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Exploring East Asian Studies at UPenn

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Asian beautiful woman thinking idea with laptop computer in coffee shop

Exploring East Asian Studies at UPenn

The field of East Asian Studies, which encompasses the cultural, historical, and linguistic study of countries such as China, Japan, and Korea, has seen significant growth and interest over the past several years as Asia has become a powerful and influential region in the world. The University of Pennsylvania offers a robust and comprehensive program in East Asian Studies, with a dynamic faculty, diverse course offerings, and numerous study abroad opportunities. Let’s dive deeper into what makes the UPenn East Asian Studies program stand out.

The Roots of East Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania has a long and storied history of studying East Asia, with roots dating back to 1842 when the University established its first Chair of Chinese Language and Literature. As the study of East Asia became more prominent, UPenn established a dedicated Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations (EALC) in the 1950s. Since then, the EALC has grown and diversified to include not only language and literature, but also history, art, anthropology, sociology, and other fields that focus on East Asia.

Today, the EALC at the University of Pennsylvania is one of the most comprehensive and respected programs of its kind in the United States. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in East Asian Studies, as well as opportunities for students to study abroad in East Asia and participate in research projects related to the region. The EALC also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including lectures, film screenings, and cultural festivals, that promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of East Asian cultures and societies.

The Faculty and Staff behind East Asian Studies at UPenn

The faculty and staff behind UPenn’s EALC are some of the foremost experts in their fields. They hail from numerous countries and bring a wide range of perspectives to their teaching and research. Many of these faculty members have received prestigious awards and fellowships, and their research has been published in top academic journals. The EALC also features a talented team of staff members who provide support for students, facilitate study abroad programs, and foster a vibrant academic community.

a professor in front of his class

In addition to their academic achievements, the faculty, and staff of UPenn’s EALC are also actively engaged in promoting cultural exchange and understanding. They organize events and activities that showcase the rich cultural heritage of East Asia and encourage students to participate in language exchange programs and cultural immersion experiences. Through their dedication and hard work, the faculty and staff of UPenn’s EALC are helping to shape the next generation of global citizens who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to navigate an increasingly interconnected world.

The Curriculum of East Asian Studies at UPenn

The curriculum of Penn’s EALC is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of East Asia. The major consists of courses in language, literature, culture, history, and social sciences. Students can choose to focus on a specific area of study, such as Chinese literature or Korean history, or take a wider range of courses that covers a broad range of topics. In addition to coursework, students are also encouraged to participate in research projects, study abroad programs, and extracurricular activities to deepen their knowledge of East Asia.

The Diversity of East Asian Studies Courses Offered at UPenn

One of the strengths of UPenn’s EALC is the diversity of courses offered. From introductory language classes to advanced seminars on contemporary politics, there is something for everyone. Course offerings include The Art of East Asia, Women in Chinese Literature, Japanese Cinema, and Contemporary Korean Society. The department also offers unique interdisciplinary courses, such as Environmental Disasters in Japan and East Asian Religions in the Age of Globalization.

a female student distance learning

In addition to the courses mentioned above, the East Asian studies department at UPenn also offers courses on East Asian history, philosophy, and economics. Students can take classes on the history of China, Japan, and Korea, as well as courses on Confucianism and Buddhism. For those interested in business and economics, there are courses on East Asian economies and international trade. With such a wide range of courses available, students can tailor their studies to their specific interests and career goals.

Studying Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Languages in East Asian Studies at the UPenn

Language study is an integral part of UPenn’s EALC program. Students can choose to study Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, with courses ranging from basic beginner classes to advanced seminars. For those who are already proficient in one of these languages, the department offers classes in classical Chinese and Japanese, as well as courses that use literature and media to deepen their understanding of the language. Language classes are taught by native speakers who are highly experienced in teaching their respective languages.

Additionally, the EALC program at the University of Pennsylvania offers opportunities for students to study abroad in East Asia and immerse themselves in the language and culture. Students can participate in language exchange programs, internships, and research projects in China, Japan, and Korea. These experiences not only enhance language proficiency but also provide valuable cultural insights and networking opportunities for future careers in various fields related to East Asia.

