On Learning Mandarin Chinese...
Many Americans think learning Chinese would be extremely difficult, if not impossible. However, Chinese grammar is much simpler than English and Romance languages (e.g. Spanish and French): there are no verb conjugations or tense changes! The classes are also structured in such a way as to combine reading, writing, and speaking Chinese, creating an easier learning process. Becoming fluent in Chinese may be difficult, but learning Chinese is not.
What is the cost of the trip?
The Kirk Scholarship covers 4 credits of tuition for the summer immersion abroad experience. Students are responsible for contributing to the expenses of the travel. In China, students are responsible for independent transportation during free time, as well as for some meals, tips, and souvenirs.
How can the program fit into my degree?
Three semesters of Chinese credits can count toward your Bachelor of Arts foreign language requirement or any of the first four semesters can count toward the Core Curriculum under College Core B Foreign Languages. Many students complete their Mandarin Chinese Minor and/or International Studies Minor! For more information about the Chinese minor, please contact Dr. Philip Sweet, Chair of the Foreign Language Department at 831-5120, for more information.
Do you have what it takes to be a Kirk Scholar?
We are looking for a diverse group of students to travel to China each year. We want students from a variety of majors with a variety of extracurricular involvement. To be eligible, students must have at least a 3.0 GPA. It is an honor to be a part of the Zylphia Shu-En Kirk Scholars Program. Successful applicants have high GPA’s and submit essays that tie their desire to learn Mandarin to their studies or their future career plans. Serious consideration for selection of Kirk Scholar Candidates will include academic qualities and what language study means to the applicant.
Upon selection, students must commit to studying Mandarin on campus for four semesters prior to departure, receive at least a "B" in their Chinese courses, participate in opportunities outside of class to practice the language with the instructor and one another, and show leadership in the promotion of such cultural campus activities such as the annual Mid-Autumn Festival and Chinese New Year celebrations on-campus and the local community.
Selected students must also be able to commit to the travel component of the trip taking place in between June and July for the summer travel and study in China program.