The growing importance of Asia in the world scene means increasing career opportunities in education, business, international development, journalism, government, social work, and art. In particular, it encompasses the geographical and cultural areas of East Asia (China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan), South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) and Southeast Asia (Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia), offering various courses in most of the disciplines of the humanities and the social sciences.
Asian Studies also relates to Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, a significant discipline that examines the western part of Asia, including such countries as Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Turkey. It interacts with Near Eastern Studies that presents another significant region belonging to West Asia, prior to the rise of Islam and with extension to the present in the case of Modern Hebrew. Asian Studies courses, on both undergraduate and graduate levels, are open to all university students with divergent academic and career interests. Many of these courses are credited toward majors in other departmental programs.
In addition to our Asian Studies minor program, our Asian Studies elective courses—which are regularly offered by Religious Studies, Sociology-Anthropology, Modern Languages, and Political Studies—appeal to a growing number of students from not only the Arts Faculty but also other Faculties and Schools. Here are a few relevant perspectives and insights given by the students who took, for example, Religious Studies courses. A junior student who had travelled in several Asian countries decided to take Religious Studies 251 (Japanese Religion and Culture), one of the Asian Studies electives, said, "I want to return to Japan for travel and work." A junior Psychology major had an insightful self-reflection: "I became interested in the course because of the strong interest that the Japanese (tourists) have in PEI. I would like to learn more about their culture!"