Opportunities for Study Abroad Programs in East Asia through the University of Pennsylvania

The EALC encourages students to participate in study abroad programs in East Asia, which offer a unique and immersive way to deepen knowledge and understanding of the region. Penn partners with universities in China, Japan, and Korea to provide students with various study-abroad options. These programs allow students to take courses in East Asian studies, gain fluency in the languages they are studying, and experience the culture firsthand. The study abroad programs also offer opportunities for research and internships.

Two student ready for their trp abroad.

Additionally, the University of Pennsylvania offers scholarships and financial aid for students who wish to participate in study abroad programs in East Asia. These resources can help make the experience more accessible and affordable for students from diverse backgrounds. Furthermore, participating in a study abroad program can enhance a student’s resume and provide valuable skills and experiences for future career opportunities. Overall, studying abroad in East Asia through the University of Pennsylvania is a valuable and enriching experience for students interested in the region.

The Benefits of Pursuing a Degree in East Asian Studies from the University of Pennsylvania

Students who graduate with a degree in East Asian Studies from UPenn are well-equipped to enter a variety of careers. A degree in East Asian Studies can be a stepping stone to a career in academia, government, international business, or non-profit. Graduates have gone on to work for organizations such as the World Bank, the U.S. State Department, and the United Nations. Additionally, a degree in East Asian Studies from UPenn can be a valuable asset for those who hope to work in East Asia, as it demonstrates a deep understanding of the region and culture.

Furthermore, the UPenn East Asian Studies program offers a unique opportunity for students to study abroad in East Asia. Students can choose to study in countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea, where they can immerse themselves in the language and culture. This experience not only enhances their understanding of the region but also provides them with valuable skills such as cross-cultural communication and adaptability. The program also offers various extracurricular activities such as cultural events, language exchange programs, and guest lectures by experts in the field, providing students with a well-rounded education in East Asian Studies.

Career Opportunities for Graduates with a Degree in East Asian Studies from the University of Pennsylvania

The job market for those with degrees in East Asian Studies has grown in recent years, as more and more companies seek employees with an understanding of East Asia. Graduates can find careers in a variety of fields, including government, education, business, international relations, and non-profit work. Some popular career paths for graduates with a degree in East Asian Studies include working in international business, as cultural liaisons, or as translators or interpreters.

Another career path for graduates with a degree in East Asian Studies is in the field of journalism. With the increasing importance of East Asia in global affairs, there is a growing demand for journalists who can report on the region with cultural sensitivity and understanding. Graduates can also find opportunities in research and academia, working as professors or researchers in universities or think tanks.

a woman looking calm breathing the air

Furthermore, graduates with a degree in East Asian Studies can also pursue careers in the arts and entertainment industry. With the popularity of East Asian culture around the world, there is a growing demand for professionals who can create and produce content that appeals to a global audience. Graduates can work as writers, producers, or directors in film, television, or music, or as curators in museums or galleries.

Student Experience and Life as an East Asian Studies Major at the University of Pennsylvania

Students who major in EALC at Penn have a unique and enriching academic experience. The department is close-knit, and students and faculty members often engage in lively discussions inside and outside the classroom. The department also hosts numerous events and lectures throughout the year, which offer students opportunities to learn from experts and network with alumni and professionals in the field. In addition to academic pursuits, there are also several student organizations, such as the Korean Student Association and the Chinese Student Association, which focus on cultural and social activities.

One of the benefits of studying EALC at Penn is the opportunity to participate in study abroad programs. The department offers several programs in East Asia, including in China, Japan, and Korea. These programs allow students to immerse themselves in the language and culture of the region, and to gain a deeper understanding of the topics they are studying in class.

Another unique aspect of the EALC program at Penn is the interdisciplinary nature of the curriculum. Students take courses in a variety of fields, including history, literature, art, and politics, which allows them to develop a well-rounded understanding of East Asia. This interdisciplinary approach also prepares students for a wide range of careers, including in academia, government, and business.

