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Learn about Asia with online courses and programs

Asia is the largest and most populous continent on Earth, with diverse cultures, landscapes, and nations, stretching from the eastern Mediterranean to the western Pacific Ocean. Learn about Asia with online courses delivered through edX.

What are Asian studies?

Asian studies is an interdisciplinary field of academic study that focuses on the diverse cultures, societies, histories, languages, politics, and economies of the Asian continent. It encompasses a wide range of regions, including East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia. Scholars and students in Asian Studies explore the rich tapestry of Asian civilizations, examining topics such as ancient civilizations, religions (e.g., Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism), modern geopolitics, economic development, art, literature, and contemporary social issues. This field facilitates a deeper understanding of Asia's complex and multifaceted contributions to the global community, fostering cultural appreciation, cross-cultural communication, and insights into the challenges and opportunities facing Asian societies today.

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Asian studies course curriculum

Courses in Asian studies can explore topics such as the history of Asian civilizations, contemporary Asian politics, the creation and spread of different religions, and more. Learners may enroll in comparative studies classes, allowing you to analyze different Asian countries or regions to understand similarities and differences. Specialized subjects can focus on the cultures of different countries, delving into language, literature, arts, architecture, and design. A multidisciplinary approach allows for a comprehensive understanding of the Asian continent and its significance in the world.

Learning about this subject can supplement your knowledge of world history and global studies. edX offers a variety of educational opportunities for learners interested in studying these topics, as well as a host of other disciplines. A boot camp can provide flexible hands-on learning for those who want to upskill quickly, while executive education courses are designed for busy professionals. You can also pursue a more comprehensive curriculum in a bachelor’s degree program or, for more advanced learners, a master’s degree program. Find the right learning path for you.

Explore Asian studies jobs

Expertise in Asian studies can open up a wide range of opportunities in various fields, such as:

  • Diplomat or foreign service officer: Represents their country’s interests in Asian nations, working on international relations, diplomacy, and promoting cultural exchange.

  • International business specialist: Works in multinational corporations, utilizing their knowledge of Asian markets, cultures, and languages for international business development, trade, or marketing.

  • Interpreter or translator: Provides language translation and interpretation services for businesses, government agencies, or organizations dealing with Asian partners or clients.

  • Journalist: Reports on Asian events, politics, culture, and economics for newspapers, magazines, TV networks, or online media outlets.

  • Cultural liaison: Facilitates cultural exchanges, partnerships, or collaborations between organizations and individuals from different Asian countries.

  • Tourism and hospitality professional: Works in the travel industry as a tour guide, travel agent, or hotel manager, catering to tourists visiting Asian destinations.

  • Nonprofit/NGO worker: Contributes to international development, humanitarian, or human rights organizations focused on Asia.

Build your historical and cultural knowledge of the different regions throughout Asia. Start learning today with online courses offered through edX.