Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Teaching Resources Essay

Leading a Short-Term Study Trip for Students in Japan

The best way for students to study the history, culture, and livelihoods of another country is through an organized in-country experience. There are various benefits that can accrue through such an endeavor. One can learn about a part of the world away from home while at the same time gaining a deeper appreciation of one’s own culture by looking at it from the outside. Ideally, a student will spend a full semester or year studying abroad, but that is a luxury that many cannot afford in terms o...

Asia: Experiential Learning, Resources

Thailand: Experiential Learning In and Outside the Classroom

How can students make meaning out of their experiences abroad? How can they connect their learning inside and outside the classroom? These are difficult questions for faculty teaching in a study abroad context where students learn not only from their professors. They have the opportunity to learn from religious leaders, museums, and temples, as well as to think about issues and current debates in societies other than their own as they exist in reality, not just in textbooks. As much as excursion...

EAA Interview, Feature Article

Vocational Students and International Education: An EAA Interview with United States–Japan Foundation Elgin Heinz Prizewinner, Robert Clavelle

Robert (Bob) Clavelle is the Instructor of the Building Trades Program at the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center in White River Junction, Vermont. He has a strong passion for Japan, its people, and culture. In the summer of 2000, he was provided an opportunity to be a participant in the University of Vermont’s Asian Studies Outreach Program Institute in Japan, a three-week study program funded by the United States–Japan Foundation (USJF) with a focus on learning Japanese culture and ...

Asia: Experiential Learning, Columns, Resources

Drawing Insights in Việt Nam

Every spring, Marlboro College offers one or two semester-long courses that include a travel abroad experience. A few years ago, I had the opportunity as part of a Freeman grant held by the college to participate, along with students, in a study course focused on Asia.1 The year that I participated, the course was titled Việt Nam: Revolution and Restoration, and it included a three-week trip to north and central Việt Nam. The classwork introduced our group of five faculty and twelve students...

Asia: Experiential Learning, Columns

The Power of Stories Globalization in India and the TIPS Curriculum

The globe may seem to be getting smaller, but I remain utterly fascinated by its vastness. There are so many people in our world, and I often wonder what makes us similar or different from each other. For me, stories provide a pathway to better understand our world and ourselves. Stories connect us to one another and can help us better plot our own place in the grand and sometimes-chaotic scheme of things. At the University of Washington in Seattle, I teach transnational and postcolonial lite...

Asia: Experiential Learning, Resources

Learning “On the Go” in Xi’an: Creating a Successful Experiential Learning Program at the University of Northern Colorado

Lost on their way to a famous Daoist temple in the city of Xi’an in north central China, a passing Chinese man pointed a group of visiting American students in the right direction. Another group of students went on a three-hour trip by train and public bus to visit an isolated but famous Buddhist cave .grotto in the countryside. Another group found a Chan/Zen Buddhist monastery in the heart of Xi’an that charges no admission fee and is unknown to many of the local residents. These are some o...

Feature Article

Sensory Experiences as Elements of Asian Studies Field Trips

Wingate University is a comprehensive university twenty-five miles east of Charlotte, North Carolina, with an undergraduate population of about 2,000. Almost 80 percent of our students are from North Carolina and many are from small towns. The student body is 60 percent female and 75 percent Caucasian. Although some of our students are well-traveled, a significant number have never been out of the country, and many have never been on an airplane.

Feature Article

Fang yazi—Releasing the Ducks: The University of North Dakota’s Short-Term Faculty-Led Study Program in China

In the summer of 2000, students at our university participated in the first China Summer Study Program (CSSP), a short-term, faculty-led program sponsored by the College of Business and Public Administration. It was designed as a study abroad experience that would allow students to accomplish specific tasks on their own rather than being transported from place to place on a tour bus or spending time in classrooms and factory reception halls. In this program, students walk or use public transport...

Feature Article

Islam Encountered: Confronting Stereotypes and Fostering Knowledge

In this article, I discuss how field trips offer unique opportunities to craft a more nuanced and grounded understanding of religion in Southeast Asia, particularly Islam. I argue that rather than exert a lot of energy on “mythbusting” religious stereotypes through direct counterfactuals, encouraging students to channel these stereotypes towards a reflexive introspection has proven to be pedagogically beneficial. I then discuss field trips as a potentially fruitful opportunity to embody reli...

