Students to share why to study in Asia

Kennedy Nolen, Multicultural Reporter

Students will share their experiences studying abroad in Asia during a panel at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in room 2761 of Coleman Hall.

Kurt Olausen, director of study abroad, will give an overview of the programs available, along with ways students can study in various Asian countries.

Studying in Asia is “important for our future, for our economy and for our strategic alliances,” Olausen said.

Along with talking about their time in Asia students will discuss how they received different scholarships.

Olausen said Jinhee Lee, the coordinator of the Asian Studies program, usually projects a Skype session with an Eastern graduate who teaches in Asia.

Japan and South Korea are currently the two most popular places to study, according to Olausen.

There is almost always at least one student studying in South Korea, Olausen said, but the demand to travel in Japan is spreading.

Olausen said South Korea has a long history of good relations with U.S., as does Japan.

The way Korean universities are structured, he explained, they offer a broader curriculum.

Olausen said a lot of Asian faculty members on campus are Korean, so they can talk about South Korea with students and encourage them to study there.

The Japanese exchange program is somewhat limited to an Asian Studies focus, he said, but if a student is a political science major, they can take an Asian politics class in Japan.

There are two art majors studying in Japan now and one art major who studied there last semester, Olausen said.

He said there have been faculty-led trips to China, Indonesia and India, but the demand is not very high for that part of the world.

“India is one of those places where the culture shock is so great for Westerners going there,” Olausen said. “It can be a hard place to travel.”

Asia is an important part of the world, he said, especially for business these days.

“China is a huge economic partner for the U.S.,” Olausen said.

China also a strategic partner, he said, because the country and its population are so large.

“We are educating a lot of their students here, so there is a natural connection and natural relationships between us,” Olausen said.

Kennedy Nolen can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].