The Department of Chinese and Japanese offers all interested students opportunities to learn Chinese and Japanese and to gain an understanding of Chinese and/or Japanese literature and culture.

The department courses and activities introduce students to Chinese and Japanese cultures through comparative studies in a broader East Asian context.

The Department of Chinese and Japanese provides students who pursue a major or a correlate in Chinese or Japanese with solid disciplinary training, preparing them for post-graduate endeavors ranging from graduate studies to careers in both the public and private sectors. The diverse faculty bring their own training and interests into the classroom, offering students a wide range of approaches to studying language, literature, and culture. Traditional Chinese and Japanese arts, such as calligraphy, flower arrangement, and tea ceremony, are an integral part of our learning experiences.

The department stresses student involvement and communication with the faculty. Activities such as weekly language table sessions, held in Gordon Commons, give students the chance to practice their language skills outside the classroom in a relaxed, social setting. In addition, students are encouraged to celebrate and participate in numerous event days sponsored by the department. The Chinese/Japanese Culture Day Festival, Chinese New Year Festival, and Cherry Blossom Festival are all events where students can use their language skills and learn traditional Chinese and Japanese arts.

The department encourages and provides consultation for students to attend summer language programs in China and Japan. Students can study the language, experience Chinese and Japanese culture, and tour the country for Vassar credits by successfully completing the approved summer courses. The department also supports and recommends students to Junior Year Abroad programs in China and Japan. For Vassar’s exchange schools and approved JYA programs, please visit the Office of International Programs.