UBC Asian Studies Class of 2021 Graduates Yearbook

Grad composite photo of Undergraduate Class of 2021 (partial).

To the graduating class of 2021,

The UBC Department of Asian Studies heartily congratulates you on the completion of your degree in Asian Studies from the University of British Columbia! We are extremely proud of you – an impressive achievement and hard-earned success overall!

To celebrate you, we composed this “UBC Asian Studies Class of 2021 Graduates Yearbook” page featuring some of our graduates who shared what the importance of studying Asian Studies is, how it influenced them, and who/what they are thankful for in their academic journeys, especially during the unprecedented circumstances.

2021 Graduates Yearbook

Doctoral degree

Thesis title: Bonds of trust: the origins of tanomi shōmon and the mechanisms of trust and cooperation in early modern

Supervisor: Nam-lin Hur

Read Minami's Spotlight article

Master’s degree

Thesis title: Unpacking the latrine goddess: the evolution of Zigu invitations from the fifth century to the fifteenth century

Supervisor: Alison Bailey

Read Meng's Spotlight article

Thesis title: Bearing the children of humankind: sex and reproduction in Japanese women writers' dystopian fiction

Supervisors: Christina Yi and Sharalyn Orbaugh

Read Yue's Spotlight article

Bachelor’s degree

Major in Asian Area Studies

I think Asian Studies is important as it brings together people from all different backgrounds and helps them to learn about the amazing cultures and histories of Asian countries. This degree left me hungry to learn more and introduced me to new art and media that I will continue to engage with for the rest of my life. I am thankful that I was able to meet Dr. Alison Bailey during my academic journey. Her upbeat classes were a shining light in this lonely and dark pandemic.

Major in Asian Area Studies

There are different cultures in the world and some of them change from time to time. Asian Studies helps us be open-hearted, understand people from different cultures, and make our community an inclusive environment. Thanks to all my professors, classmates, and UBC, I feel caring and getting supported in my university life at UBC, even during the pandemic period. It wasn't easy but we made it!

Honours in Asian Language and Culture, Major in History

Pursuing a degree in Asian Studies really allowed me to open my eyes to the diversity of cultures and perspectives in Asia and around the world. Studying about Japan and its history really challenged me to look beyond the popular and stereotypical impressions that we have of this country and consider the impact that cross-cultural interactions (or lack thereof) can have on our society. I believe that these takeaways are relevant not only in our field of study but also to the state of our economy and politics. The way we interact with one another will dictate what sort of future we create, and that is why my studies have propelled me to pursue further studies in academia and/or education. I would like to thank all my professors, instructors, peers, family and friends for helping me along the way.

I would like to extend a special thank-you to Prof. Nosco for motivating me to pursue Japanese studies, Prof. Hur for supervising my thesis, and Prof. Baker teaching me all about Korea and having me as his teaching assistant. I would also like to thank Chau-sensei for providing me with the opportunity to work as a teaching assistant and to Abe-sensei for having me work with her. 4年間大変お世話になりました。心より感謝申し上げます。

Major in Asian Area Studies

In fact, UBC was a big challenge for me. I am most grateful to me for achieving this challenge in the end, and I would like to thank my parents more for helping this challenge exist.

Major in Asian Language and Culture

Understanding how culture affects a society and vice versa. It is also important to learn about cultures outside of your own in order to become more open-minded as a person. Learning another language alone has already helped broaden my horizons and taught me so much about the world outside of my doorstep. I hope to use what I've learned to meet and connect with people around the world. My fiancé and my family have been very supportive of me over the past few years and I couldn't have made it here without them. All of the professors that I have had the privilege of learning from during the pandemic have been so incredibly understanding and supportive during these unprecedented times and I would like to thank them for their compassion.

Major in Asian Area Studies

I think the importance of Asian Studies lies in the opportunity to learn and understand more about different Asian cultures and the experiences of different people. This is especially important when living in a culturally diverse city like Vancouver in addition to an ever globalizing and interconnected world. With this degree I learned to look back at the past before looking ahead into the future to get a better understanding of why we as humans act and react in the ways that we do. With this piece of knowledge, I have gained a better sense of cultural understanding that can be used in everyday interactions and in finding more effective ways of communicating with other people.

I’d like to thank my family for their unwavering patience and love, my friends for their never-ending support and encouragement, my professors for sharing their invaluable wisdom and experiences, my fellow classmates for their inspirational perseverance as well as all the workers at Starbucks, Blue Chip Café and all the other cafés I went to for providing me with the energizing coffee and food I needed to get by each day. You have all made my time at UBC all the more rewarding.