Feature Article

International Engagement Through Experiential Learning: Southeast Asian Case Studies

Our world today is defined by rapid and pervasive connections, whether in our globally interlinked economic systems and financial networks, the movement of goods and services, or the interactions of people and communities. Technological advances are further facilitating and expanding these connections, providing multiple platforms for sharing information, ideas, and innovations while collapsing boundaries and distances. Technology is also changing the ways we think about friendship, culture, com...

Feature Article

How “Green” Is Japan?: Studying Environmental Issues in the Field

There is no shared definition of what makes a country, business, or person “green” or environmentally friendly. However, based upon its landscape, policies, technologies, and practices, Japan appears to be more eco-friendly than most nations. Approximately 70 percent of Japan is forested—a much higher percentage than other countries. It has a history of celebrating nature in the arts, from landscape gardens and flower arrangement to the haiku of Basho and anime of Hayao Miyazaki. (note 1) ...

Feature Article

Ethnicity in the Lives of Modern Malaysian Youth

By Nancy Janus, Courtney Graham, Melissa Christie, Zoe Friedman, Jonathan Bonner During the summer of 2007, I traveled to Malaysia with four undergraduate students to study the lives of Malaysian youth. The youth-on-youth approach gave us an intimate look into the religion, social lives, and values of young Malaysians. We were interested in examining the ways in which ethnicity shaped the lives of young people in this multi-ethnic society. Malaysia is a geographically and ethnically diverse S...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Summer Study Tours: Making the Most of a Preeminent Professional Development Opportunity

By Ronald S. Byrnes Summer study tours present an unparalleled opportunity for teachers to continue learning about other people and places, to make new friends, to network, to internationalize curricula, and in the end, to rekindle enthusiasm for teaching. I have been privileged to be part of two Asia study tours. In 1997, I spent July in China with six colleagues, compliments of a Freeman Foundation grant. We traveled by bus, train, and plane in Eastern and Central China visiting cities, sch...

Essay, Resources

Pointers, Practicalities, and Pitfalls of Directing a Field Course in Asia

As novices in directing a field course, we felt that our trip, while immensely successful and enjoyable, yielded a number of lessons to be shared with others. It is difficult to imagine a teaching challenge more daunting and yet more rewarding than directing an international field course. Picture adding to the standard demands and pleasures of teaching the tasks of guide, accountant, publicist, recruiter, travel agent, menu planner, goodwill ambassador, medical advisor, and, for some of us, tra...

Essay, Resources

EAA Interview with Margot Landman

Margot Landman is director of the U.S.-China Teachers Exchange Program, established in 1995 with a generous grant from the Freeman Foundation. The one-year exchange brings Chinese teachers to school districts in the United States, and sends American teachers to schools in China. The Chinese counterpart in this thriving exchange is the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE). In summer 2002 the program moved from the American Council of Learned Societies to the National Com...

Essay, Resources

Money, Anyone? Fulbright Program Funds for Group Projects

The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) Fulbright Group Projects Abroad programs offer a unique and interesting opportunity for area studies faculty to extend their reach into professional schools, junior colleges, and precollegiate education programs in addition to permitting innovation within more standard area studies programs in our college and graduate education.1 The Group Projects program may not be familiar to many, so I should note that these projects span four general project types: ...

EAA Interview

On the Asian Studies Development Program

The Asian Studies Development Program is a quite successful project that focuses upon improving undergraduate-level teaching about Asia. ASDP is particularly useful for college faculty who aren’t Asia specialists and would like to develop Asia-related expertise. In what follows I interview ASDP’s outstanding codirectors, Roger Ames and Betty Buck. Lucien: How did both of you become interested in Asia? What Asia-related academic work did you do, and what positions did you hold before becomi...

EAA Interview

EAA Interview with Steve Levine: Creator of the China Box

Steven I. Levine is the Mansfield Professor of Asia Pacific Studies at the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center, University of Montana. He is the author or editor of three books and several dozen articles, chapters, and review essays on Chinese history and East Asian international relations. He is presently working on a history of post-World War II Sino-American relations....

Essay, Resources

Short-term Programs in Japan: The Outlook for the Future

Last year only slightly over 1,000 American students studied in Japanese universities while in recent years, between 40,000 and 50,000 Japanese students annually enroll in American institutions of higher learning.1 In response to this situation, the Japanese and U.S. governments, in cooperation with private and public educational institutions and groups, are attempting to stimulate American student interest in Japanese studies and in Japan as an educational destination. Japanese university short...

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