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Information about Student Life

Student Health Clinic

The DKU Student Health Clinic provides basic, outpatient primary care services to students. Campus Health does not perform any surgical procedures, nor does it provide any clinical laboratory or on-site prescription services. Basic “over-the-counter” medication (OTC) may be available for patients with certain simple clinical symptoms. Student Health, in conjunction with the Associate Dean of Students will serve students with disabilities by collecting and reviewing relevant service related to their disabilities.

Appointments: The DKU clinic is not a walk-in clinic and it prioritizes students with scheduled appointments. Appointments may be scheduled via email to or via phone call to the clinic front desk at +86 0512 3665 7228 during working hours.

Clinic Location: Service Building, Room 1024

Service Hours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday – Friday

Closed noon – 1:00 pm, weekends and public holidays

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) 

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) aims to provide a wide range of services toward meeting the mental health and developmental needs of Duke Kunshan University students. Their services include:

  • Individual Counseling
  • Group Counseling
  • Crisis Intervention and Emergency Services
  • Referral Services
  • Consultation
  • Workshops (e.g. time management, intimate relationships, sleep)
  • Outreach Programming (e.g. wellness, mindfulness exercise)
  • Research

Academic Advisors are CAPS’s important allies in the work of facilitating students’ personal growth. It is not advisors’ responsibility to make a psychological judgment or diagnosis about the student’s state of mind, nor is it advisors’ obligation to refer students to counseling. However, any assistance advisors may provide to assist students is encouraged.

How to Make Referrals to CAPS

  1. Display an attitude of sincere interest and helpfulness toward the person in need.
  2. Unless the student is seriously disturbed and is unable to accept such responsibility, a mutual decision between the student and faculty/ staff members regarding concerns and the need for referral is always encouraged.
  3. The purpose of the referral should be made clear to the student. That is, to see a professional counselor who will offer professional support, assessment and treatment recommendations that are in the best interest of the student.
  4. When the student is receptive, first contact CAPS ( and bring the student to the CAPS’s counseling room in Room 300 of the Residence Hall directly if possible. 
  5. Escort the student to the CAPS’s office and remain with until the counselor is available to speak with him/her. Introduce the student to the counselor and give a brief introduction of the issue at hand. It should be noted that it could be very traumatic for a student to retell his/her story to a stranger. Any assistance you can provide to help normalize the situation can be very helpful, both to the students and to the counselor.
  6. If the issue is not urgent and you cannot accompany the student to the counselor, you should make the student aware that services are available and, if the student agrees, contact CAPS and CAPS will contact the student via email.
  7. It is not your responsibility to make a psychological judgment/diagnosis about the student’s state of mind, nor is it your obligation to refer students for counseling. However, any assistance you may provide to assist students is encouraged.
  8. Confidentiality: Remember to adhere to the legal and ethical standards of student confidentiality, only in emergency, to protect the health or safety of students or other individuals, their personal information will be disclosed.

Understanding Emotional Distress 

Emotional Distress is a physical and psychological reaction to issues and events emanating from one’s environment. Perceived obstacles to goal achievement, environmental change, life challenges, and periods of significant transition are common stress triggers for university students. 

As a faculty or staff member interacting daily with students, you are in an excellent position to recognize behavior changes that characterize an emotionally troubled student. You may observe that at certain times of the year, particularly during midterms, finals, and holidays, students experience increased anxiety. 

A student’s behavior, especially if it is inconsistent with your previous observations, could well constitute an attempt to draw attention to his/her plight, “a cry for help.”

Below is a list of common causes of emotional distress:

Common Causes of Emotional Distress
Relationship problems/break-ups Loneliness 
Family problems  Academic pressure or failure
Grief and loss  Serious illness or injury
Divorce Difficulty adjusting to college life
Anxiety  Eating disorders
Sexual or physical abuse or assault Drug/alcohol abuse
Identity development Career indecision
Depression  Low self-esteem

Tips for Recognizing Emotionally Distressed Students

University students typically encounter a great deal of stress (i.e. academic, social, family, work, financial) during the course of their educational experiences. While most students cope successfully with the demands of university life, for some the pressures can become overwhelming and unmanageable.