Honours in Asian Language & Culture

Asian Studies encompasses many different fields such as history, languages, anthropology, literature, cultural studies, and so forth. Thus, through majoring in Asian Studies, I was able to study and combine different fields of study that are of increasing relevance and importance today, given the rise of Asian economies and the global influence of Asia in today's world. I am thankful for having the opportunity to be taught and mentored by brilliant professors such as Dr. Mostafa Abedinifard and Dr. Thomas Hunter, both of whom had a great influence on my academic journey. I am also grateful for having the opportunity to study at such a beautiful university campus.

Major in Asian Area Studies

I am so glad that I could finish my bachelor's degree in Asian Area studies. I will never forget this great study journey. It has not only broadened my view of Asian areas history, religion, culture, literature, etc. but also let me see this fantastic world with critical thinking. Although it is not easy, I am still grateful for all of the effort that I have made. I would love to appreciate all of my professors, families, classmates, friends and everyone I met in UBC. Thank you all for supporting, assisting my dreams and be my part of life. We finished our degree during this unprecedented pandemic time. It's stressful but also unique. I believe none of our experiences will be useless. Tuum Est. We are UBC.

Major in Asian Language and Culture

Respect the history and culture around the world. Everyone has the right to equal access to different local cultures. I am very grateful to all the professors who taught me before, they are passionate and friendly. Also, I learned a lot from my experience as a teaching assistant in the Asian Studies Chinese Language Program, I am very grateful to the professors and colleagues that I worked with.

Major in Asian Area Studies

As an Asian, I am interested in Asian Studies because I want to know more about its knowledge and culture. The reason why Asian Studies is important is that it has made important contributions to world civilization. For example, several major religions in the world originated in Asia. During my academic journey, I learned a lot. First of all, history, social and political systems are very helpful for my analysis of events and writing skills. This major can also bring me careers in teaching, academic research, immigration and social service. I would like to thank my family, who have always been by my side during this period of unprecedented pandemic and helped me finish my studies smoothly. And my warm-hearted classmates, they also helped me a lot. We support each other and help each other so that we can graduate together successfully.

Major in Asian Area Studies, Minor in Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies

From my undergraduate degree in Asian Area Studies, I am very grateful for the opportunity to learn about the world and our society through the lens of Asian culture and influences. It was also a pleasure to be able to study abroad in Seoul at Yonsei University as part of my undergraduate degree after learning Korean as my third language at UBC, with Chinese being my second. This degree will help shape the way that I see the world and the way that I want to understand the world after my university studies, by continually learning through not only my Canadian identity but also my Chinese identity growing up in Vancouver as a second generation Chinese Canadian. This degree has opened my eyes to the different cultures around the world and I hope to continue to explore more of those cultures, languages, traditions and experiences in my travels after graduation.

During my academic journey at UBC, I want to thank the students and professors I've met through the Asian Studies program who have always been very supportive and kind to one another within the community. Especially to my Korean language classmates and professors, who I've spent almost everyday with for two to three years, most of my UBC memories are definitely from those classes. As well as the ACAM and INSTRCC (Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese Canadian Studies) programs that I've connected with through Asian Studies, that have now given me the opportunities to not only gain work experience with my knowledge of Asian cultures and Chinese Canadian identity, but has also given me a chance to meet so many other inspiring and talented individuals along the way.

Major in Asian Area Studies

As a lover of arts, culture and languages. I feel lucky to have found my path in Asian studies somewhat by chance. A fun challenge to learn Mandarin while living in the most immersive Chinese environment in Canada led me to change my major, find my specialization, take on an unforgettable Co-op experience in China and take part in so many other opportunities. I sincerely hope and believe that the scope for opportunities will only expand with the end of this degree and I look forward to taking on new challenges!

Throughout my time at UBC, I have been most thankful for my family's unwavering support. It is due to their encouragement that I have been able to travel with confidence and broaden my horizons in BC and in China. Secondly, I am so grateful to the faculty in the Chinese Language Program, who kept me engaged, eager to learn and always looking forward to the next semester of classes. Of all my professors, those who taught me Mandarin always went above and beyond to make sure their students' university experiences were as full and rewarding as possible... and mine certainly was.

Major in Asian Language and Culture, Minor in International Relations

The importance of Asian Studies is learning about diverse cultures and languages to add into perspective within your own experiences. I took from my degree, the ability to research and analyze information as well as language skills. I learned a lot about how to consider different perspectives and how to communicate my opinions in a clear and concise manner. I am really thankful for the Japanese Language professors and mentors that I met through my time at UBC. While at the time their advice felt harsh, it was really necessary for me to reevaluate my goals and aspirations within my studies. I really appreciated the kindness and encouragement that I received and hope to embody these traits in the future.

Major in Asia Area Studies

Asian Studies has opened my mind and made me discover new global perspectives globally, culturally, and historically. Asian Studies has taught me this sense of dynamism in Asia, whether past, present or future. It has definitely challenged me to cross-linguistic, national, and disciplinary boundaries and to investigate the historical connections that unite the diverse populations of Asia. I am thankful for the Professors that taught and supported me throughout the years and for being encouraging and thoughtful especially during the pandemic. Also thank you to the peers and the friends that I have made throughout the journey. Most of all, I am thankful for my family who supported and encouraged me.

