Asian Area Studies

The Department of Asian Studies is a centre for teaching and research in a variety of disciplines and interdisciplinary approaches, all focused on the peoples of Asia.

In recent years, the study of Asian societies and cultures has grown in importance in BC and Canada.

Students wishing to gain a deeper understanding of Asian cultures, including language, can pursue a Major, Minor, or Honours in Asian Area Studies.

Click here for Program Requirements


The major and minor can be declared on the Student Service Centre (SSC) when you have second-year standing. Admission to the Honours program requires an application.

If you have any questions regarding applications, please contact the department.


Erika Thomas: Stepping-Stones to Success

Erika Thomas (BA '03) has built her career around a love of Asian culture and volunteer work. Following her degree, Erika spent three years working in Japan with the JET Programme. Upon returning to Vancouver, she made her way into the job market, and through a number of work and volunteer stepping-stones, found a job she loves: Special Events Assistant at VanDusen Botanical Garden.

Dr. Edward Slingerland: Taoism with a Twist

Dr. Edward Slingerland, parallel to many of his students, was motivated to study Taoism by its influence on pop culture icons, like the celebrated 1950s and 1960s American writers of the “Beat Generation” troupe. Having studied it formally, he’s found that his initial motivation was somewhat misdirected as these influences are basically mistaken about Taoism and Zen.

Mace Mateo and Meghan Price: Global issues up close and personal

What exactly is global citizenship? For UBC students Mace Mateo and Meghan Price, it means being ruthlessly honest about their role in developing countries. After visiting an orphanage while living in Guatemala last term, Mateo and Price questioned “poverty tourism.” “We asked ourselves whether our presence actually helps anyone in those situations, or are we there more for ourselves?”


Department of Asian Studies
UBC Asian Centre
Room 403
1871 West Mall
Tel: 604-822-0019