Saint Louis University


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Why Learn Chinese?

Today, nearly 25% of the world’s population speaks Chinese. From China to Southeast Asia, and even parts of Europe to the U.S., Chinese is expanding across peoples and nations at an amazing rate. It is difficult to underestimate the power of learning a language whose utility is so widespread, both geographically and professionally. Today, China and the rest of Southeast Asia is a growing hub of business opportunities. As one of the largest trade partners of the U.S., China is in a unique position to augment the international employment landscape. This means learning Chinese will be increasingly valuable, and give you an edge in the global job market. Moreover, Learning Chinese opens up a portal to a whole new world of cultural experiences and perspectives! Language is a means to understanding a people and its rich culture. Thus, studying Chinese will reveal to you the heritage and beauty of a civilization that are drastically different from your own, thereby helping to make you more culturally attuned. Finally, learning Chinese is exciting and challenging. It is a beautiful language, whose calligraphy is an art-form to be appreciated, poetry to be enjoyed, and prose to be studied. Moreover an idiographic and tonal language, Chinese exercises your brain in a different way than English does, helping to add another cognitive dimension to the way you think!

The growing Chinese market demands Chinese language skills. Mastering Chinese will help you compete in the business world.

About Us 

Established in 2003, the Chinese program in the College of Arts & Science is a new but a fast-growing one beginning with one course to six courses offered at present. In the past decade, over 800 students from SLU campus were enrolled in various Chinese language courses. Students have enjoyed their experiences with our friendly, highly qualified Chinese teachers and staff, and utilized the Chinese language skills that they acquired in practical and real-world applications.


"Learning Chinese not only opened up new vistas for me travelling in China, but made it possible for me to gain a fellowship with Nanjing University (南京大学) in southeastern China, where I spent a year developing my academic portfolio and doing research at the old Ming imperial archive in Nanjing(南京图书馆古书楼). I would strongly recommend studying Chinese for anyone interested in the history of inter-cultural contact in the humanities or elsewhere."
-Jon Lux

"Taking four semester of Chinese at SLU has benefited me immensely in finding a job. The biggest asset I brought to my current employer, World Wide Technology, is being able to speak Chinese and also having experience with China business culture. Doing business in China is a top five priority for well over 75% of the nations fortune 500 companies, and being able to speak even a limited amount of Chinese is an excellent way to separate yourself from the competition when applying for job. I am forever grateful in the opportunities the SLU Chinese program has given me. P.S.- Guo Lao Shi is enduring enthusiasm and passion to see her students exceed was a big part in my success."
-Maximilian Schmitt

"I took four semesters of Chinese with Guo Laoshi over my freshman and sophomore years of college, and I continued to take language classes while studying abroad in Beijing. My initial decision to sign up for these courses was made with a certain amount of nervousness regarding the difficulty of learning a tonal language, but I quickly fell in love with Mandarin and have not been able to stay away from it since! Chinese was definitely one of the highlights of my college experience, the classes structured not with dry repetition exercises but with a myriad of activities such as live conversation practice, video projects, skits, competitions, and cultural celebrations. The learning process was challenging but incredibly fun, and post-graduation my studies of this language and culture continue to add value to my life in terms of both career opportunities and personal relationships.

"Even when it was not directly applicable to a job, having Mandarin on my resume caught the eye of many employers and came up in many interviews - including interviews that led to my internships and job offers. Learning Chinese has not only enabled me to communicate meaningfully with a huge portion of the world's population, but also expanded my capacity to perceive the world from completely new points of view. The skills associated with Chinese language study stretch beyond communication alone and into cross-cultural teamwork, patience, dedication, and expanded creativity in thought patterns related to problem and solution identification. My experience with China continues to open new social doors both in and outside of work, and many close friendships that I developed while learning and speaking Chinese have remained active beyond college and across oceans.

"SLU's Chinese program is an incredible opportunity to learn a new language, build familiarity with a new culture, make lasting friendships, and develop a skill that is valued by a wide array of employers. I strongly encourage both new and tenured undergraduates to take the challenge of studying Chinese. When it comes to personal value and career development, this is an investment of time that gives an amazing return - and with SLU's team of kind, encouraging, and incredibly helpful faculty to help you, there is a lot of fun to be had along the way!"

- Emily Shoemaker

"Studying mandarin at SLU opened unimaginable doors for me and gave me major advantages. It is easily one of the best decisions I made at the school. I would tell my future self to take it again--and earlier! In all practical terms, school is a signal from job-seekers that they're capable of performing a job well. Taking mandarin is signal that you're one apart; that you have an open-mind, a capacity for rigor, and a thirst for challenge.

"Studying mandarin not only challenged me, but brought out potential in me that I didn't know I had. Chinese courses at SLU prepared me for a yearlong study abroad in Beijing. The experiences from studying mandarin in China, alone, are priceless--however--they may be given some value. My retelling of experiences to company recruiters directly lead to me getting a job before graduation. I would suggest to anyone--from those who don't yet know what they want to do, to those that are interested in challenging themselves--take Chinese at SLU! I don't know of a better class that you could take."

- Donald Dadsworth


For more information, please contact Dr. Lilli Guo at or by phone at (314)977-3665.

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