“Taking Hindi classes was unique. It has made me more culturally aware, more interested in international affairs, and has built a strong foundation in grammar, writing and speaking for other languages. Also, we watched films, discussed contemporary politics, learned about religion and studied works of literature in translation.”
– Amberjade Taylor ’11
You probably recognize Bollywood. Maybe you even know the films of Ang Lee. And chances are you’ve read lines by Confucious. None of that would be surprising. More than two thirds of the world’s population lives in Asia. Influence from this sector of the world is widespread — not only where culture is concerned, but also in business, technology and so many other fields. Get used to it. This phenomenon will only continue.
China alone is home to 20 percent of the world’s population. And India accounts for roughly 17 percent. These two countries, along with the many other nations that comprise Asia, are enormously important on the world scene. In an increasingly globalized society, knowledge and understanding of these regions and their cultures will be a pivotal tool for almost every professional pursuit in the coming decades.
At the College of Charleston, the Asian studies program exists for just that purpose — to prepare students to thrive in a world where the cultures of East, Central and South Asia play an increasingly important role. By studying Asia, not only will you broaden your understanding of this vast realm, but your basic grasp of Asian cultures, languages, art, politics and economics will also help you understand Western civilization better through the perspective you’ll gain.
Our Asian studies minor is comprehensive. It fuses courses from history, language and literature, philosophy, political science, art history and religious studies. The program is also flexible. You can choose from a list of electives to complement your academic interests. Let’s say your major is international business. You can add a minor in Asian studies and end up researching American companies with manufacturing bases in Sri Lanka.
Whether you’re focused on business, science, the arts or some other discipline, there’s a good chance that Asian studies can enhance and strengthen your academic experience — not to mention your career prospects.
Want to find out more about two-thirds of the world? Check out Asian studies at the College of Charleston.
Mary Beth Heston