Tipton credits Chinese program for recent achievement

Learning a second language can be a bit challenging, and most notable accomplishments are not for the faint at heart. Zachary Tipton, environmental science major and Chinese minor has embraced the challenges of learning a second language and has been accepted to attend the Princeton in Beijing (PiB) program.

PiB is a high-quality, intensive study abroad program in intermediate and advanced Chinese language for serious language students.

Tipton said he was initially drawn to the program because of its stern requirements. Applicants must have studied Chinese at least one year, write a statement of purpose in either Chinese or English, submit a 3-5 minute recording of themselves speaking Chinese on any subject, and be interviewed via Skype. 


The most appealing requirement was the language pledge. Students must agree to only speak Chinese for the duration of the program. If students do not honor the language pledge, they are asked to leave the program. The Chinese program has allowed me to have so many amazing opportunities; studying a second language instantly makes you a better person. You learn to connect with people in entirely different situations than your own. You also learn how to appreciate your own culture.

According to Tipton, the Chinese program at the U of A has given him the courage and emotional strength to go abroad. He also said the faculty in the Chinese program are caring and supportive.

All of the professors are great and are very effective at teaching American students the Chinese language. I have had Jenny Xu for many courses, she is a great professor and person. The Chinese faculty promote student success and will do anything to uplift their students. The professors are always available, and the language lab hosted in the WLLC Center offers students a more intimate learning experience.

Tipton said the Chinese program has been fundamental in encouraging and fostering his dreams by teaching both the language and culture of China. He finds the business Chinese courses to be extremely helpful because these courses are preparing him to move forward in his career.

To learn more about our programs, visit languages.uark.edu.