Programs in Chinese and Japanese Studies provide an opportunity for students to focus their study on this important area of the world, by examining the history, culture, society, and religions of China and Japan, in addition to developing some proficiency in the Chinese and Japanese language. It provides essential background for students considering a career in education, business, government, or the arts related to the East Asian cultural sphere. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in overseas programs in East Asia, particularly at the University's exchange program at Zhejiang University and at Kansai Gaidai and Osaka International University in Japan. Courses taken in exchange programs may be used to fulfill major and minor requirements.
Previous study of Chinese language is not required, and almost all Valpo students can study abroad in Hangzhou without delaying graduation IF they plan carefully with their academic advisor. You must be a sophomore, junior or senior in good standing. As many as 15 students from Valparaiso University, from other schools in the Lutheran Colleges' China Consortium, or from other universities-at-large may study in Hangzhou for the fall semester.
Hangzhou is a former dynastic capital located in the eastern province of Zhejiang, about two hours from Shanghai by train. Its reputation as an attractive city contributed to the proverb "Above there is Paradise; below there is Suzhou and Hangzhou." The city is a center of industry and agriculture, as well as tourism, particularly famous for its silk and tea products. Hangzhou is close to many tourist spots, such as the Yellow Mountains, and is on many convenient travel routes.
Study Programs in either Kansai Gaidai University or at Osaka International University are available to sophomores, juniors, or seniors in good standing. A semester or full year at Kansai Gaidai University, located in the culturally rich area between Osaka and Kyoto offers Japanese language instruction and a number of Asian Studies courses taught in English, including topics in business, art, economics, and history, among others. The program at Osaka International University (OIU) also offers language study, but has the added feature of a 1-month internship with a Japanese company or organization.
Every year Valpo students take trips with a faculty member to China or Japan during spring break to conduct research on various aspects of Asian life. Typically trips go to China every two years and Japan every third year. Due to the scholarly nature of these classes, interested students must first submit an application.