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Study Chinese in Australia

University of Melbourne

China is a rising power in the western Pacific region whose future importance for Australia is hard to over-estimate. Chinas current levels of investment in research and development and in the tertiary sector indicate that China is poised to make a very rapid transition to a knowledge economy. This is a matter of direct relevance for the career planning of todays undergraduates.

Melbourne is one of the few universities in Australia to offer students the opportunity to complete two majors in Chinese, one in Chinese Language and one in Chinese Studies. Undergraduate students may choose to complement their study of the Chinese language with a wide range of subjects on Chinese culture and society, acquiring not only a solid basis for language competence in later professional life but also the wherewithal for advancing their social and cultural literacy.

Teaching in the Chinese Program is informed by staff research in a wide variety of different fields, including Chinese language teaching and many aspects of contemporary and traditional China. One area of strong concentration is research on Chinese Regional Cultures: we have one member of staff working on the Northwest (Lewis Mayo, currently on leave in Leiden, whose field is politics and the natural world in Tang-dynasty Dunhuang), one working on Inner Mongolia (Justin Tighe, who researches Republican-period Suiyuan), two working on North China (Zhou Shaoming, who works on life-cycle rituals in Shandong, and David Holm, who works on local theatre in Shaanxi), one working on the Lower Yangtze area (Anne McLaren, who works on popular culture in the Shanghai region), one working on the central south (Wu Yunji, an expert on the dialects of Hunan), and quite a number of people working on south China (Du Liping on the marketing of traditional medicines and local medical practices, David Holm on ritual performance and textuality among the Tai-speaking Zhuang minority and the decipherment of the Zhuang character script, Luo Yongxian on Tai and Sino-Tibetan linguistics, Meng Yuanyao on Zhuang ethnobotany, and Ling Shudong on Zhuang female shamans). Research on Chinese language teaching is pursued by Diane Manwaring, while Gao Jia pursues a range of topics on the sociology of contemporary China and the overseas Chinese.

Language teaching programs comprise three streams, one for second-language students with no previous study of the language, one for second-language students who have studied Chinese at secondary school to VCE or an equivalent level, and one for students of Chinese background. Within the stream for students of Chinese background, four different levels of entry are available. Students come to us with a great variety of linguistic skills and backgrounds, and all students are required to attend an interview at the outset of their course.

A key feature of the Chinese language program is advanced-level subjects like Chinese Legal Documents and Chinese Economic Documents, which provide students with experience in applying their Chinese language skills to areas of major professional interest. Our intention is to encourage students to aim for Chinese-English bilingualism in their professional lives after graduation.

Overseas Study

The Chinese Program offers students a variety of opportunities for in-country study. The University has exchange programs with Peking University, Qinghua University, and Fudan University in China, and National Taiwan University in Taipei. Regular components of the undergraduate program include a 4-6 week summer course at 2-3 year level (subject code 110-226, 12.5 points), and a semester-long program that is currently offered at Fudan University in Shanghai (110-213, 50 points). The University offers a number of exchange places every year. In addition, scholarships from the Chinese government and from the Taiwan Ministry of Education are advertised every year at the beginning of the academic year.

Over the years, the University of Melbourne has established itself as one of the finest in Australia, if not the world. This is achieved by progressive management, realistic visions for the future and strategic collaborations. Here you will find comprehensive plans that underpin the continuing success of the University.

The VISION is of a University of Melbourne international in character and focus, and world class in the staff and students it attracts, the research and scholarship it produces and the academic standards to which it adheres; a university adding immense intellectual, cultural and professional energy to the City of Melbourne, and serving Victoria and Australia by performing and being acknowledged as one of the finest universities in the world.



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The University of Melbourne



International Admissions

International Centre

The University of Melbourne

Victoria, Australia, 3010


(03) 8344 4505 (within Australia)

(+61 3) 8344 4505 (outside Australia)


International Admissions:

(03) 9347 9062 (within Australia)

(+61 3) 9347 9062 (outside Australia)