UH West Oʻahu Asian Studies certificate provides opportunity to study cultures of Asia in an interdisciplinary program

Painting of Buddhist Ten Judgements of Hell

Buddhist Ten Judgements of Hell – Chinese, 17th Century

The University of Hawai‘i-West O‘ahu is offering a certificate in Asian Studies for the first time in Fall 2017. The certificate offers students the opportunity to study the cultures of Asia in an interdisciplinary program, which may lead to employment in a variety of professional and academic fields related directly, or indirectly, to Asia.

This certificate will be useful to students who work in Hawaiʻi after graduation, given the prominence of international visitors in the tourism industry. In 2016, about one in six visitors to Hawai‘i came from Japan (almost 1.5 million), while there were roughly 250,000 South Korean visitors and 170,000 Chinese visitors (the highest spending of all visitors to Hawai‘i.)

“The certificate in Asian Studies provides students an opportunity to learn about the bodies of knowledge, languages and cultural practices as well as the social, political, economic, and religious formations of societies that comprise a diverse Asia,” UH West Oʻahu Chancellor Maenette Benham said. “The value of the certificate is that it enhances one’s opportunities after graduation in areas of education, foreign service, and business. What an asset to add to a student’s professional dossier!”

Due to the increasingly global environment of business, persons with an understanding of Asian cultures are in demand. Asia is home to nearly 60 percent of global gross domestic product, some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, half the world’s population, and an expanding middle class, and so offers great opportunities for U.S. firms and workers.

To earn this certificate, students must complete three requirements:

A. 12 upper division credits in Asian Content Courses from at least 2 different concentrations

B. Practical Training (3 credits) Choose one of the following options:

1. International Related Practicum: An internship in an Asian country, a domestic internship with an Asia-Rlated corporation, a domestic internship with extensive contact with Asian clients or service learning project with an Asian component (i.e., work with Asian immigrants). A senior practicum can fulfill this requirement.
2. Study Abroad or Overseas Field trip: 2 week minimum time spent outside of the United States in an Asian nation (in East Asia, Southeast Asia or South Asia). A senior project or directed readings class with a travel component may also count.

C. Language requirement

1. Student must show proficiency in an Asian language equivalent to or better than having finished the second semester of a second year college language course (i.e. JPNS 202)
2. beginning proficiency in TWO Asian languages equivalent to or better than the first semester of a first year college language course (i.e., ILO 102 and JPNS 102)

Image courtesy of Joe Mabel