housing is paid to ZJU-UIUC Joint Institute. You will pay tuition at a rate of $20,073 and general fees of $1573. Whether or not students will be released from all other fees is still being negotiated. See Office of the Registrar’s website on campus tuition and fees for more details.. Housing costs at ZJU-UIUC is 4000 RMB or $571 USD. Insurance through ZJU-UIUC will be 500 RMB or $71.50 USD. Cost of food while at ZJU-UIUC is additional (estimate= 50 RMB or $7.15 USD per day).
  21. When should I start the Visa process for next semester?
    SEVIS IDs will remain the same so you can begin scheduling your Visa appointments now but we prefer you select appointments no earlier than the end of September. This is so IA can get you updated documents prior to your appointment. You will also need to make sure your start term is up-to-date at that time. Once you have indicated you are attending ZJU-UIUC, new documents will be issued, however the SEVIS number will remain the same.
  22. Will Outlook e-mail work in China? Will we need a VPN to access that e-mail account?
    You will have access to the internet and a VPN. You will have access to outlook on campus.
  23. Do students have to participate in things like Military Training or Chinese culture classes?
    No. You are only required to participate in graduation requirements set forth by UIUC, not ZJU-UIUC.
  24. When can I arrive on ZJU-UIUC’s campus?
    We anticipate this date will be before the start of UIUC classes.
  25. What are the dorms like at ZJU-UIUC?
    Dorms are singles, with communal bathrooms and shared kitchen space. Students also have a cafeteria in which they can choose to eat most, if not all of their meals.

The ZJU-UIUC Partnership

The Zhejiang University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (ZJU-UIUC) Institute is a new engineering college on the new Zhejiang University (ZJU) International Campus in Haining, China. The Institute conducts teaching and research in broad program themes of engineering and system sciences; information and data sciences; and energy, environment, and infrastructure sciences.

Learn More