Students intending to major in Asian Studies are encouraged to study in Asia at some point during their time at Williams–for a summer, during winter study, or for a semester or full year. Opportunities to study elsewhere in China and Japan, in India, Indonesia, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and other Asian countries are also available. This page describes possible study abroad patterns, while the next page discusses some specific programs.
Semester and Year Abroad
The Deans’ Office’s Study Away site contains concrete information about spending a semester or year abroad, including detailed information about each stage of the approval process. It also contains a current list of programs in Japan, China, Singapore, and Taiwan that are pre-approved for graduation credit, and instructions for students seeking approval of new programs.
Up to eight courses taken overseas at a program approved by the Dean’s office may be counted toward graduation, and up to four courses taken off campus may be counted toward the major. Majors and language students should discuss their plans with faculty in the department as far in advance as possible, so they may plan an appropriate course of study and select a program for which they can receive credit.
Summer or Winter Abroad
Summer study abroad is another excellent option for short-term intensive language study, special programs, and individual research. The department may be able to offer financial assistance to students through the Tompkins and Linen Summer Grants for Study in Asia. See the Endowments and Grants Page on this site for details. As with semester and year-abroad programs, majors and language students should consult with the department to select a program eligible for credit.
Students may also apply to spend winter study abroad by submitting a proposal for an independent winter study project (WSP 99) that involves travel to Asia. A faculty member must sponsor the proposal, which must then be approved by the college’s Winter Study Committee. The Winter Study Committee judges proposals very rigorously, so it is important that the proposal describe an intellectually compelling project. Students considering this should carefully read the college’s Guidelines for WSP 99s on the Registrar’s web site.
Different departments, programs, and faculty have different requirements of their own for screening 99 proposals. Students should prepare a draft version of the proposal that meets the Registrar’s requirements and submit it to the sponsor well in advance of the college’s deadline, to allow time to revise and refine the proposal. Since the college deadline comes early in the fall, the student should ideally discuss the outlines of the project with the sponsor in the spring of the previous academic year.
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