Why study Chinese? Because China's cultural and economic dynamics have made China one of the fastest-growing countries in the world. China is playing an increasingly important role in world politics and economics.
More people speak Chinese than any other language. Chinese culture is one of the most ancient cultures in the world. While other ancient civilizations have declined, Chinese civilization has continued to evolve for thousands of years to the present day. Today, after over 30 years of massive and concerted economic reforms, China has quickly become the world’s second-largest economy. It is also the second-largest recipient of Foreign Director Investment (FDI), with the US being its top trading partner.
As China's political and economic influence grows, interest in studying Chinese language and culture has also drastically increased, both in the United States and in other parts of the world. Chinese has been increasingly considered a “must” learn foreign language since the U.S. government identified it as a "strategic language" several years ago.
Our Chinese program is designed to meet the rapidly growing interest in China and Chinese culture. We offer a wide range of courses in Chinese language, culture, literature and film. We offer a major and a minor in Chinese Language and Culture. Our major program attracts many students to W&M and serves students well as they prepare to embark on a career that relates to China.