Opportunities in Chinese

Federal program opportunities

Chinese is a critical language in the U.S., which means it is considered “a language for which more trained speakers are needed than are available”. The national need for a critical language usually involves political, cultural, or economic factors. The federal government provides support and opportunities for students learning the language:

STARTALK Program: a federal grant program managed and funded by the National Security Agency. It hosts engaging summer programs for students including undergraduate students. These student programs take place in communities all over the United States during the summer months and are offered for free or very low cost for participants. Different programs may have different foci. U of M students have participated in the programs in GA and KY in the past.

The Critical Language Scholarship Program: The CLS Program provides opportunities for American college and university students to study languages and cultures essential to America's engagement with the world. It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and supported in its implementation by American Councils for International Education. Two U of M alumni have been awarded this scholarship to study Chinese in Mainland China and Taiwan.

Taiwan Intensive Summer and Semester Language Programs (TISLP): This program is offered by American Councils for International Education. It enables dedicated students of Mandarin to make impressive language proficiency gains. Scholarship opportunities include the Fulbright-Hays Fellowship funded by the Department of Education which ranges from $7,000 to $12,000. Additional funding opportunities may be found on their website. Participants must have taken at least two semesters of university-level Chinese or the equivalent before the program begins in June.

Summer Language Program by National Security Agency: It provides hands-on language analysis experience to college undergraduate and graduate students with proficiency in languages including Chinese during a 12-week paid internship.

IUP Chinese Language Immersion Program for Cybersecurity Students: This is a pilot program offered by IUP for cybersecurity students to develop language foundations and proficiency in Chinese, supported by the grant from the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity. It is currently available for academic years 2023-2024 and 2024-2025. All costs are covered and there is a stipend. Prior Chinese language skills are not required but preferred.