Why Study Chinese at K?

Immersive study abroad opportunities, small class sizes, and engaging courses make K an excellent school to study Chinese. 

K students posing while abroad in China

Housed within the East Asian Studies Department, The Chinese minor exposes you to the language, literature, and culture of historical and modern China. By looking at Chinese literature and other cultural products through historical, social and political lenses, you will gain a sense of China’s global influence. 

Your studies will be split between Chinese language classes—from beginner to advanced—and Chinese culture courses taught in English, such as Women in China, China from the Borders, Chinese Sci-Fi, and The Past in Contemporary China. 

You are encouraged to apply your studies and take advantage of K’s renowned study abroad program, with opportunities to live in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Harbin and Taiwan, for three to nine months. 

Your in-depth studies will prepare you with tangible language, global awareness, and critical thinking skills to jumpstart your post-K career. Our alumni have leveraged their Chinese minor in international relations, education, and business careers—many of whom choose to live and work in China. 

Note: Students can only Minor in Chinese; if they choose to continue their studies, they can major in East Asian Studies. However, due to the significant overlap in their programs, a student cannot major in East Asian Studies and minor in Chinese or Japanese. 

What can you do with a Chinese minor?

Below are some of the careers, employers, and graduate schools of our Chinese alumni.


  • English/Chinese Teacher
  • Software Engineer
  • Attorney


  • Fulbright
  • IBM
  • University of Michigan

Graduate Schools

  • Capital Normal University, Beijing
  • John Hopkins University
  • George Washington University

Program Spotlights

Shanghai skyline at night

Experience the Breadth of Chinese Culture by Studying Abroad

While you may choose from any of the College’s 50+ study abroad programs, Chinese minors can advance their studies through five study abroad offerings—for two to three terms—in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Harbin, or Taiwan. These five distinct cities represent the diversity of modern-day China: Explore the capital and all of its rich history in Beijing, live in the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, take advantage of all Shanghai has to offer, experience the world-famous Ice Festival in Harbin, or visit the National Palace Museum in Taiwan.

four K students eating homemade onigiri

Celebrate the Lunar New Year 

the students with whom you advance through your courses and the professors who go out of their way to offer personalized mentorship. This camaraderie is exemplified by the department’s annual Lunar New Year celebration, where everyone comes together to usher in a year of happiness and prosperity through an evening filled with food, music and conversation.

Meet the Current Departmental Student Advisor

Zoe Gurney

Zoe Gurney (She/Her)

Major: Economics

Minors: Chinese and Math

Concentration: Community and Global Health

What is the best thing about being part of this department?

All the professors in this department are so friendly and passionate about what they teach.

What has been your favorite class at K? Why?

My favorite class at K has been Dr. Leihua Weng’s CHIN-300 Advanced Chinese class. I’ve taken the class twice already and will take the class for a third time in Fall 2022 since this class can be retaken up to three times for credit. Dr. Weng is such a kind, considerate, passionate professor who is genuinely interested in her students and conveying knowledge.

How have you taken advantage of the open curriculum or experienced breadth in your education?

The open curriculum allows me to take classes that I am interested in across a variety of fields rather than be forced to endure general education classes that have nothing to do with my personal or academic interests. This allows me to play to my strengths and be my best rather than someone else’s best.

What is your Senior Integrated Project [SIP]?
I am expanding a course paper I completed in the Winter of 2022 from ECON-360 Econometrics. My paper investigates the impacts the One-Child Policy had on Chinese population trends from the 1960 until 2010 to observe the degree of “success” the policy had on controlling (e.g., decreases in fertility rate and birth rate), as well as any unintended consequences the policy led to, such as sex selection with a preference for male over female children, increased migration from rural to urban population, and an increase in the age-dependency ratio of elderly people.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?

After graduating from K, I plan on pursuing an M.S. in Biostatistics. I apply to grad schools this fall and await to see where I’ll be in the future.

Chinese Department News