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Academic Program

The academic program at the China Center is designed to take full advantage of both our location at the heart of the dynamic change transforming China and our institutional partnership with a leading Chinese university. We encourage our students to enter as fully as possible into their positions as official, card-carrying members of the academic community at Zhejiang University (Zheda), and to go beyond the group of international students to connect with local peer groups. Courses in Mandarin Chinese constitute both a significant portion of the class schedule, and the source of the skill most necessary to have any success in resolving the various conflicting social forces into a picture of what is happening in today’s China: communication. Language study is not only a practical necessity to get a personal connection to life in Hangzhou; studying Chinese provides a window into an alternate worldview—from the construction of sentences to the makeup of characters to the choice of informal terms, slang, and specialized vocabulary. Mandarin Chinese courses make up 14 of the 32 credits in the standard academic program.

An equally important part of the academic program is the English-language instruction courses offered independently by the China Center. While Chinese classes will fill most mornings, the afternoons are given over to Center classes dedicated to giving students the context (historical, sociological, etc.) and the means to express their ideas (essays, papers, presentations, qualitative research) about Chinese culture. Regardless of background, all instructors are committed to the LIU Global experiential learning model, and to helping students develop and apply increasingly sophisticated paradigms of investigation in understanding the Chinese society in which they are living. In comparison to many of the international students on campus, who may have few commitments outside of the language classes, LIU Global students have an extremely challenging schedule from an academic perspective. By the end of the spring semester, however, when students are completing self-designed qualitative research projects that employ all the tools they have been developing during the year, they see that all the hard work was both necessary and worthwhile.

Courses (credits):

Mandarin Chinese 6-8
China in Film and Literature  3
Modern Chinese History 3
Ethnic Minority Studies 3
Chinese Cultural Studies 3
Directed Independent Study 1-3
Chinese Martial Arts (Tai Chi) 1