Study Abroad for Asian American Studies Majors

The Department of Asian American Studies highly encourages all of its students to participate in the UC Education Abroad Program. Throughout the world, issues of race and inequality have become increasingly intense, as more people now work and settle abroad at a much greater rate than ever before. Over the past century, many nations in Asia have generated vast Diasporas, and now many of them also host people from other parts of the world. Asian Americans are often re-migrating back to the lands of their ancestors, as part of this wide circulation of people and ideas around the globe. We hope that by studying abroad, our majors will take part in these exciting trends, and at the same time, gain deeper insights into their own academic work.

Why study abroad?

Asian American Studies is moving toward transnational studies of race, identity, and inequality. 
 
How illuminating it would be to study up close the continuing interaction of Western and Asian influences in Asian countries. Japan, China, TaiwanSouth Korea — these are just a few places where our students could gain insights about Western imperialism and Asian adaptations to the West.  Japan and Korea now have large non-Japanese and non-Korean populations in their midst — again, how illuminating to see how these states deal with “foreign workers,” “illegal immigrants,” and other “threats” to their national identities. Our students who decide to study in European cities and capitals, they will have the opportunity to see “post-colonial” migrations—for example, the Vietnamese community in Paris, or the South Asian community in London.  
 
Our majors can learn a great deal about American race relations by examining these topics in other countries, in other places with different histories and entirely different cultures. As more people have moved across the world, bringing disparate cultures and ways of life in close contact with one another, we’ve seen more intense conflicts based on race, identity, immigration status, and class. We hope our majors will appreciate how the methods and insights of our field can help us better understand these trends.

Where should I study abroad?

Most UCEAP programs offer classes in ethnic studies, history, global studies, political science, media studies, and American studies, and all of these would be appropriate for our majors.  For specific suggestions, please consult our faculty advisors in the department.

When should I study abroad?

Students wishing to fulfill upper-division major requirements should study abroad during their junior, senior or even during a fifth year.
Students interested in fulfilling major preparation or General Education requirements can participate as early as their sophomore year. 

What classes should I take?

By searching Gaucho Credit Abroad and and the UCEAP Course Catalog, you will get an idea of the types of chemistry courses UC students have taken around the world.
All UCEAP students automatically earn UC credit for the work they complete abroad. However, the application of credit to major requirements is subject to the discretion of the department and approval of the college. Students are advised to email course descriptions to our undergraduate advisor and keep relevant faculty and staff fully apprised of their plan of study throughout the entire time they are abroad.  
 
Keep in mind that at least 20 units of upper-division major coursework (or 12 upper-division minor units) must be completed in residence at UCSB along with other residence requirements. Consult a Letters & Science College advisor for more information.

How do I get started?

  • Stop by the UCSB EAP office at 2431 South Hall.
  • Go the UCSB EAP website, Getting Started.
  • Consult the UCEAP website for program details.
  • Go see your department undergraduate advisor

What happens when I return?

If you go abroad your junior year, you should strongly consider doing a senior honors thesis based on the coursework and intellectual interests you developed abroad. This provides an ideal way of integrating time abroad with the completion of the Asian American Studies major. 
 
Department of Asian American Studies
5044 HSSB
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA  93106-4090
Phone:  (805) 893-8039