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Chinese Department

Two friends conversing
Whitman Summer Studies in China students meet with their language partners
steleAnalects, Stele Forest, Xian, China
Photo by Jeremy Balch

As a student of Chinese, you will explore a range of cultural, aesthetic, and analytical issues all while honing your language skills in a dynamic and supportive learning community. Chinese courses stress active communication and are designed to develop proficiency in speaking, writing and reading the language while introducing students to Chinese literature and culture. Courses in South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and World Literature complement offerings in Chinese and provide opportunities to connect your language and cultural skills to areas of study spanning history, philosophy, film and media studies, religion, and art, among others. Small class sizes ensure that you will be able to collaborate closely and build strong relationships with professors, language assistants, and fellow students.  

What Will You Study?

Studying Chinese at Whitman means that in addition to learning the language you will:

  • Experience classical Chinese drama through play readings, opera videos and guest appearances by Chinese actors.
  • Immerse yourself in modern Chinese literature through the work of writers from mainland China and Taiwan.
  • Study Chinese poetry, from classical to modern, in various verse forms using Chinese texts and English translations.

Additional Opportunities

Interested in immersing yourself in the culture you study and sharpening your conversational language skills? Take advantage of the opportunity to live in the Asian Studies House with students who share your passion or to study at universities in China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan through Whitman's Off-Campus Studies program.

Students are also encouraged to apply for the U.S. Department of State's Critical Language Scholarship program, a fully-funded summer overseas language and cultural immersion program which is targeted to students who intend to apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.

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