Chinese is spoken by nearly 1.2 billion people across the world, and it is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. After China began its economic reform in the late 1970s, Chinese has become increasingly important in the worldwide process of globalization. Learning Chinese will not only prepare students for a lifelong career in China-related fields, but also will shape students into responsible and thoughtful global citizens who are ready to meet the challenges of the world.
The Rhodes Chinese Program is dedicated to helping all interested students learn Chinese language and culture. As an interdisciplinary program, it provides a curriculum that teaches mandarin Chinese from elementary to advanced levels, introduces students to the richness and breadth of Chinese history, literature, religion, politics, media and contemporary Chinese society.
The program offers both a major and a minor in Chinese Studies and is also affiliated with the Department of History, the Department of International Studies, the Department of Religious Studies, and the Interdisciplinary Programs in Asian Studies and Urban Studies.
Thakkar-Freeman Chinese Studies Award
Every year, a Chinese Studies award established with funds donated by the Universal Foundry & Machine Works, Inc. and Freeman Family Foundation will be given to a Rhodes student who minors in Chinese studies. A Rhodes student who wishes to be considered for the Thakkar-Freeman Chinese Studies Award must meet the following requirements:
- He or she has already declared a minor in Chinese studies;
- The minimum GPA for all the courses taken at the college is 3.5;
- He or she has already fulfilled two thirds of the requirements for the minor, that is, two years of Chinese language and three courses of Chinese culture;
- The GPA for Chinese studies courses already taken is 3.6 or above;
- He or she has actively participated and played a key role in extracurricular activities organized by the Chinese program.
Recipients of the Thakkar-Freeman Chinese Studies Award
2013: Brian Tchang (’14 Commerce and Business)
2014: Abby Smith (’15 Chinese Studies, English)
2015: David Klemperer (’15 International Studies)
2016: Tiana Winstead (’16 International Studies & Political Science)
2017: Kelsey Sweeney (’17 Chinese Studies, Economics & International Studies)
2018: Benjamin Tracy (’19 Chinese Studies, International Studies)
2019: Austin Schmude (’20 Chinese Studies, International Studies)
2020: Jacob Dill (’21 International Studies)
2021: Evan Wellbrock (’21 Chinese Studies, International Studies)
2022: Anne Entz (’23 Chinese Studies, Economics & International Studies)
The Li Xiuying Memorial Award for Chinese Language Excellence
Every year, a Chinese Language award established with funds donated by Professor Han Li and Professor Stephen Ceccoli (International Studies) in memory of Professor Han Li’ mother, Li Xiuying (1950-2017), will be given to a Rhodes student who has demonstrated a record of Chinese language excellence at elementary and/or intermediate level. Candidates for The Li Xiuying Memorial Award must meet the following requirements:
- He or she has demonstrated a record of Chinese language excellence at elementary and/or intermediate level and great enthusiasm for the study of Chinese culture;
- The minimum GPA for all the courses taken at the college is 3.0;
- The GPA for Chinese language courses already taken is 3.5 or above.
Recipients of the Li Xiuying Memorial Award of Chinese Excellence:
2019: Timothy Brahm (’21 Computer Science)
2020: Anne Entz (’23 Chinese Studies, Economics & International Studies)
2021: Ashleyanne Wade (’23 Chinese Studies, Art)
2022: Gwen Williams (’24 History)
Maymester in China
The faculty-led “Maymester in China program” is a partnership between the Chinese Studies program at Rhodes College and Tianjin Foreign Studies University (TFSU) in Tianjin, China. With a population of over 15.5 million, the northeastern Chinese city of Tianjin is the fourth largest city in China and one of the country’s four municipalities (in addition to Beijing, Shanghai, and Chongqing). Geographically, Tianjin is approximately 70 miles southeast of Beijing and the two cities are connected by a convenient high-speed train. Economically, Tianjin is mainly known as a port city situated on the Bohai Bay and Hai River. Due to its location on the coast, Tianjin has a significant international presence, which includes firms such as Microsoft, Airbus, John Deere, and others.
The four-week summer program includes immersion Chinese language class, individual or small group tutoring, workshops on various aspects of Chinese culture, such as calligraphy, martial arts, Chinese opera and theater, seminars on international business in China, site visits to several multinational industrial facilities in the Tianjin area, and group excursions in Tianjin and Beijing.
Rhodes requires every graduate to have developed intermediate proficiency in a second language, and we want to place you in the appropriate level if you are continuing with a language you have already studied.