“Study abroad allows you to experience what many fail to understand: wandering and traveling in another country is not just useful, it is essential. You cannot speak about another country without walking its streets and tasting its food. Asian and Middle Eastern Studies majors must place themselves in cities and places that will require them to converse and eat and sleep in different ways and learn the wanderer's wisdom: ‘the less you have, the more you have.” –Akira Takemoto, Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures, Japanese

Off-Campus Studies can help Asian and Middle Eastern Studies students…

  • Improve foreign language skills
  • Gain awareness of the major discipline from a different scholarly tradition
  • Develop a global perspective
  • Gain research skills from field studies or work with primary sources
  • Expand cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills
  • Prepare for an increasingly diverse and international workplace

How does a semester or year of OCS help students in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies prepare for graduate school or various career opportunities?  

  • Develop language skills
  • Build networks abroad and a foundation for post-graduate opportunities, such as Fulbright and other grants and fellowships
  • Provide opportunities for depth and breadth of study beyond what is available locally and develop cross-cultural communication skills

As a general rule of thumb, the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Department recommends the following for students who wish to study off campus.

  • Prior to choosing a program students should consult with an AMES advisor to determine their concentration in the major, including which language they will be studying.
  • While students are not required to study abroad, it is highly encouraged.
  • Students who are pursuing Chinese or Japanese language should enroll in those classes as soon as possible to complete the two year requirement prior to off-campus studies, if possible.
  • Asian and Middle Eastern Studies majors may opt to study abroad in the fall semester, spring semester, or for the full academic year in consultation with their major adviser.

Which requirements can Asian and Middle Eastern Studies majors fulfill while off campus?

  • Elective major credit
  • Preliminary research for Senior Thesis
  • General Studies distribution credit
  • General degree credit
  • Possibly language credit
  • Possibly one class for the concentration

Major Credit Limitations

  • The maximum number of credits that can be applied to the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies major from off campus studies (including AP credit, IB credit and credits from other U.S. institutions) is 17 credits with the approval of your major adviser.
  • Be aware that language courses and other courses transferred from U.S. institutions toward the major requirements are counted in the 17 credit limit.

What are the types of OCS programs recommended by the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies department?

  • Enroll at a study center for U.S./international students or direct enroll at an Asian University campus
  • Field study programs with opportunities to engage in research with the local community
  • Programs that offer an opportunity for independent study research
  • Programs that offer an opportunity for an internship or experiential learning embedded in an academic course as part of the program

Which Partner Programs are recommended by the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies department?

Asian studies majors may opt to study in China or Japan for cultural and linguistic immersion in the language they have taken at Whitman or they may broaden their knowledge of Asia for comparative purposes by studying in a different country of the region.

  • Associated Kyoto Program (AKP)| Japan
  • CIEE: Amman Middle East Studies | Jordan
  • CIEE: Khon Kaen Development and Globalization | Thailand
  • CIEE: Seoul Arts and Sciences | Korea
  • CIEE: Shanghai China in a Global Context | China
  • CIEE: Taipei Intensive Chinese Language and Culture | Taiwan
  • CIEE: Tokyo Arts and Sciences | Japan
  • Hebrew University (Rothberg International School) | Israel
  • SIT: India Sustainable Development and Social Change | Jaipur
  • SIT: Indonesia Arts, Religion, and Social Change | Bali
  • SIT: Morocco Migration and Transnational Identity | Rabat
  • SIT: Nepal Development, Gender, and Social Change in the Himalaya | Kathmandu

Students interested in Off-Campus Studies should attend an OCS First Step meeting in the fall of their second year, discuss their interests with their major adviser, and schedule an appointment with an OCS adviser.