Blur of Williams Science Building

One fifth of the planet speaks Chinese. Japan has the third largest economy in the world. These facts alone transmit the abundance of options for those who learn the Chinese or Japanese languages and explore the rich cultural heritage of these countries.

This knowledge is a passport to opens the door to a world of opportunity, and our graduates work as teachers, translators, government policy analysts and businesspeople. UVM students who major in Chinese or Japanese graduate equipped with a broad range of transferable skills enabling them to succeed in any profession.

  • meg p asian uvm

    Meg (MacDonald) Pechenick ’06: Path to a Profession

    "I had already studied Chinese for a year when I arrived at UVM in 2002 as an undeclared freshman. Over the next couple of years, I continued to study Chinese and enrolled in classes related to Asian art, history, and philosophy, making Asian studies a natural choice for my major. After spending seven transformative months studying abroad in Kunming in 2004, I knew I wanted to return to China after graduation. In 2006, I moved with my fellow UVM alumnus and now husband Dov Pechenick to Shenzhen, where we spent a year teaching English at a Chinese boarding school and traveling throughout China . . . I realized during my year in Shenzhen that I preferred tutoring my fellow American English teachers in Chinese, so I returned to the U.S. in 2007 to pursue a master’s degree in teaching Chinese as a foreign language at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in California. I graduated from MIIS in 2009 and in 2010 I was offered a position at New Hampton School, a small boarding school in central New Hampshire where I am teaching high school Chinese levels 1 through 5."

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Learning Outcomes

Speaking/Listening: Understand spoken Chinese/Japanese and express your opinion concerning a variety of social topics

Reading: Read and comprehend written texts in Chinese/Japanese from a variety of forms and contexts (e.g., newspapers, essay collections, novels)

Writing: Express own thoughts and summarize readings in your own words in written Chinese/Japanese

Literature: Analyze and interpret works of Chinese/Japanese poetry, prose, and drama, read both in translation and in the original language


  • Teaching English in China/Japan
  • Teaching Chinese/Japanese in the U.S.
  • Government Services
  • Translator/Interpreter
  • International business