Alumni Stories

Mara Hvisendahl '02

"The assumptions behind this are that it doesn't matter how a language is taught - that taking a Chinese class at Swarthmore is no different from taking a Chinese class at, say, a community center - and that language exists independent of culture, history, film, and literature. During my time at Swarthmore, I discovered that the opposite is true: to master a language, particularly a language as demanding as Chinese, being surrounded by a group of hard-working and intelligent students and professors is absolutely critical." more

John H. Dolan '01

"My life is immeasurably richer for having studied Chinese. Language is the key to understanding a different culture in its full dimensions, and in the process, to unlocking my own." more

Tina Wong '99

" In addition to being some of the most "practical" classes I took at Swarthmore, Chinese classes were almost invariably some of the most fun, too. After all, how many classes feature dim sum trips and comic video renditions of the Confucian Analects? Chinese language courses and study abroad in Beijing also became my entry points into a series of other China-related studies, including Chinese history, politics, and calligraphy. "

Lea Ekeberg '98

"I finally have a moment to sit down and reflect on my experience with the Chinese department at Swarthmore. I am applying to graduate school in Chinese, which should be evidence that studying Chinese at Swarthmore has influenced my life a great deal." more

Ron Jarus '97

"I designated myself as a Philosophy student, and graduated after two and a half years with the same said major. However, it was evident to my friends, teachers and myself that the core around which my academic (and often social) life revolved at school was studying Chinese and the department which taught it." more