Chinese

Chinese (Mandarin) Summer Program

The Chinese summer program aims to enhance students’ ability to communicate with confidence in the target language. The program increases students’ Chinese language proficiency through intensive in-class language instruction, cultural presentations and activities, and host family stays. Volunteer service activities with community-focused organizations and cultural activities such as cooking, Chinese arts and crafts, and martial arts classes complement classroom learning and provide students with diverse opportunities to practice their language skills.

Program Location: China, Taiwan
Accommodations: Host families or a combination of group housing and host family stays

Why Chinese (Mandarin)? Learning Chinese can expand career opportunities. “A seminal study of languages in the U.S. jobs market found that Chinese is not only the most-requested language after Spanish by employers, but the language that has experienced the greatest growth in demand.” Read more!

Good to know: Most people in China can speak putonghua or "standard Mandarin" and can usually speak their local dialect. Some ethnic minorities may be able to speak putonghua, their local dialect, and their indigenous language. There are over 200 living languages in China. Ask your host family what other languages they speak!

Chinese (Mandarin) Academic Year Program

Chinese-1._Taiwan

The Chinese academic year program aims to enhance student’s ability to communicate with confidence in the target language. The program provides intensive in-class language instruction (at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels) and host family stays. Volunteer service activities with community-focused organizations, cultural classes such as calligraphy, tai-chi, kung-fu, and Chinese chess, and local excursions to cultural and historic sites complement classroom learning and provide students with diverse opportunities to practice their language skills.

Possible Program Locations: ChinaTaiwan
Program Dates: Late August to June
Accommodations: Host families or a combination of dormitory housing and host family stays

Why Chinese (Mandarin)? “Mandarin is currently spoken by nearly one-fifth of the world’s population. Mandarin speakers can be found in Mainland China, Taiwan, and diasporic Chinese communities throughout Southeast Asia, North and South America, and Europe. Because China is of one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, Chinese is also an official UN language (along with Arabic, English, French, Russian, and Spanish).” Read more!

Good to know: Chinese academic year participants will have the chance to celebrate Chinese New Year. Celebrations typically involve family, fireworks, and a traditional dinner of dumplings and fish.

Fun fact! Chinese is the world’s longest continuously-used written language. The first account of written Chinese was found in oracle bone inscriptions carved on tortoise shells and mammal bones during the Shang dynasty (c 1600-1100 BCE).

Learn more about China and Taiwan!


Explore multimedia stories about NSLI-Y Chinese summer and academic year programs on NSLI-Y Interactive!


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