International exchange and cooperation has always been a distinct feature of Beijing Foreign Studies University since its founding. It admits 1,000 international students from 60 countries and sends hundreds of Chinese students to study at dozens of foreign colleges every year.
The International Exchange and Cooperation Office and its Overseas Students Affairs Office are in charge of international exchange and cooperation programs.
By 2010, the University had forged partnership with 380 colleges and academic institutions in 70 countries and regions, including Oxford, Yale, and University of California at Berkeley, on extensive cooperation in faculty and student exchanges, credit transfer, and joint certificate and special programs. According to official statistics, 70% of full-time students at the University have opportunities to attend long- or short-term overseas programs.
On the long list of visitors, there are state leaders, foreign diplomats, and celebrities, including German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Swidish Prime Minister Goran Persson, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Nobel Laureate Oe Kenzaburo, and Adonis the greatest living poet of the Arab world. The University has conferred honorary doctor's degrees to Brunei Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, and President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka.
The BFSU opened 17 overseas Confucius Institutes, ranking the first among Chinese universities and colleges. Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters set up the Multi-Languages Base of the International Promotion of Chinese Language here to cultivate professionals teaching Chinese as a foreign language and to compile textbooks. The Center for Public Diplomacy Studies founded in 2010 and the Art Institute founded in 2011 provide solid academic supports to the University in promoting the inheritance, the sustainability, and the overseas promotion of traditional Chinese arts.
Featuring language and culture diversity, Beijing Foreign Studies University distinguishes itself as an international community and a “small United Nations”.