Why Study Asia?

Asian societies comprise a significant proportion of the world’s population, and their populations are expected to comprise the majority of the middle class with the most expenditures in the world. Beyond business opportunities in Asia, most of the Super Critical and Critical Languages according to the U.S. State Department are Asian languages.

Whether your interests focus on politics and diplomacy, international business, communication and journalism, academic careers, comparative cultures, or literature and art, researching and learning about Asia is a significant component in preparing you to engage a twenty-first-century globalized environment. The world has also come to Alabama. A greater understanding of Asia is increasingly relevant to lives in the Southeast as professional acquaintances and neighbors alike may have an Asian heritage.

Beyond gaining knowledge about Asia, the interdisciplinary focus of Asian studies addresses many of the larger theoretical questions that intersect with both academic studies and personal experiences. Issues surrounding identity, the construction of traditions, and the historical, cultural and political antecedents to current events enter into many discussions in Asian studies. The study of cultures beyond your home also provides a fresh perspective into your own heritage.

Beyond UA

What have students who have studied Asia done beyond UA?

  • Played rugby in China
  • Pursued a master’s in American studies
  • Taught English in Indonesia
  • Sold real estate in China
  • Conducted research in Tibet with an NGO
  • Studied education in grad school