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Exploring the UCLA East Asian Studies 

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of UCLA signage

Exploring the UCLA East Asian Studies

Are you interested in learning about East Asian culture, languages, and history? Look no further than the UCLA East Asian Studies graduate program. This program offers a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to studying the countries of East Asia, including China, Japan, and Korea. This article will explore the many benefits and opportunities of studying East Asian Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Why East Asian Studies at UCLA Stands Out

One of the main reasons why the UCLA East Asian Studies program stands out is its interdisciplinary approach to the study of East Asia. Students are encouraged to take courses in multiple departments, including History, Anthropology, and Political Science.

This approach allows for a well-rounded understanding of the region, as students are exposed to a variety of perspectives and methodologies.

Additionally, UCLA’s location in Los Angeles – a diverse and dynamic hub for Asian culture – provides unique opportunities for students to engage with the local community and experience firsthand the cultures they are studying.

The program also offers language immersion programs in East Asia, allowing students to fully immerse themselves in the language and culture of the region. This enhances their understanding of the region and opens up opportunities for study abroad and future career paths.

Overall, the combination of interdisciplinary coursework and language learning makes the program a standout choice for students interested in this dynamic and important region of the world.

A Brief History of East Asian Studies at UCLA

The UCLA East Asian Studies has a rich history from the 1950s. Since then, the program has grown and evolved, adapting to changes in the field and the world.

Today, the program is housed in the UCLA International Institute and draws students and faculty across the university. The program aims to provide students with a deep understanding of East Asian societies, cultures, histories, and languages while equipping them with vital analytical and critical thinking skills.

In recent years, the East Asian Studies program at UCLA has expanded its course offerings to include more interdisciplinary and contemporary topics. For example, students can now take classes on East Asian popular culture, environmental issues in East Asia, and the role of technology in East Asian societies.

a group of cosplayers

Additionally, the program has established partnerships with universities in East Asia, providing students with opportunities to study abroad and gain firsthand experience in the region. These developments reflect the program’s commitment to staying current and relevant in an ever-changing world.

The Curriculum of East Asian Studies at UCLA

The East Asian Studies curriculum at UCLA is designed to be both rigorous and flexible. Students take courses in various disciplines, including language, history, literature, religion, and politics.

In addition to a required set of core courses, students are able to choose from a wide array of electives that reflect their individual interests and career goals. Language study is emphasized in the program, with students encouraged to reach advanced proficiency in at least one East Asian language.

One unique aspect of the UCLA East Asian Studies program is the opportunity for students to participate in study abroad programs in East Asia. These programs allow students to immerse themselves in the language and culture of the region and gain firsthand experience in their area of study.

Opportunities for Students in East Asian Studies at UCLA

Students in the East Asian Studies program at UCLA have access to various opportunities both on and off campus. These include study abroad programs in East Asia, research opportunities with faculty members, internships with local businesses and community organizations, and participation in student organizations focused on East Asia.

Additionally, the program hosts several events each year, including guest lectures, film screenings, and cultural festivals, allowing students to engage with both East Asia’s academic and cultural aspects.

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One unique opportunity for students in the East Asian Studies program is to participate in the annual East Asian Studies Undergraduate Research Conference.

This conference allows students to present their research on East Asia to a panel of faculty members and peers, as well as to engage in discussions with other students about their research. This conference is an excellent way for students to gain experience presenting their research and receive feedback from field experts.

Another exciting opportunity for UCLA East Asian Studies students in the program is to participate in the East Asian Studies Language Exchange Program. This program pairs students with native Chinese, Japanese, or Korean speakers, allowing them to practice their language skills in a real-world setting.

This program is an excellent way for students to improve their language proficiency and better understand East Asian cultures and customs.

The Faculty of East Asian Studies at UCLA and Their Expertise

The UCLA East Asian Studies faculty are among the most respected scholars in the field. With expertise in a wide range of topics – from Japanese literature to Chinese political economy to Korean pop culture – the faculty can offer students a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of East Asia.

