Why Study Chinese
A connected world requires different skills. The pace of globalization has increased dramatically in the recent years. Studying Chinese offers unique opportunities to young Americans growing up and seeking their place in this global society that differs from that of previous generations.
China has a long recorded history. Chinese is the modern language with the oldest, continuously written language in the world. “You cannot deeply ‘know’ the values of a people or a nation’s politics unless you can directly access its art, literature, news media, government documents and policy reports” (Rosemary Salomone).
With one in five U.S. manufacturing jobs tied to exports, national economic prosperity is increasingly tied to international trade. Based on the current pace, China will surpass the U.S. and become the world’s largest economy in 20 years. Collective economic prosperity requires engagement, collaboration, and communication with China.
The fact that the United States is routinely involved in political and diplomatic discussions and negotiations with China over issues ranging from climate change, to economic issues, to international relations makes it all the more important that the two countries communicate effectively. A variety of career options will be open to those who have solid Chinese language skills.
Why Study Chinese at WKU?
The Department of Modern Languages at WKU has a highly qualified and dedicated faculty team to support your success. The proficiency-oriented Chinese major/minor program is built upon a student-centered curriculum and standards-based assessments. It provides students with extensive language training and in-depth study of Chinese culture and society, which prepares them to use Chinese proficiently in your future careers.
With the combination of resources available at WKU and a committed faculty team, the Chinese Major/Minor Program offers study abroad and mentored learning experiences to help students take their study of Chinese language and culture beyond the classroom.
WKU is the home to the Chinese Language Flagship Program. This intensive program is sponsored by the Language Flagship, an initiative of the National Security Education Program within the Defense Language and National Security Education Office.
WKU has the first Confucius Institute in Kentucky and the largest Chinese Learning Center in the U.S. It is a regional center for teachers and students of Chinese, and helps build connections and partnerships between Kentucky and China. It also provides scholarship opportunities for students who are interested in studying abroad in China.
What can I do with Chinese?
Graduates with the Chinese major or minor are employed in a range of jobs including travel, tourism, transportation, distribution, import and export services, finance, banking, marketing, sales, public relations and advertising.
They also find roles in educational institutions at all levels, media, publishing and entertainment companies, library and information services, and museums.
College graduates with Chinese major or minor are in high demand by state and local government, professional and research based organizations, as well as agencies dealing with trade, diplomacy, recruitment and social services.