Hello everybody! I'm in a rather peculiar situation with my education at the moment and wanted to get some advice from the helpful forumgoers at back2college. Let me give you a little background info first: I am a current MBA student and Ialso hold a BBA in both finance and management. I will graduate with my MBA in May of 2013. I have about two years of post-undergrad work experience in the banking industry and three years as an English teacher. Before returning to graduate school, I spent three years living in Taiwan and studied Chinese casually while I worked full time teaching English. I loved learning Mandarin but never had enough time to learn it well because of my work schedule. I moved back to the states to attend graduate business school and I struggled to find an industry or function that really interests me. I recently began a Chinese language immersion class here at my graduate school and it made me remember how much I love learning Chinese. I am very passionate about Chinese language and culture and how it applies to business. So, I am considering a second bachelors degree in Chinese language after I graduate.
My Chinese level is around beginner-intermediate. I can hold a fairly basic conversation in Chinese but my pronunciation and tones need a lot of improvement. I havenít learned to read or write Chinese very well either, so I may need to start from the beginning to learn Chinese characters.
I have read much of the other posts on this topic and I am well aware that most of you frown on a second bachelors degree as opposed to a masters. What most of you probably don't understand is how difficult and time consuming learning the Chinese language is. Especially when it comes to the writing system. I have every intention of becoming fluent in Chinese to the point where I can read, write and speak to accomplish complicated business tasks that would make me an asset for a Chinese company doing business in American and vice verse. Graduate level degrees in Chinese require applicants already have an advanced command of the language which I don't have yet. Working and taking Chinese classes is also out of the question because I have tried that before and it doesn't work for me. I need to dedicate all of my time and focus to learning Chinese when I'm studying it. The way I see it, a second bachelors has the following advantages: it would allow me to start at or near the beginning and focus on the intensive memorization of Chinese characters, I would be able to defer payment on my current student loans, and it would prepare me for an M.A. in Chinese language which is my ultimate goal. I figure it is best to do something I am truly passionate about rather than taking a job in an industry or function that doesn't really interest me. I know I am racking up student loans but its a small price to pay to be happy in my profession for the rest of my life. What do you guys think?
I would like to know what everyone thinks about this idea and if you have any suggestions, recommendations, or advice about how I should proceed. Does anyone know which Universities have good Chinese language programs? Or whether there are American universities or universities in China that I can receive federal financial aid to attend? Any information is welcome and thank you for taking the time to read my post.