The Capstone year abroad includes a competitive, national selection process. The Flagship Program faculty and staff work with students who are eligible to apply, helping them to demonstrate their academic maturity, leadership, and linguistic preparation in their applications.
To be eligible to apply for Capstone, students must meet the following standards:
• Be at least in their junior year
• Complete the Flagship Program requirements leading up to the Capstone year: Enroll in CHN 445: Advanced Chinese topic series each term (as offered) and enroll in CHN 399: Capstone Prep during fall term
• Demonstrate at least Advanced-Low proficiency in two of the following modalities: reading, listening, and speaking
• Have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher
• Demonstrate a commitment to Chinese language and culture, academic preparation within the major and leadership
• Ability to articulate how Capstone will further their academic and/or career goals
• U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
Capstone Admission Process
There are two Capstone cycles: spring and fall. The exact dates are subject to change during each academic year, and Flagship staff communicate exact deadlines to students who are eligible for Capstone. Students are encouraged to contact the Flagship Program at any time during the application process. Fall students generally attend August through June, with their internship February through June, and Spring students generally attend March through December, with their internship August through December.
Please note that there are TWO applications that students must complete, which are described in steps 2 and 3 below.
Step 1: Meet with Dr. Zhuo Jing-Schmidt, Co-Director
Spring Capstone Deadline: Spring Term one year before Capstone
Fall Capstone Deadline: Fall term one year before Capstone
Before applying for the Capstone year abroad, students should email Flagship Co-Director Professor Zhuo Jing-Schmidt to schedule an appointment to receive advising. During the advising session, students will receive personalized support to understand the Capstone year abroad, the application process, and ways to assemble a competitive application package.
Step 2: Complete the GEO Study Abroad Application
Spring Capstone Deadline: May 1, 2016 (Spring 2017 Capstone)
Fall Capstone Deadline: December 1, 2016 (Fall 2017 Capstone)
Students preparing for their Capstone year abroad must also complete a UO Chinese Flagship Program study abroad application through Global Education Oregon.
Step 3: Complete the American Councils Flagship Application
Spring 2017 Capstone Deadline: September 30, 2016
Fall 2017 Capstone Deadline: January 15, 2017
Students applying to the Capstone year must complete an online application. The application includes a statement of purpose, a Chinese essay, a speaking sample, language assessment scores, official transcripts, and three letters of support. One letter must be from Co-Director Professor Jing-Schmidt. Details about the American Councils Flagship Application are below.
To begin the online application, go to the American Councils website and create a student account. Be sure to validate your account by following the instructions provided by email.
Step 4: Submit Pre-Capstone Assessment Scores & Documents
Spring Capstone Deadline: Early October
Fall Capstone Deadline: Early January
To be eligible for the Capstone year, students demonstrate at least Advanced-Low proficiency in two of the following modalities: reading, listening, and speaking. The selection committee determines students’ proficiencies through an audio self-introduction, a writing sample, and assessment scores. Assessments must be completed in October (for spring Capstone) or January (for fall Capstone) and are scheduled in September (for spring Capstone) or December (for fall Capstone).
Step 5: Submit Internship Program Materials
Spring Capstone Deadline: December 15 (AY of departure)
Fall Capstone Deadline: June 15 (AY of departure)
The Capstone year abroad includes both academic study and an internship experience. Students applying for Capstone should prepare a statement of interest and resume, in both Chinese and English, to share with the internship director upon arrival in China. The statement and resume help the Flagship Program identify the best internship experience for you. Letters of recommendation from Co-Director Professor Zhuo Jing-Schmidt and/or from instructors in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures are also encouraged.
Details about the American Councils Flagship Application
American Councils coordinates the Capstone application and selection process through their website. The online application must be submitted electronically. The Chinese essay, statement of purpose, personal references, and clear copy of the signature and information pages of the passport may be submitted electronically through the online application system or mailed to American Councils. Official transcripts must be sent by regular mail.
Statement of Purpose
Students’ statement of purpose is a critically important part of the application. The statement should be approximately 500 words, typed, double spaced in 12-point font. In the statement, students should discuss:
• Specific plans for the Capstone study and internship that relate to career interests
• Specific preparations students have made for direct enrollment and the internship
• Factors that will enable them to stay motivated during the entire program
A 600-800 character essay in proper written standard Chinese (may be neatly handwritten). The essay should not be a translation of your English statement of purpose. Rather, the Chinese essay must be original work written for this application without assistance from native speakers, friends, or instructors. While using a dictionary is not forbidden, extensive use of a dictionary in writing the essay is not recommended. The essay should address the following how students envision themselves in ten years and address how they plan to become a global professional.
As part of the online application, students submit a two-three minute speaking sample. The sample topic should be a short self-introduction and discussion of a research or domain interest. Students should demonstrate higher-level language topics by discussing academic topics related to their major or career aspirations. We encourage students to not simply focus on their personal hobbies or families and to prepare for the speaking sample ahead of time.
American Councils must receive three letters of support of your application. These letters must be submitted electronically to American Councils and must be received by the stated deadline. All letters of recommendation must include the name, address, and telephone number of the person providing the recommendation. The reference should describe your academic, professional, and personal skills and qualities. One of the references must Co-Director Professor Zhuo Jing-Schmidt, and one reference must be a professor who can detail your current Chinese language ability. Additional references could be from employers or professors who have known the student for an extended period of time in an academic or professional setting.
Resumes in English and Chinese
Students will submit a copy of their resumes in both English and Chinese that outlines their education and employment history. The resumes are uploaded into the online application system and are used to match students to an internship opportunity that best fits their career aspirations.
Students will submit a clear copy of the signature and information pages of their passport showing the expiration date, passport number, photograph, date of birth, and signature. The passport must be valid at least until eighteen months after the start of the program.
Students who do not have a passport or who do not have one that will be valid for eighteen months after the start of the program should apply for one immediately.
The passport must contain two blank facing visa pages (NOT amendment pages). Those who do not have two blank facing pages should apply immediately for supplemental pages.
Please note that students’ departure to Chinese may be delayed if they cannot provide a copy of their passport with their application. Students should not in any way amend their passports or apply for a new one after submitting your photocopy to American Councils.
Students should provide official transcripts of all college and university-level course work, including all special summer programs, as part of their application. Transcripts must be in sealed envelopes with the institution’s stamp or signature across the back. Students should send their transcripts to American Councils through the mail, not electronically.