Dare Norman, a sophomore in the Chinese Flagship Program at WKU, recently addressed her peers and professors in Mandarin, while they ate Chinese food and discussed integrating the Chinese Flagship Program with the Confucius Institute.
Norman, a Musical Theater major from Bowling Green, spoke about her trip to China. This study abroad experience is just one of numerous opportunities offered by the Chinese Flagship Program.
Established in 2009, the program is one of nine of its kind in the country. Newly admitted Honors College students who are accepted to the program receive four years of Chinese study through an accelerated program. Students have Chinese class five days a week and weekly private tutoring with a native speaker in addition to their regular classes at WKU.
Program coordinator Melinda Edgerton emphasized that the Flagship program works with the students’ work in their chosen major. The goal of the program is providing students with a superior level of professional proficiency. Students end the program with a Capstone Year in China, which includes an internship in their discipline.
Edgerton said that students could theoretically work in their discipline in China after graduation. She also added, “If you’re going to be working in the U.S., knowledge of other languages and cultures is important.”
Norman agreed and said her time in the program has been a good experience. “China has been a misunderstood, miscommunicated culture,” she said. The Flagship program has allowed her to think in new ways and understand the Chinese culture better, including what makes it different from the United States.
Students interested in the Chinese Flagship Program can contact Edgerton for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org. No prior knowledge of Chinese is necessary.
Arete contribution submitted by Kali O’Rourke