Majority of the world’s population is in Asia. It has about 60% of the world’s population with three of the four most populated countries in the world China, India and Indonesia. Asia has produced some of the world’s most ancient and sophisticated cultures. It continues to shape the global environment whether economic, political and natural. Most of Asian economies have exponential growth and more consistently than any other group of economies in the world in the past four decades. With the fastest growing economies and over half of the world’s population, Asia will continue to be a dominant force in the 21st century. The growing influence of Asia in the world today will eventually recapture its pre-eminence on the world they once enjoyed before the age of Western dominance.
The world is increasingly looking to Asia economically, politically, culturally and strategically. This sense of Asian dynamism compels the global community to have a strong relationship with it. People across the globe are now actively recruiting Asian studies graduates who can demonstrate a deep understanding of the continent. Asian Studies explores diverse topics on culture, politics, economics and history of Asia its people and civilization. It combines aspects of history, sociology, cultural anthropology and other disciplines to study economic, cultural and political phenomena in Asian tradition and transformation. Studies are placed on the comparative and interdisciplinary ways of deeper understanding of the East which shed new light on Western civilization and culture. Learning is a lifetime activity. Comprehensive curriculum in Asian Studies is closely connected to historical insight needed for a lifetime of learning about Asia.
Students interested in Asian studies can find a Bachelor’s degree or Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies at many universities and colleges across the world. Applicants must have a high school diploma or must complete most of the general education requirements before they can enrol in the program. Courses in Asian studies are usually broad multidisciplinary programs that give students a look at different areas including Asian history, Asian art, Asian religion, Asian politics and international relations. Courses often require student to study one Asian language in-depth, such as Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Arabic, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Persian, or Vietnamese. It usually takes three to four years of study to earn a bachelor’s degree.
Upon course completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
• Engage with Asia culturally and linguistically for independent lifelong learning.
• Communicate knowledge of Asia to different audiences in both English and an Asian language.
• Use concepts from social science and humanities to analyse, review and develop knowledge about the Asian continent.
• Reflect Asian concepts on humanities and social sciences.
• Exercise critical thinking and judgement in solving problems.
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree students may choose to pursue graduate studies. Options include Master of Arts in Asian Studies; some institutions also offer Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Asian Studies.
Asian studies are becoming a popular and rewarding major program. Career opportunities are plentiful including government work, education, justice system, diplomacy and business within the international business community. There are professional opportunities also for graduates in the field of Foreign Service, international trade, community relations, international journalism and translation. Cultural groups around the world like ACM Group are eyeing graduates of tomorrow to promote a broader understanding of the eastern culture.
Asia is a vibrant and important continent in the sense of culture, politics and economics. Asian studies help to enrich the world understanding of the rich history and culture and the driving force of Asian economy today. Understanding the East will contribute to our common human heritage that will prepare us for a responsible and successful role in globalisation. Whether you are interested in the past, present or future, studying Asian studies makes a lot of sense.