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Augustana offers a 20-credit minor in Chinese, and a related major in Asian studies.


About the program

The opportunity to learn more about one of the world's richest cultures may be reason enough to study Mandarin (Chinese), but considering that it is the language of the largest market on earth, such study becomes an even better career move.

Augustana is one of the few colleges in the country offering four years of Chinese language courses in addition to Chinese culture and calligraphy. The goal is to help students reach proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Augustana is a founding member of AsiaNetwork, and was among the first U.S. colleges to re-establish ties with China in the 1970s. The curriculum include opportunities to spend a semester abroad, including:
• an internship and study program on the campus of East China Normal University in Shanghai,
• a semester of language immersion or business and social science studies at Peking University in Beijing, and
• a semester exchange program with Lingnan University in Hong Kong.

Augustana’s student and faculty exchange program with Huazhong Normal University in China, begun in 1988, allows seniors or recent graduates to study Mandarin Chinese and teach English for one year on the campus in Wuhan. 

Augustana also offers an annual exchange program with Lingnan University in Hong Kong.

Recent graduates

Here is a list of recent Augustana students who graduated with a minor in Chinese:

Camilo Duarte ’17 is a global brand strategist at OMMA International, Atlanta, Georgia.

Aubrey Waddick '16 is pursing a Ph.D. in international relations at Penn State University.

Kendall Maduro '16 is a business analyst at SAP Fieldglass in Chicago.

Emily Stanevicius ’16 is teaching English at Central China Normal University as a foreign expert.

Abby Lange '15 is the director of Herng Shan Co. Ltd. In Taipei. She is in charge of Business Development, which includes medicine import, contract negotiation, and translations.

What alumni say

Zach Stanphill '18, Chinese and history
I fell in love with the campus and connected with coaches and faculty during my visits. Additionally, the opportunity to travel abroad with the help of Augie Choice influenced my decision.

My favorite memories come from my time in East Asia. Exploring ancient Japanese temples, falling down Mt. Fuji, stumbling through the streets of Tokyo, climbing waterfalls in Hong Kong…

I never thought I’d study history or Chinese, referee basketball and play rugby, or travel through multiple Asian countries and even do research alone in Hong Kong.

Aubrey Waddick '16, economics, French, political science and Chinese
When I was a first-year student, I never imagined I would be traveling to China...twice. From the Great Wall to Guilin, I was captivated by the Middle Kingdom's profound history and culture. Eager to learn more, I enrolled in Chinese courses at Augustana, and absolutely fell in love.

For students of Chinese, learning goes beyond just grammar and pronunciation. You delve into China's unique culture, heritage, literature and art. I've celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival, cooked my own dumplings, and learned to play mah-jong alongside my fellow students and friends...I'm already reading full-length books and even plan to study Chinese in graduate school.

Thanks to Augustana's amazing Chinese language program, I have expanded my intellectual horizons while gaining an appreciation for a new and captivating world view.

John D'Aversa '15, Asian studies, theatre arts and Chinese
In my time at Augustana college, I committed all but my last term of school to the Chinese department. I was originally interested in the language because it was an exotic language I had never studied before. Eastern languages had always fascinated me and this was my chance to learn something new and interesting. The professors are the gems of the program, completely invested in their students, ready to answer any questions and help in any way they can to assist in a student's learning.

Through my time in Chinese, I gained not only fundamental vocabulary and phrases, but I learned social norms that are very different from our own; basic methods of thinking that are a brand new perspective. On top of all these wonderful experiences, I keep in contact with the Chinese professors to this day, as they are truly invested in their student's success.

Abby Lange '15, Asian studies, international business and Chinese
I spent my junior year studying Chinese at National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, and it would not have been possible without the instruction and support of the two fantastic professors in the Chinese department. One of the best things about Augustana is its small class sizes; Dr. Ma and Professor Chang gave a huge amount of individual attention to each of their students and are invested in the success of everyone in their classes. I took an Independent Study with Dr. Ma my senior year, and the amount of preparation she did for every class, even with her busy schedule, showed me how much she cares about her students. When I was preparing to study abroad, Professor Chang helped me choose a school and department...and gave me great advice about what it was going be like to live and study in Taiwan.

Augustana is one of very few schools to offer a four-year Mandarin program, but what truly makes Augustana's Chinese department special is its teachers. The professors work hard to bring the language out of the classroom and into the real world by having mah-jong tournaments, field trips to Chinatown, and classes where students get to learn songs like "I Want It That Way" in Chinese and make up their own choreography. My favorite part of classes was always how much fun we got to have while learning. Learning Chinese at Augustana was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Jessica Lange (left) and Elizabeth Alsup (right)

Roommates from Hunan were meant to be

Elizabeth Alsup and Jessica Lange will share a room in Westerlin Residence Center this year, but they share more than that. Both were adopted from China, from the same province of Hunan.