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Venture into the land of dragons

Excellent preparation for international law, diplomacy or business

To be a world citizen, you must move past the culture and language you were brought up with and embrace another. Our East Asian Studies major focuses on China, Taiwan, the two Koreas, and Japan — all key players on the international stage. Study their languages and history here on our Florida campus, then spend a semester or two in the country of your choice.


Big-school opportunities

Eckerd teaches Chinese and Japanese up to advanced levels right here on campus, offering language immersion via:

  • Semesters at universities in Japan, Korea or China
  • Three-week language-intensive programs in Shanghai and Tokyo
  • Summer environmental fieldwork in Japan and Indonesia

Small-school attention

At Eckerd, your classes will have a student/faculty ratio of 12:1 — not hundreds to one like at a large university. This means you’ll have close working relationships with your professors, both on campus and as you travel together.

In Their Own Words

“The instructors are world-class professionals that embrace the Socratic method. There was a great deal of diversity in the Eckerd faculty, some practitioners, others life long academics, but nonetheless all, regardless of the subject, demonstrated great passion for their craft, as well as a genuine curiosity in expanding their understanding of other fields. This made for an intellectually stimulating experience. These experiences extended beyond the classroom whether it was working for the [student newspaper], participating in the Ethics Bowl Team, or working at the Collegium office. ”
Sean M. Lawlor ’12, Foreign Service Officer at U.S. Department of State

Beyond the Classroom

In addition to the three-week language immersion programs in Shanghai and Tokyo mentioned above, you can spend a full semester at a university in Japan, Korea or China.

The Tokyo winter term, a three-week language intensive program, is especially popular among students, as is the semester exchange program with Kansai Gaidai University, in the Kyoto/Osaka area.

Eckerd runs an English Language Center on our St. Petersburg campus that enrolls many Asian students. Most of these students are just as eager to share their own languages with you as they are to learn English from you.

All East Asian Studies majors are required to study abroad in East Asia at some point in their four years. Eckerd offers short-term, semester or year-long study in Japan, China and Korea. A semester-long language immersion program is strongly recommended.

Any courses taken abroad count toward a major or minor in East Asian Studies.

Study Abroad Pics on Flickr

Because of the small courses and the level of attention that allows, you’ll have the chance to do research on a topic you choose. Here’s what recent students have dug into:

  • The history and myth of the Japanese woman warrior Tomoe Gozen
  • Bushido and pacifism in Japan
  • The development of East Asian martial arts
  • The construction of ethnicity in modern China
  • Japanese woodblock prints

You can also participate in the Asia/Environment Initiative, where you’ll travel with a faculty mentor to a field site in Asia to do environmental research work.

You’ll take an on-campus class on Asian environmental issues in the spring, which includes working with a team to prepare for fieldwork.

You’ll then spend anywhere from 3 – 6 weeks abroad with your classmates and an Eckerd professor, along with students and faculty from a host university in that country.

  • In St Pete’s sister city of Takamatsu, Japan, students have researched sustainable cities and marine ecosystems.
  • The Indonesia program offers the chance to work with environmentally-focused non-profit organizations there.
  • Eckerd students have done research alongside faculty and students of Hong Kong Baptist University.

Service is more than just a buzzword here. It starts with Into the Streets during Autumn Term, when small groups of new students spend a few hours volunteering with youth programs, shelters and other local non-profits. All students are required to complete at least 40 hours of community service.

Service Pics on Flickr

Popular classes

Japanese Culture and the Supernatural

Delve into the supernatural elements that have long fascinated the Japanese. This class examines how attitudes toward the supernatural shape both national and individual Japanese identity.

Chinese Martial Arts in Lit. & Film

Study Chinese martial arts literature and cinema from pre-modern and modern periods, the evolution of Chinese knight-errantry, as well as:

  • Masculinities vs. femininities
  • Representation of action
  • Nationalism and internationalism
  • The relationship between tradition and modernity

This course is taught in English translation.

Long distance view of Mount Fuji


Photo above: Students under Mount Fuji by Zachary Smith ’21

What can I do with an east asian studies degree?

  • Activist
  • Ambassador
  • Community Developer
  • Diplomat
  • Economist
  • Educator
  • Entrepreneur
  • Foreign Service Worker
  • Historian
  • Human Rights Advocate
  • Immigration Officer
  • Interpreter
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Media Correspondent
  • Museum Curator
  • Political Consultant
  • Public Policy Advisor
  • Researcher

Where our east asian studies majors go to graduate school

  • Argosy University
  • Auburn University
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Denver
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of South Florida

Where our east asian studies majors go to work

  • American Jewish World Service
  • Apple
  • Asia Society
  • Bower Group Asia
  • D.W. Van Dyke & Co.
  • European Parliament
  • Florida Holocaust Museum
  • Japan Exchange And Teaching Programme
  • Stermas K.K.
  • Tampa Bay Times
  • True & Associates
  • U.S. Air Force
  • U.S. Army Reserves
  • U. S. Department Of Defense
  • Xiamen University
Sign up for more about Eckerd and our east asian studies program