About Us

Not only is UBC ranked within the top 20 public universities in the world, we offer the leading Asian Studies program in Canada and are among the best in the world. Located in “North America’s Gateway to Asia” (Vancouver), UBC Asian Studies is the premier unit at UBC tasked with teaching and research on Asia at the BA, MA and PhD levels.

We currently give instruction in 8 Asian Languages:

Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Cantonese, Punjabi, Hindi-Urdu, Persian and Sanskrit.

Since our inception in 1961, our Chinese and Japanese language programs have grown to be the largest in mainland North America and we recently created the only university-level for-credit comprehensive Cantonese language program in Canada (it is something we are very excited about). Although our enrollments have soared, we try to keep our language classes small and offer different streams for heritage and non-heritage learners.

We also offer over 80 courses every year in Asian thought, religion, history, literature, culture, popular culture, visual culture, diaspora literature, linguistics, gender studies, and film, and have nearly 60 full-time teaching faculty members – many of whom are recognized internationally for their research.

A few of our most popular ASIA courses offered in 2017:

  • Sex, Gender, and Sexuality in Japanese Literature and Film
  • Korean Popular Music in Context
  • The Cinematic Lives of Muslims in South Asia
  • Chinese Grammar and Usage
  • Classical Persian Literature in English Translation

Asian Studies is designed to give you the key linguistic and cultural capital to work as a leader in the 21st“Asian Century” on the Canada-Asia interface. Graduates of our program have found meaningful careers in the foreign service, the Canada Border Service Agency, and other branches of government; serve in numerous different NGOs and non-profit organizations; work as translators and interpreters in a variety of contexts; and find employment in diverse educational, cultural and media institutions.

Above all, we aim for our students to leave our program with the confidence to contribute to Canada’s evolving relationship with Asia in informed, original, and culturally appropriate ways.