Students are able to learn Chinese with confidence and enjoyment in class and have opportunities to interact with their native Chinese speaking instructors outside the classroom. The program aims to lay a solid Chinese language foundation for students, enabling them to acquire enough Chinese language skills to communicate freely with people in China or to continue to advance their Chinese language and culture studies after graduation.
The Chinese program at UVM offers an innovative language curriculum that teaches the Chinese writing system and the Chinese sound system according to their unique characteristics and intrinsic regularity. All our Chinese faculty members are native Mandarin Chinese speakers with genuine knowledge of Chinese culture and modern Chinese history. They are skilled teachers and are internationally known for their achievement in research on Chinese language pedagogy.
Teaching in China
Kinsey Hotchkiss '14 recently shared her experiences teaching in rural China and traveling all over Asia. "As a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, I had no idea what I wanted to study. I decided to take a wide variety of classes in hopes that something would catch my interest. Fortunately, I decided to take elementary Chinese on a whim. I began to love the language and excelled in its study. I decided to become a Chinese Language major with a minor in business administration. In the summer of 2012, I took my first study abroad trip, “Doing Business in China,” at Qingdao University in Qingdao, Northern China. The following summer I studied abroad again, this time through UVM’s Chinese language department, at Yunnan University in the city of Kunming, Western China. By the spring of 2014 I was set to graduate and was unsure of what I should do. My Chinese professor and advisor, Professor Jing-hua Yin, informed me and fellow classmates of an American company seeking native English speakers to teach oral English at public schools in Shenzhen, China. Once again, on a whim I sent in an application and soon I was hired. Before long, I joined eighty other teachers and flew to Shenzhen, where we were trained, and then began teaching." Read more about Hotchkiss' experience.
Boren Scholarship a Passport to Shanghai
Tilden Remerleitch, a geography major and Chinese minor, was awarded a prestigious Boren Scholarship in 2016. The David L. Boren Scholarship is a nationally competitive award that provides up to $20,000 for students to study a critical foreign language in a nontraditional country important to U.S. national security. Remerleitch, from Guilford, Vt., studied Mandarin in Shanghai during a pre-UVM gap year experience through a State Department-funded National Security Language Initiative for Youth. This summer, in Dalian City, Remerleitch built on her Mandarin language skillset as a participant on the Critical Language Scholarship program. The scholarship funded Remerleitch to complete two complementary study abroad programs in Shanghai where she gained more in-depth knowledge about mega-city issues in China, while developing greater fluency in Mandarin. Her academic research interests focus on the energy, water usage, and environmental consequences of supporting mega-cities like Shanghai.
Found in Translation
"I began studying Chinese as a freshman at UVM in 2007. After setting foot in China for my semester abroad, I came to realize the amazing breadth and beauty of the language and the fascinating history behind it. The more I learned, the more I understood the great importance of this language to the international community and the dynamic range of its application to the professional world. Over the years since my first Chinese class, my language studies have taken me through some of the remotest places on earth, from sipping tea with Tibetan nomads in the mountains of Qinghai, to experiencing the Sunday livestock market in China’s westernmost city Kashgar. Chinese has helped me to collaborate with judges on China’s Supreme People’s Court, provide support to political prisoners in Xinjiang, and improve factory conditions for migrant workers in Guangdong. My most recent endeavor has brought me to New York University where I am undertaking a master’s degree in translation. Given the extreme shortage of Chinese-English translators and interpreters who are native English speakers, I hope to be part of the new wave of professionals in the industry working with this language pair."
The Fulbright Experience
"Since graduating from UVM with a B.A. in Chinese and Asian studies in 2010, I have made sure to spend as much time in China as possible. Some of the work I have done after UVM included serving as a field assistant for the San Diego Zoo, at Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve, tracking monkeys, and acting as a field guide and interpreter. In late 2012, I had the honor of receiving a Fulbright grant to implement my own self-tailored research project. I investigated how hunting and traditional culture among a Lisu ethnic village guide local stances towards, and participation in wildlife conservation efforts. After I finished the Fulbright, I continued traveling and working in that area, and played the drum-kit in a local Kunming punk/rockabilly band through which I got to travel around China and meet lots of interesting folks, performing at festivals, parties and private gigs. Through each of these experiences I was able to access places, explore different traditions, and meet and become good friends with people that I may never have without my Chinese language ability."