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Chinese

Chinese is critical to a wide range of professions and interests, and your courses aim to prepare you for any opportunity. You will study the region’s changing identity and China’s literature and culture. You may decide to study in Beijing with the rigorous Associated Colleges in China program.

Ali Crivelli ’14
Ali Crivelli ’14 spent her summer interning at the Museum of Chinese in America in New York City. Shown here with an exhibit on Chinese fashion designers, she worked in the development and curatorial departments, researching Chinatown’s history and current Asian-American artists, and updating the museum’s fundraising database.

A student’s resolve: sticking with the program

A professor suggested Ali Crivelli ’14 do early study abroad in China, so in the spring semester of her sophomore year, Crivelli plunged into the rigorous program in Beijing and emerged a better speaker.

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“That was a really difficult experience not only because of culture shock but also because we were learning a hundred characters a day and at first it was really daunting. We also weren’t allowed to speak any English,” she says.

About a month in, Crivelli was battling frustration because her hard work hadn’t produced the results she wanted, but everyone had advised her to stick it out, and she did. When the semester ended, during a stay at youth hostel, a woman in another room mistook Crivelli for a native speaker.

She used her Chinese during an internship at the Museum of Chinese in America in New York City’s Chinatown. She also speaks French, studied in France and double-minors in theatre and French.

Crivelli  hasn’t firmed up her post-Hamilton plans but is considering returning to China and eventually going to grad school to study Chinese translation or maybe Chinese and French translation.

“That would be ideal,” she says.

Emily Tang ’08
Emily Tang '08, right, returned to the Hill for an alumni Career Center panel in 2011.

A graduate’s progress: a master’s in China studies

Emily Tang ’08 expected to go into publishing. She took her first Chinese course at Hamilton College to fulfill a language requirement for her creative writing major; now she's a China studies concentrator, specializing in emerging markets, at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

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At Hamilton, Tang studied for six months in Beijing through the Associated Colleges in China program and later returned to China to take part in the ACC’s field study program, where she learned about China’s basic education system and taught summer camps in Chinese. She double-majored in creative writing and Chinese.

After Hamilton, Tang says she “meandered” a bit in pursuit of her interests, but her experiences in China stayed with her.  “Teaching left an indelible impression on me – I worked primarily with children of migrant workers, many of whom were left behind in rural villages while their parents worked in big cities,” she says.

Eventually Tang realized she wanted to do more within the framework of the U.S.- China relationship and went to work at the National Committee on U.S. China Relations, where she learned she would benefit from a master’s degree.