Additionally, many faculty members are actively engaged in research projects in the U.S. and East Asia, providing students with valuable opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research.

One of the unique aspects of the East Asian Studies program at UCLA is the faculty’s emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches to studying the region. Many faculty members have backgrounds in multiple fields, such as anthropology and history, which allows for a more holistic understanding of East Asia.

This interdisciplinary approach is reflected in the program’s curriculum, including courses on East Asian film and media, environmental issues in East Asia, and the history of East Asian religions.

Furthermore, the faculty of the East Asian Studies program at UCLA are committed to promoting diversity and inclusivity in their teaching and research.

Many faculty members actively work to incorporate diverse perspectives and voices into their courses and research projects, and the program offers courses on topics such as gender and sexuality in East Asia and the experiences of marginalized communities in the region.

This commitment to diversity and inclusivity creates a welcoming and supportive learning environment for all students in the program.

Study Abroad Programs for East Asian Studies Students at UCLA

Studying abroad in East Asia is highly encouraged for students in the East Asian Studies program at UCLA, as it provides a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the cultures and languages being studied thoroughly.

The program offers a variety of study abroad programs in China, Japan, and Korea, ranging from semester-long exchanges to shorter summer programs. These programs allow students to take courses at partner universities, participate in internships, and engage in cultural activities while living and studying in East Asia.

One of the benefits of studying abroad in East Asia is the opportunity to improve language skills. Students can practice speaking and listening to the language they are learning in a real-life setting, which can significantly enhance their language proficiency.

Additionally, students can gain a deeper understanding of the cultural nuances and customs of the region, which can take time to grasp from a classroom setting fully.

Furthermore, studying abroad in East Asia can also provide valuable networking opportunities. Students can connect with professionals in their field of study and other students and scholars from around the world.

These connections can lead to future career opportunities, collaborations, and a broader perspective on global issues and trends.

Research Opportunities in East Asian Studies at UCLA

The UCLA East Asian Studies program strongly emphasizes research, and students are encouraged to engage in research projects both on and off campus. Faculty members are actively involved in various research projects related to East Asia and often seek out undergraduate students to assist with their work.

Additionally, the program offers research grants and awards to students interested in pursuing independent research projects in East Asian Studies.

One unique aspect of the East Asian Studies program at UCLA is the opportunity for students to participate in field research in East Asia. The program offers study abroad programs in countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea, where students can conduct research and gain firsthand experience in the region.

These programs are led by faculty members who are experts in their respective fields and provide students with valuable networking opportunities. Students who participate in these programs return with a deeper understanding of East Asian cultures and societies and valuable research skills.

Career Paths for Graduates of East Asian Studies at UCLA

Graduates of the East Asian Studies program at UCLA are well-prepared for a variety of career paths, both in the U.S. and abroad. Many graduates find employment in business, journalism, law, and government.

a business woman looking at the camera while her colleagues are at her back

Graduates with advanced language proficiency in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean are in high demand, particularly in the U.S. and East Asia.

Additionally, UCLA East Asian Studies graduates have the opportunity to work for international organizations and non-governmental organizations that focus on East Asia. These organizations often seek individuals who deeply understand the region’s history, culture, and politics, making East Asian Studies graduates highly desirable candidates.

Furthermore, some graduates pursue careers in education, teaching English or their respective East Asian language in the U.S. or abroad.

Student Organizations and Clubs for East Asian Studies Majors at UCLA

Several student organizations and clubs at UCLA cater to students interested in East Asia. These include language clubs, cultural organizations, and academic groups focused on specific countries or topics.

Students in the East Asian Studies program are encouraged to get involved in these organizations, as they provide valuable opportunities for peer support, cultural exchange, and networking.

One of the most popular student organizations for East Asian Studies majors at UCLA is the East Asian Studies Student Association (EASSA). This group hosts various events throughout the year, including guest lectures, cultural festivals, and social gatherings. EASSA also provides resources for students, such as study groups and mentorship programs.

