Experiences to Enrich Your Life and Career
Learn the most widely-spoken first language in the world while exploring a rich and ancient culture that dates back more than 5,000 years. In UNC’s Chinese minor program, you’ll find many diverse and rewarding opportunities for personal and professional development. You can embark on a life-changing study abroad adventure in China or Taiwan, or teach English in China as part of a paid internship program. You can make and share Asian cuisine, celebrate the Lunar New Year at our annual carnival and banquet, and take part in many other cultural and teaching events on campus and in the community as part of our Chinese Culture Club. You’ll also benefit from extensive engagement with native speakers, including international students from China and Taiwan, as well as the close mentorship and guidance of our award-winning faculty.
Exploring diverse places and cultures
Experience China’s religions and cultures first-hand on a faculty-led study abroad excursion to Xi’an, China. In addition to taking part in an intensive language training program at Shaanxi Normal University (SNNU), you’ll learn about the great philosophical, religious and literary traditions of Asia through your own personal exploration and interaction with locals. Popular sites to visit include the Terra Cotta Soldiers, the Great Mosque, the Temple of the Eight Immortals, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Hua Shan— one of the five sacred Taoist mountains in China.
Michelle Low, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chinese
Michelle Low is an expert in medieval Chinese literature and civilization, with research interests including literature of displacement and war, early historiography and historical poetry from the medieval period of Chinese history. She is a co-founder of the Colorado Chinese Language Teachers Consortium, established the Chinese Language and Asian Studies programs at UNC and has been influential in UNC’s Chinese study abroad program. She holds a Ph.D. in Chinese and Comparative Literature, master's degree in Chinese Language and Literature from the University of Colorado, in Boulder, and a bachelor's degree in Chinese Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
When you minor in Chinese, you’ll be introduced to Chinese culture and civilization, and develop intermediate spoken and written proficiency in Chinese language. You will be prepared to being work, travel or advance to further study in Chinese. The minor requires 18 credits, and coursework for the Chinese minor assumes a proficiency level in Mandarin equivalent to CHIN 102 which can be accomplished through prior coursework or a proficiency test. All language courses to be counted toward the Chinese Minor must be beyond the first year level.
"UNC’s Chinese program opened my eyes to different cultures and taught me to see the world in a new light. I value the close relationships with my professors and fellow students, and the opportunity to study abroad and make new friends overseas. Most of all, the program helped me to find my passions and what I want to do with my life."
- Txouci Vang, Asian Studies, minor in Chinese, 2016
At UNC, you’ll find a supportive learning environment in which you can challenge yourself and excel. Classes explore real-world issues such as the environment, global economy, literature and history all focusing on China. You’ll also benefit from small class sizes that offer rewarding interaction between faculty and students, as well as opportunities to engage with international students from China and Taiwan.
Consider UNC’s minor in Chinese if you want to:
- Speaking, listening, reading and writing in Mandarin Chinese
- Understanding of Chinese literature and culture, and its place in the world
- Critical thinking and independent learning skills
- Chinese for Oral Proficiency
- Introduction to Chinese Civilization
- Readings in Literary Chinese
- Topics in Modern China
- China and the Chinese (I and II)
- Modern Chinese Literature
Whether you’re interested in teaching, or planning to pursue a career in global business, learning the language and culture of China will be an asset in your professional and personal life.
Where can your minor take you?
Many students combine their study of Chinese with professional fields such as business, political science, international trade and relations, economics or anthropology. Possible career paths include international business, world affairs and government, social work and the arts. There is also a strong demand for English teachers in China, and Chinese teachers in America.
If you intend to pursue advanced study, you can move on to graduate programs in Chinese, Asian Studies, Chinese History, International Affairs and other related fields.
UNC’s professors are both caring, dedicated educators and accomplished researchers in their fields of study. Current projects in Chinese language studies include:
Traditional Chinese Tales of Swordswomen
Michelle Low, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chinese
Michelle Low, Ph.D., examines fictional stories of swordswomen – women with martial arts skills and seemingly magical abilities to fight – from Tang (618-908) dynasty through the Qing (1644-1911) dynasty and looks at the place these stories have in traditional Chinese society, as well as how they have influenced popular arts and film today. In one study, the swordswomen seek retribution for injustices done to their families out of a sense of filial piety, and dedicate their lives to getting revenge. Because their motivation is of high moral standards, upholding the family unit, these women seem to have been granted supernatural abilities to fight and defeat their enemies. These stories also seem to fulfill a need in society to provide satisfying resolutions to common societal problems such as dealing with corrupt officials. By examining and analyzing these stories – many of which have never been translated into English – it gives insight into ideas of morality and ethics in traditional China, and shows values that carry over into modern Chinese culture today.
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