Major in Asian Area Studies

Thanks for the support from classmates, professors, friends, and family members! It’s amazing to reach this point! Wish every graduate a bright future!

Major in Asian Area Studies

What I have probably learned the most out of my degree is how ignorant I used to be. This degree really helped me open my eyes, discovering how fascinating cultures, religions, and its people really are. I started this degree thinking my graduation would be the end of my studies and a step towards building a career. Although, now I realize it is nothing but the beginning of an endless journey of learning. The pandemic, as it was for so many others, was a hard hit on my university career plans. Having went to Japan for an academic year, I expected to learn first-hand cultural aspects of the country. Unfortunately everything was changed with online sessions and I never had the opportunity to leave much from home without taking a monumental risk of infection. I did not accomplish the goals I originally set. But looking at it in a positive perspective, I am a witness and part of history. Rather than reading and studying from books, I can say that I have experienced first-hand the Covid-19 pandemic in Tokyo, Japan.

Major in Asian Area Studies

I want to thank my professors at the University of Hamburg and at UBC for always being able to spark my interest in topics that I would have never imagined ending up being my favourite classes.

Honours in Asian Area Studies

I would like to thank Dr. Donald Baker, for being my fourth-year thesis supervisor, providing me with both academic and personal life advice during this stressful pandemic time. I would also like to say thank you to all the profs and faculty staff I met during my journey at UBC. You are always the BEST!

Major in Asian Area Studies

Asian Studies, for me, was more than a degree. I was lucky enough to hold a work learn position at the Asian studies department for 4 of my 5 undergraduate years, and having the opportunity to both work and study with the department has been life-changing. I was able to see both the academic and professional side of the department, work with a wonderful assortment of students, staff, and professors, and attend events I may have otherwise missed. Getting involved in the department enhanced my love for the subjects I was studying and made me feel like I belonged to a collective rather than feeling like I was stumbling through my degree alone.

I am thankful for all the staff and professors who worked WAY overtime to make sure the transition to online classes was as painless as possible. I am especially grateful to the professors who realized how unfulfilling doing your last classes before graduation online is, and who tried to make it special for us. I am also thankful to all the staff and students who attempted to give us any sense of normalcy during the pandemic by planning online events, hangouts or study sessions.

Double Major in Asian Area Studies and Psychology

Asian Studies is important because Asia plays an important role in shaping the world's economy. As a college student, studying one of the world's most sophisticated, vibrant culture really helps to broaden my global perspective. In my academic journey, I am most grateful for my parents who provide me both financial and emotional support all through college. I would also like to thank all the people who I share my thoughts to and spent time with, from my peers to my professors.

Major in Asian Area Studies

I think the most important aspect of Asian Studies for me was that I was able to study abroad and focus on Japanese. Studying Japanese to a proficient level, allowed me to get a job in Japan and I'm moving there this summer to start work. On top of that all the credits I transferred back were applicable to my degree. Many students in other majors had a lot credits that they weren't able to transfer back. I'm grateful that I was able to meet some of the most caring and understanding professors through Zoom during my last year at UBC during the pandemic. I was also blessed with the opportunity to make connections with brilliant and creative minds from around the world through school.

Major in Asian Area Studies

Double Major in Asian Area Studies and Psychology

Being born and raised in a Western country, I had a very little interaction with my parents culture, since they are from Taiwan. After getting accepted into UBC, I had the opportunity to take a few courses from Asian Studies and I have gained new insights regarding their literature and culture. Today, I understand the importance of culture, economy, and history surrounding Asian, and it also brought me curiosity to understand and meet new people along my journey. I have learned the hardships and struggles that Asian people went through and I truly respect them for that. The pandemic unfortunately brought many problems but thankfully I was able to complete my studies with my family continuing support. They never gave up on me and my studies; always encouraged me to pursue my dreams. I am also very grateful for all the instructors that adapted the years of having an in-person lectures to online lectures, this is a huge change and I appreciate all the efforts that they did and the empathy the instructors had for their students.

Major in Asian Area Studies, Minor in History

As an international student from East Asia, courses in this department helps me gaining more substantial understanding of the Asia-Pacific region. Language courses like Japanese and Classic Chinese enhances our cultural self-identification, while equiped us with practical tools for regional business collaboration and interaction. Moreover, Asian Studies makes me a better reader and a more active and independent thinker. During the pandemic, professors did all they could to ensure the smooth transition of courses from campus to online. Sincerely grateful for all their patience and care, especially when facing unexpected technical difficulties. Throughout the years spent in this faculty, we were immersed in the warm and harmonious atmosphere. It was an exclusively memorable experience.