Looking China (Kan Zhongguo) is a specialist film programme for international students, hosted by the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture and Beijing Normal University. This prestigious course sponsors overseas students from approximately 20 countries to spend a fortnight in selected locations in China.

During the 2015 ‘China Britain Cultural Dialogue’, Oxford Prospects Programmes signed a partnership agreement to act as the UK base for this programme, recruiting and selecting UK university student participants. The first group of ten students selected under this scheme, representing six UK universities, visited Guizhou, China in July 2016.

Presenting China through international young filmmakers’ lenses, in their first glances at the culture, students produce 10-minute video documentaries stimulated by that year’s set theme. The fortnight follows a structured programme, supported with filming facilities and a local peer partner, concluding in a Festival screening held at one of China’s notable urban universities. Students benefit from a cultural highlights tour, ceremonials, and companionship with fellow participants from many nations.

In 2023 Joshua Luther Recido from Oxford University was one of the programme participants. His short film “Beijing Pigeons” was hailed as a great success and would go onto win “Peoples Choice Award” and “Best Documentary” at the Oxford Short Film Festival

Watch his film here:

The 2019 “Looking China” Film Festival was held in Beijing and featured these accomplished videos by programme participants:

In the Shadow of the Wall 长城脚下 by Lydia Howe, Manchester University

Reconstruction of Life 重生 by Ollie Voak, University of York

Offering Balance 人之所教,我亦教之  by Steven Taylor, Oxford Brookes University

Cloisonné: The Lost Art of Patience 凝固的时光 by Jackson Mouldycliff, University of Huddersfield

Oxford Prospects Programmes hosts a UK screening event each year, as a platform for promoting students’ films and sharing their experience of filming in China.


The program is fully funded, including flights and accommodation and here are the eligibility criteria:

• First time to China and respect Chinese culture

• Capability of shooting, editing and producing short videos individually

• Working proficiency in English

• Senior students, Alumni in Film Studies or relevant majors preferred

• Candidates with basic shooting and editing facilities preferred

Each year when recruitment starts emails and flyers will be distributed to all top UK universities. Candidates will submit a CV and Film Portfolio. Those selected will then work through multiple stages until the best candidates are found.