Welcome to Chinese at Elon

There are nearly one billion native Mandarin Chinese speakers in the world; most of whom are living in China, but also in Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. China currently is the world’s largest population, second largest economy and third largest country by landmass. Due to China’s population and unprecedented economic growth, it has become a central player in international affairs over the past decade.

In addition to being essential in international relations, China offers a business frontier full of opportunities. According to Bloomberg, after English, Chinese is the rated the most useful language for business. For anyone wishing to work in business, skills in Mandarin are highly beneficial. Most multinational corporations have major offices in China and many smaller businesses capitalize on the comparative advantage of using Chinese manufacturing.

In addition to being an integral player in the business world, Chinese culture and politics are also rising in importance. China has over 4,000 years of history, art and culture, making it one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Its recent social upheaval brought upon by the rapid economic growth offers interesting topics for scholars, such as state control vs. market economies, development vs. environment, traditional values vs. western influence, and creates opportunities for students to gain insight into the world.

The study of Mandarin Chinese is vital to success in a career dealing with Chinese politics, economics, business or culture. The State Department has deemed Mandarin Chinese a critical language to the national well-being of the United States; thus, mastering this complex language is an advantage in almost any field. In addition to scholarship opportunities, Mandarin Chinese skills can be used for Federal government (State Department), intelligence (CIA, FBI), international organizations (WTO, World Bank) and numerous private sector careers.

We hope all students will partake in Elon’s Chinese language and cultural studies along with study-abroad programs. For more information about the program, including how to take the placement exam, contact the department at (336) 278-5620 or contact Professor Binnan Gao at bgao@elon.edu.