At one time or another, everyone feels depressed or upset. However, there are three levels of student distress which, when present over a period of time, suggest that the problems are more than the “normal” ones.

Level 1 

Although not disruptive, their behaviors may indicate that something is wrong and that help may be needed:

  1. Serious academic problems or unaccountable changes in performance
  2. Change from frequent attendance to excessive absences
  3. Marked change in mood, motor activity, or speech
  4. Marked change in physical appearance
  5. Falling asleep inappropriately

Level 2 

Their behaviors may indicate significant emotional distress or reluctance or an inability to acknowledge a need for personal help:

  1. Repeated request for special consideration
  2. New or regularly occurring behavior which pushes the limits and may interfere with class management or be disruptive to others
  3. Unusual or exaggerated emotional response

Level 3 

There behaviors usually show that the student is in crisis and needs emergency care

  1. Highly disruptive behavior (hostility, aggression, etc.)
  2. Inability to communicate clearly (garbled, slurred speech, disjointed thoughts)
  3. Loss of contact with reality (seeing/hearing things that are not there and beliefs or actions at odds with reality)
  4. Over suicidal thoughts (suicide is a current option)
  5. Homicidal threats

Responding to Emotionally Distressed Students

A faculty or staff member is often the first person to recognize when a student is in distress and to reach out to that student. Faculty and staff are not expected to provide personal counseling to students. Rather, faculty and staff play an important role in encouraging students to use campus resources, including facilitating a referral to the designated counselor or CAPS. 

There is no one correct way to deal with a student in distress. Each person has his/her own style of approaching others and differing capacities to deal with problems. It is important to know your personal abilities and limits.

If you decide to intervene and try to help a distressed student, or if a student approaches you to talk about personal problems, here are some suggestions:

  1. Speak directly to the student when you sense that he/she is in academic and/or personal distress.
  2. Openly acknowledge that you are aware of their distress that you are sincerely concerned about their welfare and that you are willing to help them explore their options.
  3. Request to see the student in private. Briefly acknowledge your observations and perceptions of their situation and express your concerns directly and honestly.
  4. Listen carefully to what the student is troubled about and try to see the issue from his/her point of view without agreeing or disagreeing.
  5. Strange and inappropriate behavior should not be ignored. The student can be informed that such behavior is distracting and inappropriate.
  6. Your receptivity to an alienated student will allow him/her to respond more effectively to your concerns. Help the student identify options for action and explore possible consequences.
  7. Being open about the limits on your ability to help them. If the student appears to be in imminent danger of hurting self or others, consult CAPS or the Student Affairs Office immediately and contact Campus Police at 110. Do not promise to keep a student’s threats to self or others secret.

Signs That You May Have Over Extended Yourself

  1. Feeling stressed out or overwhelmed by the situation
  2. Feeling angry at the student
  3. Feeling afraid
  4. Having thoughts of “adopting” or otherwise rescuing the student
  5. Reliving similar experiences of your own

CAPS Service Hours and Location

Service Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (Monday – Friday). CAPS last appointment will be at 4pm

CAPS will be closed during all national holidays and weekends.

Appointment Phone Number: +86 0512 3665 7211

After-Hour Mental Health Emergency: Mobile: 153-3527-1557 (Student Affairs After-hour Duty Phone, after 5:30 pm Monday – Friday and 24-7 weekend days)

Counseling Appointment Email Address:

Location: Room 1024, Medical Clinic, Service Building (near the North Gate)

Residence Life

Residence Life team collaborates with University Operations/Housing to provide a safe, comfortable, convenient and healthy living environment in the residence halls. Residence Life is here to support student learning, development, and growth in a close-knit, inclusive and supportive living and learning community. Undergraduate Resident Assistants (RAs) and Graduate Resident Fellows (GRFs) are recruited and trained to be peer mentors and serve as the primary resources for students, facilitate students with personal, interpersonal, social and academic issues and develop residential programs to promote interpersonal and intercultural exchange.


