Asian Studies

For more information on study abroad program for Asian Studies majors, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies for Asian Studies:

Jessamyn Abel, Assistant Professor in Asian Studies and History
Department of Asian Studies | 201C Old Botany Building, University Park, PA 16802 | 

If you have specific questions regarding language studies, please contact the relevant language coordinator:

Wen-Hua Du, Senior Lecturer in Chinese, Coordinator of the Chinese Language Program
Department of Asian Studies | 201B Old Botany Building, University Park, PA 16802 |

Haruko Iwami, Senior Lecturer in Japanese, Coordinator of the Japanese Language Program
Department of Asian Studies | 202 Old Botany Building, University Park, PA 16802

Sorin Huh, Coordinator of the Korean Language Program
Department of Asian Studies | 202 Old Botany Building, University Park, PA 16802 |

Suchsmita Sen, Lecturer in History, Coordinator of the Hindi Language Program
Department of Asian Studies | 414 Weaver, University Park, PA 16802 |

Education Abroad Programs Recommended by the Department:

Students who wish to study in China or Japan can also refer to the information included under the majors for those languages.

There are many programs relevant to Asian Studies majors, with offerings in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, India, Bhutan, and Cambodia. Find out more below.

In Japan, the recommended programs include:

IES: Nagoya, Nanzan University is recommended for intensive language study at any level, for a wide range of content coursework in both Japanese and English, for the quality of its on-campus facilities, and for the positive reviews of students who have attended the program in the past.

Mito: Ibaraki University is recommended for intensive language study at any level, for the small class sizes and student-shaped curricula, for its affordability, and for the positive reviews of students who have attended the program in the past.

IES: Tokyo, Language and Culture and IES Tokyo (Summer) are recommended for their proximity to the capital, and for lower-level language study.

If interested in China, Taiwan, or Hong Kong, the following program are available:

All of the CIEE Shanghai programs and the IES Beijing programs are recommended for the quality of their programs and their proximity to major sights.

CIEE: Taipei, Intensive Chinese Language and Culture is designed for intermediate to advanced language students who have an interest in improving their Chinese while having the opportunity to take non-language courses taught in English that aid in understanding Taiwanese culture and society. 

Hong Kong: Chinese University of Hong Kong, is an exchange opportunity for Penn State students, offering a wide range of courses Asian Studies and Contemporary China Studies, among others.

Hong Kong: The University of Hong Kong, is an exchange program that offers courses in most disciplines. The University of Hong Kong prides itself on being an international university, and all courses are taught in English, except for those in the Faculty of Chinese.

In Korea, the two most appropriate programs are:

 Seoul: Sogang University, which has a good range of courses, nice facilities, and positive reviews from students who have studied there.

CIEE: Seoul, Arts and Sciences Through this program students study at Yonsei University in Seoul. Students can choose from a wide range of courses in both the Korean language and content courses with instruction in English. 

For students interested in the study of India:

CIC-SPA: India, International Development in India; The India program is administered by the University of Minnesota but is open to all undergraduate students from CIC SPA institutions, including Penn State students. Study and intern in India, one of the oldest and most influential civilizations and an astoundingly complex nation. Contribute through an internship or research project with a nonprofit organization in India while exploring the complexities created by environmental, globalization, public health and social justice issues. The program takes place in Bangalore as well as rural areas where you will conduct your research or complete an internship. Bangalore is located in southern India and is known for its pleasant climate due to its high elevation.

In Southeast Asia, the following programs are available:

Singapore: National University of Singapore (Exchange), Singapore's diverse ethnic composition, primarily consisting of citizens of Chinese, Malay, and Indian backgrounds, enables students to learn about several different Asian cultures, customs, religious practices, festivals, and cuisine. The university is comprised of several faculties, including: design and environment, arts and sciences, business administration, dentistry, engineering, law, medicine and science.

CIEE: Khon Kaen, Development and Globalization, This program focuses on development, international and human rights, grassroots efforts and social justice issues. Confront development and globalization through interactions in the field where you will learn from and contribute to communities and organizations. Immerse yourself in the culture through community stays, Thai student roommates, fun adventures and more. Complete a final group project using methodical, field-based research.

SFS: Bhutan, Himalayan Environment and Society in Transition, This unique program offers students a broad exposure to the core areas of environment, culture, development, and governance in Bhutan.

SFS: Cambodia, River Ecosystems and Environmental Ethics, Students on this program learn about the complexity and fundamental importance of the Mekong River to the region’s ecosystems, livelihoods, and development. Through coursework, field excursions, and Directed Research, students focus on conservation, environmental ethics, and rural development.

Please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies for Asian Studies (currently Jessamyn Abel, and the Education Abroad Advisers for further information.

Academic Notes:

Study abroad is not required for the Asian Studies major, but it is highly recommended. Ideally, students will plan to study abroad after successfully completing the fourth semester of language study at Penn State (e.g. KOR 110).

Other Important Information:

For more information on global experiences and enrichment funding in the College of the Liberal Arts, please contact the Career Enrichment Network staff at or 814-865-1070.

Learn more about fellowships, scholarships, and international teaching opportunities, which can help in financing study abroad. 

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