Research Opportunities Available to Students Enrolled in East Asian Studies Programs at the University of Pennsylvania

The EALC at Penn places a strong emphasis on research, and students have many opportunities to engage in research projects throughout their time at the University. The department offers several research grants, which allow students to conduct fieldwork, attend conferences, and work on independent projects. Professors also regularly engage students in research as assistants or collaborators. Many students who graduate with degrees in East Asian Studies at Penn go on to graduate school, pursuing further research and academic work in the field.

Portrait of young nerdy student studying with textbooks and write quotations on a book

Additionally, the University of Pennsylvania has partnerships with several universities in East Asia, providing students with the opportunity to participate in exchange programs and conduct research abroad. These partnerships allow students to immerse themselves in the culture and language of the region, while also researching topics related to their studies. Furthermore, the EALC hosts several research-focused events throughout the year, including conferences and symposiums, where students can present their research and network with other scholars in the field.

The Future Outlook for East Asian Studies and its Importance in Today’s Global Society

The field of East Asian Studies is more important now than ever before, as the region continues to grow and exert more influence on the world stage. The EALC at Penn is well-positioned to continue to be a leader in the field, with a unique interdisciplinary approach and a commitment to excellence. As China, Japan, and Korea become increasingly important players in global politics, economics, and culture, those who study East Asia will be better equipped to navigate the complexities of this important region.

Furthermore, the study of East Asian languages, such as Mandarin, Japanese, and Korean, is becoming increasingly valuable in today’s global job market. With the rise of East Asian economies and the growing importance of international trade, businesses are seeking individuals who can communicate effectively with East Asian partners and clients. In addition, the study of East Asian literature, art, and history provides a deeper understanding of the cultural context in which these languages are used, making language learners more effective communicators and cultural ambassadors.

An Overview of Recent Developments and Innovations in East Asian Studies Curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania

The EALC is constantly evolving and innovating its curriculum to better reflect the changing needs of students and the world at large. For example, the department has recently introduced more courses on contemporary topics, such as LGBT issues in East Asia and the impact of social media on Chinese society. The department has also strengthened its language offerings, with more advanced courses in Chinese and Japanese, and a beginner course in Cantonese. The department has also been expanding its digital resources, with online courses and databases that offer students access to a wider range of materials.

Another recent development in the EALC curriculum is the integration of interdisciplinary approaches to East Asian studies. The department has collaborated with other departments, such as History and Anthropology, to offer courses that explore East Asian cultures and societies from multiple perspectives. This approach allows students to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the region and its complexities.

In addition, the EALC has been actively promoting study-abroad opportunities for its students. The department has established partnerships with universities in East Asia, such as Peking University and Kyoto University, to offer exchange programs and summer courses. These programs provide students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the language and culture of East Asia and to gain firsthand experience of the region’s social, political, and economic issues.

Student Organizations and Extracurricular Activities for Those Studying East Asian Culture, History, and Language at the University of Pennsylvania

There are several student organizations and extracurricular activities that cater specifically to those studying East Asian culture, history, and language at UPenn. For example, the East Asia Undergraduate Advisory Board sponsors events such as film screenings, lectures, and cultural festivals. The department also hosts a weekly Chinese conversation table, where students can practice their language skills in a relaxed setting. The Penn Japanese Culture Association and the Penn Korean Student Association both offer a range of social and cultural activities for students interested in those specific countries.

Happy young people doing group study in library.

In addition to these organizations, there are also study abroad programs available for students interested in East Asian culture, history, and language. The Penn Abroad program offers opportunities to learn in countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea, allowing students to immerse themselves in the language and culture they are studying.

Furthermore, the East Asian Studies department at UPenn offers research opportunities for students interested in pursuing independent projects related to East Asian culture, history, and language. These projects can range from studying the impact of Confucianism on modern Chinese society to analyzing the role of traditional Korean music in contemporary culture.

Studying East Asia is a fascinating and important field of study, and the East Asian Studies program at UPenn offers a comprehensive and dynamic curriculum for those interested in exploring this region. With a talented faculty, diverse course offerings, and numerous opportunities for research and study abroad, the EALC at Penn is an excellent choice for students who are passionate about East Asia and want to make a difference in the world.

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