Edan Qian has been surprised during his year in China under The Language Flagship. A biology major at the University of Oregon (UO), he knew that his program of study would include advanced language and direct enrollment studies at Nanjing University, as well as an internship in his field where he would experience culture and language in a real Chinese professional setting. What he did not realize was how well the UO Chinese Flagship Program had prepared him for his studies overseas, or how the Chinese Overseas Flagship Program would present unexpected opportunities to engage in Chinese beyond the classroom and workplace.
Edan’s psychology course at UO, taught in Chinese for Flagship students, used many terms that would help him directly enroll in neurobiology and a cellular microbiology courses at Nanjing University. His studies in the UO Chinese Flagship Program also taught him learning strategies to identify appropriate resources to help him manage unfamiliar vocabulary and situations. Edan’s Chinese roommate while in Nanjing, a requirement for Flagship students, was a chemistry major who not only provided tutoring, but also offered opportunities to learn more about Chinese culture, society, and technology.
The required internship phase of the overseas Flagship took Edan to Shanghai to work in a biotech company that provides services to international pharmaceutical companies. Though the four-month internship delayed his return to UO to complete his studies, the invaluable experience helped Edan understand how a company such as this one operates both inside and outside of the laboratory. As in his classes at Nanjing University, Edan found comfort in having learned many of the terms used in the workplace during his earlier Flagship studies.
An avid skateboarder, Edan pursued his hobby while in Nanjing to practice Chinese and expand his knowledge about China. He met local Chinese people outside of the academic setting, including a professional photographer for sporting goods companies who invited him to major skateboard competitions in China and introduced him to people in the industry. Through this connection, a sporting goods company offered Edan a second internship helping to plan promotional events and competitions during the weekends. He credits The Language Flagship with providing an opportunity to study in Nanjing, combine his academic and personal interests, and propel him to the next steps in becoming a global professional.
The Language Flagship is an ambitious effort to empower an expanding group of colleges and universities that are implementing new models of language learning to produce college graduates with professional level (ILR 3, ACTFL Superior) proficiency. Flagship Programs set high expectations for participating students of all majors. Regardless of their disciplines, students make language and culture an integral part of their undergraduate academic pursuit. The Language Flagship produces global professionals through intensive language instruction in a U.S. university; rigorous, advanced language and culture immersion overseas; direct enrollment in a foreign university offering courses in their field; and in-country professional internships.