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Pacific and Asian Studies

In this program you’ll study the Asia-Pacific region, with an emphasis on modern and contemporary issues. You’ll look at:

  • languages
  • history
  • society
  • culture

Potential careers

What can you do with a Pacific and Asian studies degree? Here are a few jobs that relate to the program:

  • cultural programs coordinator
  • trade officer
  • international project coordinator
  • immigration officer
  • intelligence officer
  • policy analyst        
  • translator or interpreter
  • social media manager
  • human resources coordinator
  • legal professional
  • global development coordinator
  • territorial sales
  • student services
  • marketing
  • teacher or instructor
  • entrepreneur

Some of these roles may require post-graduate studies or training. 

Find a career that fits you

Experience & connections

Opportunities in the Pacific and Asian studies program

  • With the Co-op Program you can alternate study with paid work. 

Opportunities outside your program

  • With a work study position you can develop skills during your study term.
  • Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community while you build skills.

Networks you can connect to

Here are a few professional associations related to Pacific and Asian studies:

Hands-on learning opportunities

These courses in the Pacific and Asian studies program offer extensive hands-on learning.

Co-op

Co-op work terms
Alternate academic study with paid work terms to gain workplace experience

Field experience

PAAS 204 - Introduction to Asian Religions
Visit and research local sites of significance in Asian religious traditions

Field placement

PAAS 299 - Experiential Learning
PAAS 398 - Asia-Pacific Experience Research Project
(international experience)
Present a project based on the experience of living or working internationally

Research project

PAAS 400 - Advanced Research Seminar
Complete a major independent research paper

PAAS 499 - Honours Thesis
Research, write and orally defend a graduating honours essay

Study abroad 

(international experience)

China: ECNU Program
Gain language and cultural skills by studying abroad (1 year)

China: Renmin University
Gain language and cultural skills by studying abroad (4 weeks)

Taiwan: NSYSU Program
Gain language and cultural skills by studying abroad (4-6 weeks)

Japan: Konan University
Gain language and cultural skills by studying abroad (6 weeks)

Japan: Doshisha Women’s College
Gain language and cultural skills by studying abroad (8 weeks)

For more information about study abroad, visit the partner universities page.

PAAS 299 - Experiential Learning
PAAS 398 - Asia-Pacific Experience Research Project
Present a project based on the experience of studying internationally

Professional and technical skill development

PAAS 452 - Acquisition of Chinese as an Additional Language
Learn about the acquisition of Chinese as an additional language

Work experience

Work experience work terms
Take part in a modified co-op program requiring one or two work experiences

These courses are not always offered as described.

What you'll learn

Every student at UVic builds skills all employers look for. At UVic Co-op & Career we call these  "competencies". This is what you’ll learn in the Pacific and Asian studies program.

Chinese language

  • read and write in Chinese
  • speak in Chinese
  • use appropriate Chinese grammar, syntax, pronunciation and vocabulary
  • prepare and deliver presentations in Chinese
  • translate from Chinese into English and from English into Chinese

Japanese language

  • read and write in Japanese
  • speak in Japanese
  • use appropriate Japanese grammar, syntax, pronunciation and vocabulary
  • prepare and deliver presentations in Japanese
  • translate from Japanese into English and from English into Japanese

Indonesian-Malay language

  • read and write in Indonesian-Malay
  • speak in Indonesian-Malay
  • use appropriate Indonesian-Malay grammar, syntax, pronunciation and vocabulary
  • prepare and deliver presentations in Indonesian-Malay
  • translate from Indonesian-Malay into English and from English into Indonesian-Malay

Pacific and Asian history, culture and society

  • understand the histories, cultures and societies of the Pacific Asia region
  • analyze current economic and political conditions across the region
  • apply theories of social and economic change in the context of Southeast Asia, Oceania and East Asia
  • apply literary and cultural theories pertinent to Pacific and Asian literary texts
  • understand literary history, movements, genres and styles
  • explore historical, contemporary and global perspectives with intellectual curiosity
  • consider nationalism, globalization, imperialism, militarism and politics in the Pacific and Asian regions
  • consider religion, ethnicity, race, gender and class in the Pacific and Asian regions

Chinese history, culture and society

  • understand the complex relationships among the economy, politics, culture and ideas and their affects on the history of China
  • understand the Chinese canon from the earliest times to the present

Japanese history, culture and society

  • understand the complex relationships among the economy, politics, culture and ideas and their effects on the history of Japan
  • understand the Japanese canon from the earliest times to the present, including Japanese aesthetic considerations in fiction, drama, poetry, essay and film

Southeast Asian history, culture and society

  • understand the relationships among political power, identity and economic development in Southeast Asia
  • understand gender, sexuality and health
  • understand the conceptual tools used to understand cultural and political forms in Southeast Asia
  • understand the overlap and contrasts between different kinds of narratives (fiction, film and history) in Southeast Asia

Literary and cultural interpretation

  • critically read works of literature and describe how literary texts generate meaning
  • understand major issues in literary criticism and analysis of popular culture
  • read literature, film, television and other media and popular cultural phenomena in relation to literary and cultural theory
  • use close reading skills and literary and cultural studies terminology
  • identify the historical context in which to place a work
  • identify the critical questions to be asked of a body of material

What's next?

To explore more visit the Pacific and Asian studies site. For degree planning contact your adviser for help.

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