Knowledge Transfer

Global Citizenship in Asian and International Studies

Student Writer: Kim Jeehye

Staff members of the Department of AIS come from thirteen different countries.

Students of AIS went for the department study tour in Peru to understand the socioeconomic transformations of Latin America in the 21st century.

AIS students enjoy an international environment within the campus. The teaching faculty of the department are from thirteen different countries, speaking seventeen languages, and with degrees from the world's leading universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, ANU, Wisconsin, and Texas. Students of numerous nationalities take part in interdisciplinary courses focusing on comparative politics, political economy, international relations, development studies, anthropology and cultural studies.

International students exchange ideas and new perspectives

With more full-time international students joining the department since its establishment, AIS encourages students from different countries to always learn from one another— across cultures, outside lecture rooms and in their daily lives. With their diverse cultural backgrounds, the international students help bring about fruitful discussions in class, introducing new and unique perspectives.

Exchange students from abroad extend the depth of internationalisation. They join a variety of departmental courses with the full-time students; all students experience and exchange culture, knowledge and world views in both casual and academic settings.

All this diversity within the department greatly enhances students' understanding of the world, broadens their horizon and extends their knowledge beyond their accustomed scope. Further, students are encouraged to take part in the opportunities to go abroad through the large number of study tours organised by the department. Last year, a group of students and academic staff went to Peru – a country with diverse cultures, natural environments and political dynamics – for two weeks. It was a unique opportunity for students from the Asian context to explore and examine this Latin American country. Students were able to meet people from NGOs, universities and different walks of life who helped them understanding the various socioeconomic transformations that Latin America is undergoing through in the 21st century.

Local students may also develop their global vision through the exchange programmes – often with financial support. Sharing a common value with CLASS, the department believes that it is very important for students nowadays to go abroad and experience in person what they have learnt and what they have not in class. With this in mind, the department collaborates with various schools across countries for exchange programmes, geographically ranging from Asia-Pacific to Europe.

Unique experience of scholars help expand student's vision

The department's faculty members constitute one of the most attractive aspects of AIS. Of diverse countries of origin, academic background and research foci, the teaching staff of the department offer courses in their specializations in, among others, international relations, political economy, development studies, anthropology and cultural studies. They also publish with top-tier journals and academic presses, while making regular, high-impact contributions to the international media (including the BBC, CNBC, the Financial Times, the Guardian).

The world-renowned scholars in the department have comprehensive knowledge of their field of research. For example, Professor William CASE teaches the course "The Political Dynamics of East Asia", while his research has been on various political regimes in Southeast Asia. At the same time, with his long experience of living in Malaysia, he shares vivid stories about Asian nations, relating his lectures to the various Asian societies and their politics, based on his studies of the region. His sharing and comprehensive international involvement bring students to a different level of understanding about the course and the world.

The Department of Asian and International Studies may be young, but the department is no doubt energetic and dynamic. The one word that suffices for understanding AIS? Internationalisation.