All undergraduate students are required to stay in university housing for three years. Several different accommodations are currently, or will be available to the undergraduate students: 

  • Conference Center: The Conference Center will be the primary housing unit for first-year students until Phase II Undergraduate Housing is constructed. All rooms are double rooms with a bathroom.
  • Student Residence Hall: The Student Residence Hall will primarily house undergraduate students in B1 and B2 with graduate students in B3 and B4. Students are assigned to a four-person apartment suite with either 4 single rooms or 2 single rooms and 1 double room. 
  • Huijin Scholars Hotel: This off-campus hotel will house Sophomores and Juniors until the Phase II Undergraduate Housing is constructed. The hotel is newly constructed and based on the international 4-star hotel standard. 2.2 kilometers away from campus, it will be accessible by a regular campus shuttle bus, public transportation buses 31 and 32, and public bikes.
  • Phase II Student Housing: Part of Phase II new housing complex will consist 10 undergraduate halls, and 2 apartment style buildings for Graduate students. Our plan is to introduce the Faculty-In-Residence program once the faculty apartments are ready in Phase II.

More detailed information about residence life can be found at

Student Involvement

Learning occurs both inside the classroom as well as outside the classroom. At Duke Kunshan University, we believe that students who are involved in campus life through student leadership and participation in co-curricular activities such as sports, group excursions, service learning, voluntary community work, paid or unpaid internships, and cultural, social, and inter-cultural events will not only build self-confidence in their personal development, they will also do work that benefits the campus community and the local community at large. Ultimately, students engaged in student involvement will themselves benefit from these experiences and community building opportunities. 

Check out the campus event calendar and opportunities at

Student Clubs and Organizations

Student Clubs and Organizations is an exciting and important part of the Duke Kunshan University experience. These opportunities will empower students culturally, socially, and intellectually. They serve the diverse needs and interests of our students, which connects them outside of the classroom, and also provides leadership, management, communication, organizational skills development and opportunities. A list of current student organizations is available via the Duke Kunshan Engage site—

Club and Organization Advisors

All student clubs and organizations must have an advisor who could be a faculty member or a full-time staff, student clubs and organizations are run and managed by the students themselves, but advisors play a key role in offering guidance and advice.

Role of the Advisor                                  

  • Consistently serve as a mentor to organization officers
  • Assist in the university policy interpretation for the group                                    
  • Mediate internal conflict
  • Provide expertise in a specific area of study
  • Assist in connecting your group with campus resources
  • Advocate for the group within the university, department, and community
  • Act as the primary contact for University administration in times of crisis, discipline, or disorganization


  • Meet regularly (weekly, biweekly, monthly) to update each other on the progress and status of the organization. 
  • Utilize STUDENT AFFAIRS for their support and resources

Physical Education

Physical education, sports and recreation program at Duke Kunshan University will be designed to promote diversity in physical activity, reflect on students’ interests, and provide an opportunity for intra-varsity competition, respectively.

Through our integrative DKU F.I.T. program students, faculty and staff will have an opportunity to attend any fitness class offered on campus and track their workout intensity using heart rate monitors provided by the F.I.T. program. Students taking PE courses will receive course credit for reaching their fitness and wellness targets, while staff and faculty may use reaching their goals for a number of employee benefits.

As part of the F.I.T. program number of workshops and health and wellness initiatives will be offered throughout the year, designed to support the diverse wellness interests and goals of DKU Community. For example, DKU Bike Club offers free rental of eco-friendly bamboo bikes for students, faculty and staff, while team sports enthusiasts can join number of DKU sports clubs held on and off-campus on rolling basis.

Internal Procedures

Academic Accommodations

If you have a student who expresses concerns about his/her physical or learning disabilities and may want to request academic accommodations, you can refer the student to Yan Li, Psy.D., Associate Dean and Director of University Counseling (CAPS) and Wellness in CAPS.

Referral to Counseling Services

Advisors will need to fill out the Counseling Referral Form (found in Advisor Resources in Sakai) and send it to Psychological Counselor Fan Yang (, 3665 7211). If a student expresses suicidal thoughts or ideas that may harm himself/herself or to the people around him/her or pose a threat to the community, you should contact Assistant Dean of Students Damian Medina at

Sexual Harassment

If a student mentions to you an instance of sexual harassment that happened to himself/herself/another student, you are obligated to report it immediately in writing to the Dean of Student Affairs. 

Assure the student know that the matter is going to be dealt with in a confidential way, which means that only the staff members who have a need to know will know.