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Asian Studies

A broad understanding of traditional and modern Asia

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Augustana offers a major and a minor in Asian studies. Students usually take at least one term of language study in Chinese or Japanese.

Careers and internships

The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program and the AEON Corporation of Japan accept recent Augustana graduates to teach English in junior or senior high schools, local government offices or private corporations in Japan.

Recent grads:

Valerie Spreeman ’19 is working with the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program.

Brooke Armstrong ’11 taught English at elementary and junior high schools in Kiso-machi, Japan, 2011-2014; currently she is an independent Japanese teacher in Muscatine, Iowa, and a library aide at Wilton Public Library in Wilton, Iowa.

Gage Meyers ’17 is a graduate student at Drake University School of Law.

Emily Stanevicius ’16 is a teacher at Central China Normal University in Wuhan, China.

Hilary Timmerman ’13 is employed in international affairs at Kleberg Bank, Corpus Christi, Texas.

About the program

Augustana offers a major and minor in Asian studies, as well as minors in Chinese and Japanese. Many students of Asian studies take Chinese or Japanese, along with courses or a second major or minor in disciplines such as history, anthropology, sociology, business administration, international business, or the arts.

Even with two or more majors students can graduate in four years with broad understanding of traditional and modern Asia, at least three years of language study, experience in an Asian country, and the background for many professional fields. Faculty include native speakers from China and Japan, and professors from 12 departments across the liberal arts and sciences, teaching courses such as Japanese Art, Gender and Privilege in the People’s Republic of China, Religion and  Philosophy of India, and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Augustana is one of only a few colleges nationwide to offer four years of instruction in Chinese. For Japanese instruction, students may study three years of the language on campus and third- and fourth-level Japanese in Kobe, Japan.

Every three years, students and faculty study and travel together throughout Japan, Taiwan, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the People’s Republic of China. Augustana also offers full terms and focused study programs in countries such as Cambodia and Vietnam and yearlong exchange programs with Lingnan University in Hong Kong and the Kobe City University of Foreign Studies in Kobe, Japan.

What students say

Emily Stanevicius ’16, Asian studies and biology; currently teaching at Central China Normal University, Wuhan, China
Having a bachelors in Asian studies definitely helped me prepare for my position as a professor at CCNU; however, the majority of my strengths come from the faculty. Studying under the professors in the Asian studies department not only allowed me to find this opportunity, but also taught me necessary components that allowed me to approach this position with relative ease. I can’t thank them enough for the connections they have helped me make, the perspectives they have helped me see, and the knowledge they have helped me realize.

Hilary Timmerman ’13, Asian studies and international business; employed in international affairs at Kleberg Bank, Corpus Christi, Texas
I came to Augustana with very limited knowledge of anything outside of the United States, and now I have a degree in international business and Asian studies and a strong fascination for cultures different from my own. My peak experience at Augustana was definitely my study abroad trip to East Asia. With the help of $2,000 from Augie Choice, the trip gave me the opportunity to broaden my perspectives and see the world in a new light.

Brooke Armstrong ’11, anthropology and Asian studies; currently working towards a master’s in anthropology of travel and tourism at SOAS University of London
At Augustana I learned that I can do more than I thought I could. Even though doing something might be scary, I learned that by following through with your ideas … you will be amazed by the results. Now [2013] I’ve been teaching in Japan for about a year and a half, and plan on staying one more year before applying to graduate school—most likely for anthropology.

From FYI to foreign service: Melinda Pavek '92

Melinda Pavek ’92 recently visited the studios of WVIK, Quad Cities NPR, to record an interview with Augustana's "Life of the Mind" podcast.

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