The rising economic and political importance of China is fueling interest in the study of Chinese language, history and culture. As the official language of China and Taiwan, and an official language of Singapore and the United Nations, Mandarin is spoken by over a billion people. According to the Los Angeles Times, enrollment in Chinese language studies has skyrocketed over 8,000% nationally in the last 30 years. In fact, according to the U.S. Government, Mandarin is one of the critical languages for trade, security and diplomacy.
USC Dornsife’s Chinese language program aims to equip students with communicative, literary and cultural competency. Students gain these skills by studying conversational Chinese in our introductory level courses and by deeply examining stimulating issues such as the environment, public health, economics, politics and diplomacy at our advanced level. Whether students major in the humanities, the sciences or the professional schools, studying Chinese provides them with unique cultural insights on their subjects of study and affords them opportunities for cultural exchange, jobs and a well-rounded global perspective.
- As the capital of the world’s most populous nation, Beijing is at the center of much of what happens in China. Beijing reflects China’s long and evolving history when different dynasties based here constructed some of the nation’s most well-known and culturally important sites such as the Great Wall and the Summer Palace. In addition to being the political and cultural center of China, Beijing is known as the birthplace of Chinese cinema and modern art.
- Shanghai, home to more than 23 million people, has seen massive development over the last two decades. The facades of the international trading and banking firms that dominated the skyline along the Bund in their heyday of the 1920’s are now dwarfed by the 21st-century skyscrapers. As a business hub for China and East Asia, Shanghai draws migrants from all parts of China and is a regional base for many multinational firms. The rich culture of Shanghai includes a wealth of museums, performing arts venues, and delicious cuisine. This region of China boasts attractions such as the famous Buddhist temples on Pu Tuo Shan Island, the Yellow Mountains, the tea gardens of Suzhou, and Hangzhou’s West Lake.
- Taipei is home to around 2.6 million residents, and roughly 7 million people live in the greater Taipei-Keelung metro area. Locals embrace both traditional culture and the evolving modern culture with its democratic institutions. The city’s subway system makes it easy to navigate the city, which offers a wealth of cultural and recreational activities as well as restaurants and night markets serving up all kinds of delicacies. A bullet train whisks riders from the north to south of the island in less than two hours, and thanks to the island’s topography, one can trek deep into the mountains, visit secluded temples and teahouses, and marvel at the river-cut gorges and seascapes of the east coast.
If you have any questions regarding the program, please contact the Chinese Program Director, Yi-Hsien Liu, at email@example.com.