4 take part in Chinese Flagship capstone
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Four University of North Georgia (UNG) students are participating this year in highly selective one-year Chinese Language Flagship capstone programs.
Victoria Zappi, Thorin Beard and Maggie Simmons are attending the capstone program at National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University in Taiwan, and Zoe Rumbaugh is attending the capstone program at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California.
UNG’s Chinese Language Flagship program, one of 13 nationally and the only one in Georgia, offers students the opportunity to learn Chinese for four years at UNG and then spend a capstone year in Taiwan, or Monterey, California. The capstone helps them gain language and cultural training through classes and an internship. This is part of the Defense Language and National Security Education Office’s The Language Flagship, a Department of Defense program offering strategic language programs for undergraduate students at colleges and universities across the U.S.
The UNG Chinese Language Flagship provides robust Chinese language and culture training for dedicated undergraduate students who seek to achieve high levels of professional language proficiency.
Dr. Tianyu Qin
UNG assistant professor and Chinese Flagship academic director
Beard and Rumbaugh are also Boren Scholarship recipients this year.
“The UNG Chinese Language Flagship provides robust Chinese language and culture training for dedicated undergraduate students who seek to achieve high levels of professional language proficiency,” Dr. Tianyu Qin, UNG assistant professor and Chinese Flagship academic director, said. “Our students pursue a variety of academic and professional interests in addition to language study. We offer individualized tutoring with native speakers, study abroad scholarships, and overseas internship opportunities.”
Simmons, who is pursuing a degree in modern languages with a concentration in Chinese for global professionals and a minor in music, left Aug. 27. She anticipates a summer 2023 return to the U.S.
“Because of the amount of homework and complex class content, the program is challenging but rewarding. I worked hard toward this goal and achieved it,” Simmons said. “Additionally, Taiwan is a fun place to explore with a unique culture.”
To help prepare for the challenge, Simmons said she worked hard throughout the Chinese Flagship program at UNG to improve her Chinese proficiency, including participation in two intensive domestic summer programs.
While overseas, Simmons will have an internship next semester at a local museum in New Taipei, Taiwan. When she returns, she’s eager to graduate and find employment in the field of Chinese translation and interpretation, she said.
“UNG’s Chinese Flagship, besides being a vigorous language program, is a strong learning community. The program connects students within and between universities,” Dr. Ran Chen, UNG Chinese Language Flagship coordinator and instructor of Chinese, said. “With the support of faculty, staff, and peers, students grow together to enhance their academic performance and career readiness.”
In 2011, the program launched at UNG as a ROTC Chinese Language Flagship. During the 2019-20 school year, the program began to offer scholarships to civilian students in the program for both domestic and overseas Chinese learning programs. More than 130 UNG students have taken part in the Chinese Language Flagship.
Interested students can apply for the Chinese Language Flagship program year round. Applications may be submitted on the UNG Chinese Language Flagship website.