A focus on Chinese studies as part of an Asian studies major or minor at RMC prepares you with a comprehensive understanding of the second largest economy and population in the world. Pair your study of Chinese language with a more in-depth understanding of Chinese culture and history and more broadly, Asia. The robust Asian studies department at Randolph-Macon College is unusual among schools like RMC, with strong regional partnerships that mean hands-on learning abounds. With a strong understanding of China as part of the Asian continent, you’ll graduate ready to connect east and west and pursue careers in education, international relations, government, business and communications. 

chinese up close In and Beyond the Classroom

Group of RMC students at the Great Wall of China

global education

Asian studies at RMC is a global experience, and faculty will encourage you to study abroad in China and Taiwan to embrace your immersive study of the region. Many students choose a semester or year abroad at international universities like Shanghai University and Providence University (Taiwan), but many others enjoy faculty-led travel programs, like Visual Culture of Taiwan in 2024 (CHIN 281). The J-term study-travel course will examine architecture, art, and religion with an eye toward the island’s indigenous history and the impact of colonialism, migration, and indigenization on Taiwan.

hands-on research

Expand your knowledge further through independent study research guided by an Asian studies faculty mentor. Working with faculty mentor Dr. Laura Jo-Han Wen, students have conducted original research that not only adds to their understanding of Chinese language, culture and history, but better equips them for future career and graduate school opportunities: 

  • Sophia R. Wischnewski, “Female Immigrants and Hybrid Identity in Asian Diasporic Literature” (January 2019) 
  • Kylie Cashwell, “The Portrayal of White Terror in Contemporary Taiwan Cinema” (Spring 2020) 
  • Unity Bowling, “Turning Chaos into Community: Social Media’s Dual Existence and the Evolving Perception of Nonfiction Writing” (Fall 2020) 
  • Alex Kraft, “The Effects of Covid-19 Pandemic on the Asian American Community” (Spring 2021) 
  • McKenzie Hynson, “Public Perception of Air Pollution in Beijing” (Fall 2021) 

advising and mentorship

The Randolph-Macon Asian studies department stands out among small liberal arts colleges for the breadth of its curriculum and the renowned expertise of its faculty fields such as history, literature, religion, culture, and archaeology. Our intimate program is well-suited for students pursuing Chinese study to work closely with faculty to identify and pursue their goals.  

  • 3,000+ years
    Age of Chinese writing, the oldest continuously used system in the world
  • 12
    animals are associated with each year in the Chinese lunar calendar
  • 1.3B
    people in the world who speak Chinese
Traditional Chinese dancer

chinese in full Courses You Won’t Want to Miss

(A very small sample)

CHIN 236

Chinese Popular Culture

Explore Chinese popular culture from the late 19th century to the present, from mainland China to other Chinese communities including Hong Kong, Taiwan, and beyond. Study Chinese culture, identity politics, and globalization through popular literature, film, television, sports, and the internet. 

CHIN 281

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Study the centuries old practice of Chinese medical culture and its goal of preventing and healing disease by maintaining or restoring balance. Learn the concepts of yin and yang, harmony and equilibrium in this exploration of Chinese medicine from its ancient origins to modern day practice.

CHIN 235

Chinese Theatre

Learn classical aesthetics and modern adaptations in Chinese performance art through a variety of theatrical genres, such as puppet theatre, Peking opera, spoken drama, and the experimental stage. Study the recurrent themes of love and redemption; ghosts and immortals; loyalty and sacrifice; and identity and politics in Chinese theatre.

Opportunities Worth Grabbing

Popular activities and programs among Chinese students

Taiwan’s Intercultural Learning (ICL)

From your desk at RMC, you can practice your language skills and share stories when video chatting face-to-face with a Taiwanese student through Taiwan’s virtual language and cultural exchange extracurricular program. For more information, contact Dr. Todd Munson at tmunson@rmc.edu.

Get Ready Discover Chinese at RMC.