Study Abroad for East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies Majors

The Department of East Asian Studies strongly encourages its students to study abroad through the Education Abroad Program (EAP). East Asia is now solidly a global center of economic production, innovative cultural trends, and traditional lifestyles. It is not an exaggeration to say that no one’s education is complete today without a deep knowledge of the East Asian world. And the best way to acquire a deep and solid knowledge is to spend time in East Asia — in China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong, or Singapore -- and experience the excitement of life there in all its complexities and fascination. High-tech cityscapes and ancient temples in remote mountains, multinational companies and beach resorts, traditional cuisine and avant-garde art… these are all glimpses on some of our world’s future trends, and you will be able to navigate them in the local languages in the company of local people. Study in East Asia is a unique educational opportunity, a powerful career-boosting decision, and, above all, a wonderful life-changing experience.

Why study abroad?

Beyond academic competence, a generally unintended and unmeasurable result of education is the change it brings about in an individual’s thought processes and modes of experiencing the world. It is perhaps one of the greatest unacknowledged rewards of an education. Such change is as much the result of the context of one’s studies as it is of their content.

For students in the East Asian Studies program, nothing can compare with the context of living in Asia. No amount of classroom work can replace living for an extended period of time immersed in the culture of another country.

Some students go in order to improve language skills. Others go to gain a new perspective of the world. Some use the experience to build their resumes in preparation for government service, grad school applications, or international business. And some go just for the amazing adventures: taking a local bus along hair-raising mountain roads in Taiwan, watching Kabuki in Tokyo, climbing the Great Wall of China, hearing the slang of Singaporean teenagers in the subway, dancing in the night clubs of Hong Kong, or shopping for textiles in one of Vietnam’s open-air markets.

Regardless of the reasons for going, nearly all students return from abroad with a new perspective not only of the social, cultural, and political context of a foreign country, but a new appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of their own country as well. Some students find their lives or career choices transformed by their study abroad experience. Many find that adjusting to a foreign way of living and studying is a time of great personal growth that enhances their confidence and sense of self in ways that translate to many other pursuits. College is the time for exploration.

Don’t miss out on an EAP experience!

Where should I study abroad?

EAP offers a variety of short-term and long-term study experiences in Asia. There are extensive program offering in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan, where sophomores and above can go for a summer, a semester or a year to study. These countries offer programs for every level of foreign language, from beginner to fluent.

Rapidly developing economies combined with centuries of tradition and history make China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan top destinations for students studying Chinese languages or cultures.

There are also EAP programs in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam where students take classes in English and may study the local language. Go to the EAP web site for more detailed information on these programs: eap.ucop.edu.

When should I study abroad?

Students can study abroad in Asia as early as their sophomore year or as late as their last semester of their senior year. Regardless of when you plan to study abroad, start planning NOW!

What classes should I take?

Keep in mind that at students in the College of Letters and Science must complete at least 20 units of upper-division major coursework (or 12 upper-division minor units) in residence at UCSB along with other residence requirements. Consult an advisor in the College of Letters & Science for more information.

All EAP 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. Save all syllabi, papers and other relevant course information to help you petition courses for specific requirements Plan ahead and consult with your advisors before leaving and while abroad.

How do I get started?

Begin by identifying your goals for study abroad and then consult the EAP web pages (eap.ucop.edu) to identify appropriate EAP programs. To find programs which offer particular disciplines or to search courses taken by EAP students over the last 5 years by subject, keyword and/or location, explore the resources found under Program Search and Course Catalog. Navigate to host universities’ web sites on the available links to learn more about the schools and their departments. 

Come by the EAP office at 2431 South Hall. Peer advisors who have recently returned from studying abroad as well as staff advisors are eager to answer your questions. Go see your Undergraduate Advisor in the department office and make an appointment to speak with an advisor in the College of Letters & Science.

East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies
2214 HSSB
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-7075
Phone: (805) 893-5478
eastasian.ucsb.edu

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