Colleges for East Asian Studies

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dr. Kat’s List: Colleges for East Asian Studies

East Asian StudiesHappy Chinese New Year and welcome to the Year of the Dragon! While the Year of the Rabbit was characterized by calm and tranquility, the upcoming year is expected to bring excitement and unpredictability. For students seeking an academic and social experience as exhilarating as the dragon’s personality, Dr. Kat and the expert counselors at IvyWise have identified a list of colleges with strong Asian Studies programs.

Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Recognizing Asia’s increasingly potent global presence, the Asian Studies Program at Georgetown University offers a comprehensive curriculum that addresses topics including religion, business, diplomacy, security, communications, and popular culture. In addition a wide variety of courses, from “Arts of Zen Buddhism,” to “China’s Challenge to the US,” to “Modern Chinese Drama,” students can partake in roundtables on subjects such as “Jewish Migration to China” and “the Chinese Entrepreneurship Culture.” In 2010, Georgetown was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Resource Center (NRC) for East Asia. NRC activities include advanced language offerings and the Public Health in Asia Initiative. Alumni of the Asian Studies Program at Georgetown have gone on to work on projects such as Russian foreign policy in East Asia and the Silk Road Monuments Project, which highlights and documents the transformation of historic Silk Road routes.

Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Princeton University is home to a renowned East Asian Library and the highly acclaimed Gest rare books collection. Course offerings to students in the East Asian Studies Department range from “Recipes for Disaster: Cultures of Calamity in East Asia and Beyond,” which addresses the cultural, social, and political implications of natural catastrophes in East Asia, to “International Politics in Hollywood: American Wars in Asia on Film.” Further, concentrators are expected to achieve proficiency in one East Asian language. Through study abroad programs in Beijing, Kyoto, or Tokyo, students can experience Eastern culture firsthand, while back on campus events like “Temple Under Auspicious Clouds: Sino-Japanese Connections and the Search for Buddhist-Chinese Architecture, 1920s-1930s” and “Spirits, Demons, and Companions: Animals in Medieval Chinese Buddhism,” bring Eastern concepts to a Western audience.

University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Honolulu Hawaii

Given its proximity to Asia and that nearly 44 percent of the student population identifies as Asian, its no surprise that the University of Hawaii at Manoa is highlighted for its Asian Studies Programs. The School of Pacific and Asian Studies allows students to focus on a specific region such as China, Japan, Korea, or the Philippines. The school is also recognized as a National Resource Center in the areas of Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Pacific Islands studies. Students can further their interests in courses such as “Chado, The Way of Tea Practicum,” “20th Century CHN Women Writers,” and “Religions of Islands in Southeast Asia.”  Through the university’s Study Abroad Center, students can pursue semester, yearlong, and summer programs in destinations such as Kobe, Japan and Hainan, China.

Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

Due to the nature of Stanford University’s curriculum, courses from the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures are open to all students. Faculty members specialize in subjects ranging from Japanese poetry to ritual practice in ancient China and students can discuss their interests and collaborate on research with contemporary authors and scholars from all over the globe. The department is also home to the new Confucius Institute, which presents public lectures and workshops on Chinese language and culture. These presentations cover interests from health care in Japan, to energy geopolitics in South Korea, to the meaning behind Buddhist sculpture. Beyond the classroom, many students pursue a study abroad experience that enables a more intimate perspective into East Asia. Stanford offers a program in Kyoto, which focuses on the research, development, and production of Japan’s high technology industry, and a program in Beijing, which revolves around the acquisition of language.

There are many schools across the country that can provide you with a strong education in Asian Studies and a unique opportunity to celebrate East Asian culture. The University of Georgia, Oberlin College, University of Washington – Seattle, Kenyon College, Seton Hall University, New York University, and the University of Arizona are a few more to consider. Gong Xi Fa Cai (恭禧發財) from all of us at IvyWise!


For more New Year’s schools, keep an eye out for our January newsletter with Dr. Kat’s List of Colleges to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions!

Need help creating a balanced list of colleges that will be a good academic and social fit for you? Contact us today for more information!

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