Opportunities in Chinese and Japanese

Academic Opportunities

Off-Campus Study

Nearly all of our majors spend at least a semester studying abroad. Explore China, Taiwan, and Japan through any of our currently recognized programs: 


Explore Beijing through the Associated Colleges in China (ACC) Intensive Language and Culture Program (administered by Hamilton College).

Develop critical insight into sustainability issues in contemporary China through the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE) Beijing.

Experience China's intellectual, political, and cultural capital with the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES).

CET Academic Programs offers several study abroad and internship options in Beijing.


Improve your Mandarin and cross-cultural competency through CIEE Nanjing.


Study abroad in Taiwan and enhance your Chinese language and cultural skills with CIEE Taipei.


Explore Japan and build language skills with Earlham College's Japan Study program.

Pursue your academic interests in a challenging, enriching international international experience with CIEE Tokyo.

Awards, Grants, Scholarships, and Fellowships

Lan-Chang Fellowship

The purpose and spirit of the Lan-Chang Fellowships, in memory of Chien-Wei Lan and Sing-Chen Chang, is to promote cultural understanding of mainland China through students undertaking projects in China and the sharing of these project experiences upon their return to the Grinnell College campus. It awards initiative, originality, and creative exploration. The Lan-Chang Fellowship endowed fund was established in 1996 by Chien-Wei Lan and Sing-Chen Chang (grandparents of John Keshar Wenderoth ’96) with outright gifts totaling $24,933 and with the remainder value of charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts totaling $217,172. The purpose of this endowment gift is to fund the Lan-Chang Fellowships.

The Lan-Chang Fellowships, each in the amount of $3,500, shall be awarded to a maximum of two Grinnell College students every year to support the expenses of traveling to and from and living in China for six to eight weeks during the summer, while each student completes a Mentored Advanced Projects (MAP) or other Independent Research project focused on China. Students must have completed their second year with one remaining semester to be completed on the Grinnell College campus before graduation. Students of any major are eligible, and knowledge of Chinese language, history, or culture is not required; those without experience of or in China are encouraged to apply and will be given special consideration.

  • The Lan-Chang Fellowship shall fund a MAP or IR (Individual Research) project that has a strong experiential component, requiring student interaction with a variety of Chinese individuals and sites. (In years in which no appropriate MAP or Independent Project is proposed, the Fellowships may be used to support an unpaid internship or volunteer service project in China, provided the internship or project adheres to all other requirements and eligibility criteria listed herein). 
  • The Fellowship shall not be used for archival research or classroom study. 
  • The Fellowship shall not to be used to support faculty expenses; however, the faculty directors of the student projects are encouraged to travel to China with their students to engage in on-site mentorship. 
  • Students receiving the Fellowship must present their experiences to the rest of the Grinnell College community upon return to campus in the Fall. 

To learn more, please contact the Center for International Studies.

Critical Language Scholarship

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program offers fully-funded summer language institutes for U.S. university students and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

To apply: Critical Language Scholarship application

Boren Scholarships

Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin American, and the Middle East.

To apply: Boren Scholarship

Fulbright Grants

In general, there are two types of Fulbright grants:

  • A Fulbright Full Grant, which funds one academic year of overseas study and/or research in one country
  • An English Teaching Assistantship (ETA), which funds one academic year of teaching English in one country

Additionally, Fulbright offers several specialized grants, including Travel-Only Grants (which are usually given to graduate students, and only for ItalyGermany, and Hungary), Fulbright/mtvU AwardsCritical Language Enhancement Awards, Fulbright Business Grants (MexicoSpain, and the Netherlands), Fulbright Journalism Grants, and Country-Specific Awards to Australia, Ireland (Irish Language), Italy (Slow Foods and Deaf Studies), Mexico (Graduate Degree and Public Policy); and the Netherlands (Water Management).

More information: Fulbright U.S. Student Program

To apply: Fulbright application

Gates Cambridge Scholarships

Gates Cambridge Scholarships are highly competitive full-cost awards for full-time graduate study and research in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.

Application: Gates Cambridge Scholarship application

Gilman Scholarship

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad.

To apply: Gilman Scholarship application

Marshall Scholarships

Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Up to forty Scholars are selected each year to study at graduate level at an UK institution in any field of study.

To apply: Marshall Scholarship application

Rhodes Scholarships

Rhodes Scholarships, the oldest international educational fellowships, were initiated after the death of Cecil Rhodes in 1902, and bring outstanding students from many countries around the world to the University of Oxford.

Application: Rhodes Scholarship application

Post-Graduate Opportunities

Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme

Aimed at promoting grass-roots internationalism at the local level, Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme invites young overseas graduates to participate in international exchange and foreign language education in local governments, boards of education and elementary, junior and senior high schools throughout Japan. Available positions include: Assistant Language Teacher, Coordinator for International Relations, or Sports Exchange Adviser.

Activities and Organizations


The Student Educational Policy Committee, or SEPC, is a student-faculty liaison group which provides faculty with student input on professors, candidates, curriculum, and other departmental issues. It also organizes social events within the department.

Student Employment

The Department of Chinese and Japanese is looking for native or near-native speakers of Chinese to work in our Chinese Language lab. We look for candidates who can speak standard mandarin Chinese fluently and read both traditional and simplified forms of written Chinese. You must be mature, responsible, and enjoy working with language-learners. For more information pick up an information sheet at Carnegie 115 (or see attachment below).

Application procedure:

The application deadline August 27, 5 p.m. Applications must be given to Laurie Wilcox or Patty Dale in Carnegie Hall Room 115. Printed application forms may be picked up in Carnegie Hall Room 115, or you may download and print out the form as a PDF (see attachment below). Applications should be handwritten. 

Attachments: Chinese Lab Rules; Chinese Lab Job Application

For more information, please contact Professor Jin Feng.

Chinese Table

Students and faculty meet Thursdays at noon in Rosenfield Center Room 224A for lunch and informal Chinese conversation.

Japanese Table

Students and faculty meet Thursdays at noon in Rosenfield Center Room 224C for lunch and informal Japanese conversation.

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