CLS Chinese 中文

The Chinese Language

Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken first language in the world, boasting almost 900 million native speakers and over a billion speakers in total! Dating back thousands of years, the Chinese language reflects a rich history of cultural traditions and encompasses a vast diversity of people, places, and perspectives. The Chinese language itself is various, featuring many mutually unintelligible regional dialects and variations, although Mandarin has been adopted as a de facto standard.

It's easy to see why Chinese is in such high demand, with booming economies all over the world in locations such as Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and of course China, all featuring Mandarin Chinese as a key component. As technology continues to connect the East and the West, more Americans are learning Chinese in order to engage effectively in the global marketplace and pursue international careers in diverse fields such as archaeology, finance, sociology, and medicine. The CLS Program teaches students Mandarin Chinese, while providing opportunities for students to engage with China's diverse local culture.

Program Sites


Featured Alumni Profiles

Aaron Yang
Chinese 2017
Changchun, China
Leisha Guzman Torres
Chinese 2017
Suzhou, China
Wendy van Giezen
Chinese 2017
Changchun, China
Anesce Dremen
Chinese 2016
Suzhou, China

Chinese Stories

Reading Louis Cha's "The Eagle Shooting Heroes"

By Benjamin Reitz (Qingdao, China ’13)My first point of contact with Chinese culture was watching Bruce Lee use kung fu to crush the evil man with the metal claw in the Hong Kong/Hollywood mixer Enter the Dragon. I instantly became a big fan of Bruce... Read more

Project Pengyou: Inaugural Leadership Summit

By Mack Lorden (Qingdao, China ’13)Studying abroad in China changed my life.My first time outside of the U.S., I went to a country with a culture so very different from my own that I had no idea what to expect. However, upon landing halfway around th... Read more