Additionally, there are language clubs for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, as well as cultural organizations like the Chinese Student Association and the Korean Culture Night Committee. These groups offer a chance for students to connect with others who share their interests and learn more about the cultures they are studying.

How East Asian Studies at UCLA Prepares Students for the Global Workforce

The East Asian Studies program at UCLA is uniquely positioned to prepare students for the global workforce. With its emphasis on language study, cultural awareness, and critical thinking skills, the program provides students with the tools they need to navigate the complex and rapidly changing global landscape.

The program’s interdisciplinary approach and emphasis on real-world experience through internships and study abroad programs further prepare students for success in a variety of fields that require cross-cultural competency and global awareness.

One of the key strengths of the UCLA East Asian Studies program is its faculty. The program boasts a team of world-renowned scholars and experts in the field who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom.

Students can learn from and work alongside these experts, gaining valuable insights and perspectives essential for success in today’s globalized world.

Another critical aspect of the East Asian Studies program at UCLA is its focus on community engagement. The program encourages students to get involved in local and global communities through service learning projects, volunteer work, and other initiatives.

Back view of volunteers.

This helps students develop essential skills and experiences and fosters a sense of social responsibility and global citizenship that is increasingly important in today’s interconnected world.

Admissions Requirements and Tips for East Asian Studies Prospective Students

Prospective students interested in studying East Asian Studies at UCLA should consult the program’s website for admissions requirements and deadlines.

In general, the program seeks students with a solid academic record and demonstrated interest in East Asian culture and history. Applicants must also submit three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a personal statement. As theEast Asian Studies is a graduate program, students can submit GRE test scores, but they are not required.

Students are encouraged to cultivate skills through coursework, language study, and other relevant experiences before applying to the program.

Additionally, prospective students should consider reaching out to current students or alumni of the program to gain insight into their experiences and to ask any questions they may have. The program also offers various events and workshops throughout the year, which provide opportunities for prospective students to learn more about the program and to connect with faculty and current students.

It is important for prospective students to thoroughly research the program and tailor their application materials to highlight their specific interests and experiences in East Asian Studies.

Scholarships and Financial Aid Opportunities for East Asian Studies Majors

Several scholarships and financial aid opportunities are available to students in the East Asian Studies program at UCLA. These include scholarships specifically for East Asian Studies majors and more general scholarships for students with demonstrated financial need.

financial aid as one of the factors to consider when choosing a college

Additionally, many students in the program can secure funding through research grants, internships, and study abroad programs.

One of the scholarships available to UCLA East Asian Studies majors is the East Asia Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships, awarded to students who have demonstrated academic excellence and a commitment to studying East Asian cultures and societies. This scholarship provides financial support for tuition, books, and other educational expenses.

The Impact of East Asian Studies on Society, Culture, and Politics Today

The study of East Asia is more important than ever in today’s globalized world. With China, Japan, and South Korea – three of the world’s largest economies – playing an increasingly important role in global politics and culture, it is crucial to have a deep understanding of these countries and the complex issues they face.

The East Asian Studies program is dedicated to fostering this understanding and equipping students with the tools they need to make meaningful contributions to society, culture, and politics in the future.

Moreover, the program provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the region’s history, culture, and politics and encourages them to engage with the local community. Through various outreach programs and partnerships with local organizations, students can apply their knowledge and skills to real-world issues and positively impact society.

This hands-on approach to learning enhances students’ academic experience and prepares them to become responsible global citizens who can contribute to building a more just and equitable world.

The UCLA East Asian Studies program offers a rich and immersive experience that delves into East Asia’s vibrant cultures, histories, and languages. With its esteemed faculty and diverse curriculum, the program provides a transformative educational journey for students. However, gaining admission to this prestigious program can be highly competitive.

AdmissionSight offers expert guidance and personalized support to students aspiring to join UCLA’s East Asian Studies program.

Through AdmissionSight’s tailored approach and deep understanding of the admissions process,  students will be able to showcase their passion for East Asian Studies, ultimately increasing their chances of acceptance into this renowned program.

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