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Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean for me to join the Chinese Flagship at the University of Minnesota?
You belong to an elite, federally funded program that trains students to attain the highest professional level of Chinese language. This language training is combined with other forms of cultural literacy and your major to prepare you to work within a Chinese language environment as a successful professional.
How do I become part of the Chinese Flagship program?
When you are in your third semester (or equivalent) of Chinese language study, you apply to the program. At that time your Chinese language and overall academic achievement are assessed. We look at your academic record, the results of tests, and interviews. You also write a short description of your commitment to these professional plans and the Flagship training. This usually can all be accomplished in a few days.
What is the relationship between my major and the Chinese Flagship program?
You can major in any field you wish, in any college at the University. Our Chinese Flagship adviser will work with you and with your major advisor to make sure you finish your course of study and the Flagship program in a timely manner. In other words, you will complete your major and be fluent in Chinese, with special emphasis on fluency related to your major.
What do I have to do to successfully complete the Chinese Flagship program?

To complete the Flagship program you have to finish the Capstone Year of study in China, which includes studying in your major and completing an internship in China at one of the two Chinese Flagship universities—Nanjing University or Tianjin Normal University. At the end of that year your Chinese language skills need to be at the LR3 level—also called “Superior.” .

We will train you in preparation for that success, which usually includes the following:
  • China/Taiwan study abroad
  • Fifth level Chinese (CHN 5040)
  • Literary Chinese (CHN 5211, 5212)
  • Culture Survey (ALL 3336, 3337)
  • Directed Conversation (non-credit)
  • Domain Tutoring in your major (non-credit)
What is the Capstone Year and how do I apply?
When you have reached an advanced level in your Chinese and have a strong portfolio of other training (see the list above), we will work with you to prepare your file to be sent to the national Committee of Chinese Flagship Directors for review. Their role is to review these files twice a year and accept qualified students for the Capstone Year. The Capstone Year is spent studying your major in a Chinese university (regular college classes) and doing an internship in your professional field.
Are there scholarships for the Chinese Flagship students?
Yes, there are Flagship Scholarships available to provide support to offset a portion of the Flagship Program cost for Flagship undergraduate students. Federal Flagship Scholarships may only be used to support approved summer study and Capstone (overseas academic year) costs. There are also university-based Provost Scholarships for the Chinese Flagship students that can be used at other study abroad programs and during the academic year. These Provost scholarships are a unique benefit, only available at the University of Minnesota. As a Flagship student you will be automatically considered for these two types of scholarships. In addition, there are scholarships through the Confucius Institute, Learning Abroad Center, as well as outside sources such as the Boren Fellowship and Critical Language Fellowships.
What is the relationship between studying in the Chinese Flagship and the Asian Languages and Literatures (ALL) minor and major?
You do not have to be an ALL major to study in the Chinese Flagship; in fact we are interested in wide range of majors. But if you complete the preparation for the Capstone Year (see above), you will have automatically qualified for a Chinese minor.
What is the relationship between the Chinese Flagship and the Confucius Institute?
There is no formal relationship between the two programs. However, the Confucius Institute provides study abroad scholarships for which Chinese Flagship students are encouraged to apply. They also provide dedicated study and tutor space for the Flagship students.
Is there any commitment to government service, or other obligations, by being in the Chinese Flagship program?
Unless you are in a program like ROTC or have a Boren Scholarship, there are no obligations of this sort, although many Flagship students go into government work after graduating.