by Katie Stepp

Chinese literature, yoga and meditation, geography of Asia or Buddhism—do any of these interest you? These are some topics to be covered in a few of the classes offered under the new, multidisciplinary Asian Studies minor at the University of West Georgia.

UWG Adds Asian Studies MinorThe Asian Studies program works well to compliment any major and will cultivate new learning outcomes and expand upon the diverse topics offered at the university while allowing students to get a firsthand experience with Asian culture. The new minor will broaden students’ horizons on the topic of Asian Studies in an interdisciplinary format, which requires students to partake in coursework in various different fields.

The new minor requires 16 credit hours, which includes a one hour capstone. No more than six of these hours can be at the 2000 level and three of these hours must be at the 4000 level. Some of the courses include eastern and transpersonal psychologies, social change in the middle east, history of non-western art, political science of Asia and special topics, education in China, and history of Japan

“Students are really able to shape their education in choosing their classes for this minor,” Assistant Professor of History and Director of Asian Studies Dr. Ihor Pidhainy shared. “This minor might be the door that opens things for you in life.”

Although it may be frightening to take on and really unpack this new Asian Studies program, the curriculum that this minor brings will allow students to gain different insights to how Asian culture works and change how students see the world.

Students will have the opportunity to study abroad with this minor to enhance and acquire a grasp of this society as well as further their worldviews. There is a spring break trip to New York City where students will see museums and temples relevant to their areas of study, as well as a four week summer study abroad trip to Zhengzhou, China.

Assistant Professor of History and Director of Asian Studies Dr. Ihor Pidhainy
Dr. Ihor Pidhainy

A number of students already take classes that cover the topics of Asian studies as well as traveling abroad to Asian countries. By making this minor official, UWG is allowing these students to dig a little deeper and intensify their knowledge on this specific subject by focusing on this one piece of curriculum as well as rewarding these students for it.

There are numerous personal benefits to investing in this minor, Pidhainy added. Students who invest their time in achieving it will be able to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding for Asian history and culture.

“Students get to explore something they’re not going to major in, but it gives them insights and understandings of a different area that sometimes matches very well with their major, really opening up their eyes on a different part of the world where cultures, language, literature, history, religion and food are all very different than what we know here,” Pidhainy explained.

Anyone interested in picking up a minor in Asian Studies should contact Pidhainy at ipidhain@westga.edu.

Posted on October 12, 2017