Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.



Section Head, 2014-15: Ka F. Wong (Asian Studies), Chinese language and cultural studies

Faculty, 2014-15: Hsiang-Lin Shih (Asian Studies), Chinese language and literature; Zhou Ying (Asian Studies), Chinese language and linguistics

Chinese puts you in touch with 1.3 billion people and with a culture still vital after more than 3,000 years. Already the second-largest economy in the world, with an annual economic growth rate more than double that of the U.S., China is also a nuclear-armed military power playing an increasingly large role in Asia. Our country critically needs proficient speakers of Chinese, not only in government service, but also in business, law, journalism, and technology. But with few exceptions, Americans visit China unable to speak the language. St. Olaf has taught Chinese since 1973 and is one of only a few colleges in the Midwest that offers four years of language study, an active study abroad program, and a broad selection of related courses in art, economics, history, literature, philosophy, and religion.


Since 1984, St. Olaf has had a sister-school relationship with East China Normal University (ECNU), in Shanghai, China, a city that has been the focus of China’s trade and cultural exchange with the West for 150 years. Students with two years of study of Chinese language are encouraged to spend either the fall semester or spring semester on the Term in China program at ECNU.


For information about Chinese language courses, the China studies concentration and the Asian studies major, see ASIAN STUDIES.