View from ECNU in Shanghai, China. Photo by R. Auethavornpipat (MA 2013)

View from ECNU in Shanghai, China. Photo by R. Auethavornpipat (MA 2013)

View of the Bund area in Shanghai

A view of the waterfront area known as the Bund in Central Shanghai, China from an observation deck of the Oriental Pearl Radio and TV Tower.

Chinese language studies at the University of Victoria offer language instruction at all levels of Modern Standard Chinese (Mandarin), the national language of China, Taiwan, and Singapore. Language courses are divided into two streams, one for fluent speakers and one for students whose first language is English or another non-Chinese language. See below on selecting language courses.

Guidelines for registering in the Chinese language courses

Students are responsible for registering in a course appropriate for their level. Since the program cannot guarantee space in any given course, if you need to change courses later on because the instructor determines the one you're in isn't suitable for your ability, you may discover your choices are already full. Thus, it is very IMPORTANT for students to read the following information and find their best class.

What course to select is not always obvious from the formal course descriptions in the University calendar. The following material is intended to make the process clearer. We offer four different sorts of courses:

1. Courses intended for fluent speakers.
2. Courses intended for non-fluent speakers.
3. Courses requiring knowledge of Chinese but open to both fluent and non-fluent speakers with differing prerequisites.
4. Courses for which no knowledge of Chinese language is required.

These are listed separately below. 

1. Courses intended for fluent speakers: PAAS 152, 353, 410, 420, 457, 458, 497 (if the topic is related to the Chinese language),
2. Sequential courses intended for non-fluent speakers: PAAS 118, 218, 318, 411/412/413
3. Courses open to fluent and non-fluent speakers with differing prerequisites PAAS 312, 418, 459, 496
4. Courses not requiring knowledge of Chinese language and open to all students PAAS 150, 151, 279, 354, 355, 356, 357, 358, 455, 456

Fluent speaker:

The department defines "fluent speakers" as those who are fluent speakers of any form of the Chinese language and who are also able to read at least simple materials (i.e., at the middle school level) written in the Chinese script.

Note that lower level courses intended for non-fluent speakers are sequential. That is, students may not take simultaneously two courses from the same list; nor may they take an earlier course in a list once they have credit in a later one. If you are in any doubt as to whether you are a fluent-speaker or a non-fluent speaker or which non-fluent speakers’ language course you should take, please consult the Chinese Language coordinator as early as possible. It is very important to register in the right courses during the Web-Registration period, because many courses, especially those open to fluent speakers, fill up early and it is often impossible to find empty space in an appropriate course after classes start. The Department checks course registrations carefully just before classes begin and identifies students who are inappropriately registered. Students will not be allowed to register or remain in an inappropriate course even if there is no space available in the course to which they belong.

Note as well that all courses in the Department of Pacific and Asian Studies numbered 300 and above, including Chinese language courses, have satisfaction of the University's English Language Requirement as a prerequisite.

ECNU exchange program (East China Normal University)

Location Shanghai, China
Length of study One academic year (September to July of the next year)
Application deadline The end of January every year
Eligibility   UVic students who have commenced their study of Chinese
Financial Support Tuition, accommodation, and modest monthly allowance
What is not covered Airfare, visa application fee, and some administrative costs
Number of scholarships Three

Application procedure:

1.  Submit an application to the department office.  The Application should include a cover letter, a brief resume and the names of two people who can be contacted for references.
2. Go through a face-to face interview.

NSYSU summer exchange program (National Sun Yat-sen University)

Location Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Length of study 4-6 weeks
Application deadline Spring term of every year (announced in class)
Eligibility UVic students who have commenced their study of Chinese
Financial support Eligible for TECO MOE Award (US$500) (Taipei Economic and Cultural Office - Ministry of Education)
What is not covered Airfare, accommodation
Number of scholarships No limit

Application procedure: 

Apply to the Chinese Language Placement Coordinator

Chinese Language Placement Coordinator: Dr. Ben Pin-Yun Wang