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Asian Studies

A broad understanding of traditional and modern Asia.

Asian studies at Augustana is a smart choice: The college has had a strong program since the mid-70s, when Augustana students and professors first started traveling together to East Asia.

Today, you can choose a major or minor in Asian studies. See also minors in Chinese and Japanese.

Like many Augustana students, you might combine Asian studies with a second major or minor such as business, economics, biology, geography, history, political science, religion, sociology, anthropology, art, art history, graphic design, computer science or another field.

Even with two or more majors you can graduate in four years with a broad understanding of traditional and modern Asia, multiple years of language study, experience in an Asian country, and valuable background for professional fields related to international trade and the world economy, environmental health, politics, education, the arts and more.

What you'll learn

Intercultural competence

Intercultural competence

Understand real and imaginary similarities and differences. Use more than one perspective to view issues.

Disciplinary knowledge

Disciplinary knowledge

Gain a deep understanding of your subject and how it connects to other subjects.

Communication competence

Communication competence

Read and listen carefully. Express ideas (writing or speaking) suited to the audience.

Intellectual curiosity

Intellectual curiosity

Set yourself up for lifelong intellectual growth. Take responsibility for your own learning.

Ethical citizenship

Ethical citizenship

Examine and embrace your strengths, passions and values. Develop ethical convictions and act on them.


• Augustana is one of only a few liberal arts colleges nationwide to offer four full years of instruction in Chinese and Japanese.

• The Asian studies faculty includes professors from China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the United States in the fields of art, art history, literature, business administration, economics, history, political science and religion.

• Augustana’s study-abroad opportunities are many and varied, and students often use their $2,000 through Augie Choice to pay for travel expenses. Excellent options for students of Asian studies include:
–  the faculty-led J-term in Japan and China
–  one-semester exchange programs with partner schools in Japan, Rikkyo University or Toyo University in Tokyo, or Kobe City University of Foreign Studies in Kobe.
–  a semester of language immersion or business and social sciences at Peking University in Beijing
–  a semester or annual exchange with Lingnan University in Hong Kong

• The Norm Moline East Asian Overseas Study Scholarship is available for students applying for the China J-term or the Japan J-term.

Recent graduates

Rosalie Looijaard '22 is pursuing a Ph.D. in philosophy at Boston University.

Katrina Rodriguez ‘21 is a material replenishment specialist at John Deere in Davenport, Iowa.

Courtney Veitch '21 is the international sales and marketing manager at Newmedical Technology, Inc., Chicago.

Valerie Spreeman '19 is an assistant language teacher at Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET) in Appleton, Wis.

Elise Cather ‘17 is a regional sales manager at Audley Travel in Boston, Mass.

Gage Meyers '17 graduated from Drake University Law School and is a trademark attorney.

Madelyn McGraw
More Than I Imagined Madelyn McGraw
“I will be forever grateful to Dr. Mari Nagase for telling me about a Japanese university's online language exchange program.”
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More Than I Imagined Kristen Higginbothan
“I studied at Augustana's partner school, Toyo University in Japan. It was the most exciting time of my life.”
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Pierce Albert
More Than I Imagined Pierce Albert
“I want to thank Chinese professor Hua-Mei Chang and Japanese professor Mari Nagase for stimulating my interest in East Asian languages and cultures.”
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Patrick McNally

Vikings and opera – beyond the cliché

Athleticism and the arts are a natural at Augustana, especially in opera. Football lineman Spencer Warfield  ’23 and fencer Soryn Richter  ’26 take the stage in “Amahl and the Night Visitors” on April 21 and 23.

From FYI to foreign service: Melinda Pavek '92

Melinda Pavek ’92 recently visited the studios of WVIK, Quad Cities NPR, to record an interview with Augustana's "Life of the Mind" podcast.