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Chinese at UNC

xian china

Program Overview

The Chinese Program stresses acquisition of the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing in Mandarin Chinese. Classes are performance-oriented, geared toward oral and written proficiency in Chinese, and taught in Chinese. Students develop critical thinking and independent learning skills as they acquire familiarity with traditional and modern Chinese language, literature, culture, and civilization. 

Extra-curricular activities such as Chinese Culture Club encourage cultural awareness and promote organizational and leadership skills. Students can study elementary through advanced levels of Chinese and can supplement their coursework with several exchange and study-abroad opportunities. Students can apply coursework in Chinese to majors in Asian Studies or International Affairs, or to minors in Chinese or Asian Studies. Graduates can pursue internships abroad to continue improving language skills and gain experience in areas such as business, education, or government work.

Students completing advanced level work in Chinese can pursue graduate study in Chinese, Asian Studies, Chinese History, International Affairs, or other related fields. Students who combine their language study with other fields such as business, political science, international trade and relations, economics, or anthropology, can become involved in careers in international business, world affairs and government, social work, or the arts.

UNC chinese program

UNC Chinese language program

UNC chinese program

UNC Chinese language program

Opportunities in UNC's Chinese Program

Chinese Culture Club

The Chinese Culture Club offers options to have fun and celebrate Chinese culture. The club is active in organizing the UNC Lunar New Year Celebration, and participates in campus-wide activities such as the annual Taste of APASS.

Learn More about Chinese Culture Club

Study Abroad

There is no better way to become proficient in a language than to live within the culture. UNC offers a variety of options, including exchanges at Shaanxi Normal University and National Taiwan Normal University.

Learn more about Study Abroad

Student Testimonials

Alicia Marie Fawcett, BA in International Studies and Economics; minors in Chinese and Asian Studies

“The Chinese minor at UNC opens your eyes, mind and swinging doors to a wonderful world of opportunity after graduation. Not only does this minor solidify your knowledge in the Mandarin language, it also provides a genuinely well-rounded, unique and eclectic mixture of courses to indulge in. These lively courses creatively hit hot, important topical content through the form of old and new Chinese literature and modern economic and political events, whilst furthering linguistic agility. Even more, reading interesting short stories about funny emperors, wise poems of Confucius and the rise/fall of dynastic cycles will hardly feel like school work.

UNC provides a conductive environment and platform for Chinese language learning with an array of versatile opportunities. These conducive opportunities include: one on one language lessons, trips abroad to China or Taiwan and of course access to the most student friendly and attentive teacher at UNC. Overall, the Chinese minor at UNC made me a competitive candidate for a successful internship at the U.S. State Department in China and helped me stand out in applications for graduate school. I even carried away the knowledge from the Chinese minor over into my dissertation. Most of my fellow Chinese minor colleagues continued on with Chinese, implementing their experience far into their careers. The Chinese minor at UNC is worth investing your time, sweat and dumplings in, I would do over again in a heartbeat.”

Marcia Penuelas, BA in International Affairs; minor in Chinese

"Learning Chinese at UNC was by far the highlight of my college experience. I got to work with amazing teachers that made the classes both fun and exciting. Within a short period of time, I even felt comfortable enough with my Chinese skills to travel to Taiwan and take courses. With this new language skill in hand, I cannot wait to see where life takes me next!"


"I am a music major with a Chinese minor. Although my Chinese minor is very different from my major, it has already proven extremely beneficial to my life. I stand out to students and teachers in my major, and I am able to talk to Chinese foreign exchange students in the music program. Taking Chinese has easily been one of the greatest experiences I've had here at UNC- the Chinese professors are incredible, I have made wonderful friends through the program, and I know that fluency in Chinese will set me apart in whatever field I choose to go into. I highly recommend picking up a Chinese minor...you will be glad you did!"

Matt Siegel, BA in Asian Studies; minor in Chinese

"I took Chinese from this awesome teacher. She pushed you and made you go insane sometimes but it was totally worth it. In the end, I learned Chinese and am a better person for it. Oh and the teacher was awesome and made learning a tough language fun."


"Explore culture and history with an Asian Studies and Chinese minor at UNC! When I began my journey, it started out as a way for me to learn to communicate with my Grandma who speaks little English. Through my minors I discovered more than language and culture, I was enlightened by the beauty of Chinese literature and texts as well as history and customs. I found a deeper connection to my own ancestry and a new outlook on life."