Degree: Bachelor of Arts
The Chinese major at Union offers a unique opportunity to become immersed in the world's most widely spoken language and one of its most fascinating cultures.
Some 885 million people speak Mandarin Chinese, the world's most spoken first language. As a Union College Chinese major, you will develop your speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in highly individualized settings.
Beyond the language sequence, our courses examine a broad spectrum of topics. You may explore Chinese literature, cinema, the contemporary mass media landscape, gender and sexuality, and Chinese commercialization and globalization. “The New Wall of China” is an interdisciplinary overview of the cultural, historical and artistic attributes of a region in China whose geo-political landscape has been dramatically shaped by the construction of the Three Gorges Dam.
You can experience China firsthand and further improve your linguistic skills and cultural proficiency on Union's fall term abroad in through CET Academic Programs. The course of study includes electives, intensive language and possible internship placements. Other outstanding study abroad options for the Chinese major include faculty-advised independent study and a mini-term in Tianjin, which focuses on traditional Chinese medicine. The host college is the renowned Tianjin University of Traditional Medicine.
Outside the classroom setting, there are plenty of ways for Chinese majors to immerse themselves in speaking and thinking in this poetic language. You'll be exposed to film series and speakers, as well as gatherings of the Chinese Language Table in Reamer Campus Center. The Asian Student Union sponsors events and discussions about current Asian and Asian American issues. Union students also get involved in the annual Pan-Asian American Workshop with other local colleges. And those with a passion for Asian culture may live with like-minded students (typically 8-10 residents) in Thurston House, a popular campus theme house that hosts discussions with faculty members and other programs open to the campus community.
With the ever-growing political, economic, and cultural significance of China, students who graduate with proficiency in Chinese have a range of exciting career options and a leg up on the increasing number of jobs associated with the Chinese-speaking world. Union alumni have gone on to professional degrees in international law, medicine and teaching. They also are active in business and finance, government, human rights and tourism.
What some of our graduates are doing:
- Legislative assistant, Washington, D.C.
- Communications and development specialist, Youth for Understanding, Washington, D.C. Analyst, ChinaVest, Shanghai
- Advanced language studies at IUP-Tsinghua University, Beijing