The Chinese language is one of the oldest in the world. Modern Chinese is the only language in the world that can trace its writing form to its origins. Today, Chinese is one of the most commonly spoken languages of the world, and one of the six official languages of the United Nations. After China began its openness and reform in the late 1970s, Chinese has become increasingly important in the worldwide process of globalization. In the US, the study of Chinese is entering the curricula of colleges and universities at a fast pace. Despite all this, Chinese language and culture are still among the least known and poorly understood traditions in the West.
The Rhodes Chinese Program is dedicated to helping all interested students learn Chinese and gain knowledge about Chinese culture and society. 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 language, history, thought, literature and film, and prepares students for a lifelong career or graduate work in China-related fields. The program offers a minor in Chinese studies and is also affiliated with the Interdisciplinary Program in Asian Studies.