b.xeccaa
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Just wanna hear your experiences with East Asian Studies!
-how language intensive (how many hours a week?)
-was it interesting? engaging? did you have a lot of freedom to choose what you specialised in?
-how many of your lecturers (or if you had one) were actually East Asian?
-did you have a semester/year abroad? what was it like?
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super_kawaii
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(Original post by b.xeccaa)
Just wanna hear your experiences with East Asian Studies!
-how language intensive (how many hours a week?)
-was it interesting? engaging? did you have a lot of freedom to choose what you specialised in?
-how many of your lecturers (or if you had one) were actually East Asian?
-did you have a semester/year abroad? what was it like?
Hey, I did Chinese Studies with Japanese at Sheffield. There have been slight curriculum changes since I was there although hopefully my experience will be useful.

Overall, for both language and culture modules, I had roughly 13-15 contact hours per week. Majority of this was language classes, covering all four skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening, as well as grammar class, and translation and interpreting classes in later years.

What I liked about Sheffield was the culture modules they offered and that they were very much focused on modern history and contemporary culture issues, which is what really interests me. In my third year we looked at Modern Chinese history, from the start of the 20th century, through the two world wars, the Civil War, Communist Period, up until Deng Xiaoping took power in the 70s. I also took a module called "International Relations in East Asia" which looked at the Korean peninsular as a strategic advantage point in the East Asia region and how it was fought over by China, Russia, and Japan, alongside Korean resistance movements. We also looked at the Japanese empire and Japanese expansionism which ultimately brought the USA into WW2 with the Pearl Harbour incident.

4th year I looked at more contemporary things, with Contemporary Chinese Society where we looked at national identity in China as well as the Chinese diaspora, trying to define what it meant to be "Chinese", education issues in China, access to healthcare and the AIDS epidemic, as well as womens' rights under communism. Was absolutely fascinating.

In terms of ethnicity, all my language tutors, bar one, were from the relevant country of the language they taught. One of my culture module lecturers was from South Korea, and the others were all from the UK or mainland Europe but were all experts in their field, with PhDs and multiple publications on their specialisms to their names. Despite that they were all super approachable and friendly (they actually told us off if we didn't call them by their first names, bar my Japanese teachers). Sometimes we even gave them nicknames, like one of my Japanese teachers everyone always called "Genki Sensei" because she was always so happy and lively, and the lecturer from South Korea I had, everyone called Papa Kim, because he had a very fatherlike vibe and genuinely seemed to care for us.

As a language student, a year abroad was a requirement of the course. If you can't do the year abroad for whatever reason, you often have to leave the course-most people at Sheffield swap to East Asian Studies, which doesn't specialise in language if they don't make enough progress to get onto the Year Abroad. As I Chinese Studies student I spent my second year abroad at an intensive Chinese language course at Nanjing University. We were all placed in at least intermediate level and were expected to be HSK3 level at the start of our Year Abroad, and HSK5 by the end. We were in the same level class, and sometimes higher (depending how much independent study we put in) than third year students from other universities like Manchester, Goldsmiths, Southampton, and UCLan. It was intense but it was amazing seeing our Chinese improve so much so quickly. Culture shock did get be a bit at the start, as I'd never been to China before, but it's definitely given me the bug to live abroad again!

Sorry this has been a bit long but hopefully it'll be helpful! Feel free to ask me any more questions you have!
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adam271
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(Original post by super_kawaii)
Hey, I did Chinese Studies with Japanese at Sheffield. There have been slight curriculum changes since I was there although hopefully my experience will be useful.

Overall, for both language and culture modules, I had roughly 13-15 contact hours per week. Majority of this was language classes, covering all four skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening, as well as grammar class, and translation and interpreting classes in later years.

What I liked about Sheffield was the culture modules they offered and that they were very much focused on modern history and contemporary culture issues, which is what really interests me. In my third year we looked at Modern Chinese history, from the start of the 20th century, through the two world wars, the Civil War, Communist Period, up until Deng Xiaoping took power in the 70s. I also took a module called "International Relations in East Asia" which looked at the Korean peninsular as a strategic advantage point in the East Asia region and how it was fought over by China, Russia, and Japan, alongside Korean resistance movements. We also looked at the Japanese empire and Japanese expansionism which ultimately brought the USA into WW2 with the Pearl Harbour incident.

4th year I looked at more contemporary things, with Contemporary Chinese Society where we looked at national identity in China as well as the Chinese diaspora, trying to define what it meant to be "Chinese", education issues in China, access to healthcare and the AIDS epidemic, as well as womens' rights under communism. Was absolutely fascinating.

In terms of ethnicity, all my language tutors, bar one, were from the relevant country of the language they taught. One of my culture module lecturers was from South Korea, and the others were all from the UK or mainland Europe but were all experts in their field, with PhDs and multiple publications on their specialisms to their names. Despite that they were all super approachable and friendly (they actually told us off if we didn't call them by their first names, bar my Japanese teachers). Sometimes we even gave them nicknames, like one of my Japanese teachers everyone always called "Genki Sensei" because she was always so happy and lively, and the lecturer from South Korea I had, everyone called Papa Kim, because he had a very fatherlike vibe and genuinely seemed to care for us.

As a language student, a year abroad was a requirement of the course. If you can't do the year abroad for whatever reason, you often have to leave the course-most people at Sheffield swap to East Asian Studies, which doesn't specialise in language if they don't make enough progress to get onto the Year Abroad. As I Chinese Studies student I spent my second year abroad at an intensive Chinese language course at Nanjing University. We were all placed in at least intermediate level and were expected to be HSK3 level at the start of our Year Abroad, and HSK5 by the end. We were in the same level class, and sometimes higher (depending how much independent study we put in) than third year students from other universities like Manchester, Goldsmiths, Southampton, and UCLan. It was intense but it was amazing seeing our Chinese improve so much so quickly. Culture shock did get be a bit at the start, as I'd never been to China before, but it's definitely given me the bug to live abroad again!

Sorry this has been a bit long but hopefully it'll be helpful! Feel free to ask me any more questions you have!
That's awesome.
Is the course too intense to do part time work while studying?

It's awesome you covered really interesting historical events and not just the history. Did you also cover the opium wars?
Another interesting thing is how the CCP has always maintained that they were the ones fighting the Japanese during the japanese occupation. Yet it was mainly the nationalists fighting Japan while the CCP barely fought them preferring to undermine and kill the nationalists. I think Mao even said that it was thanks to the Japanese that he won the civil war.
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super_kawaii
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(Original post by adam271)
That's awesome.
Is the course too intense to do part time work while studying?

It's awesome you covered really interesting historical events and not just the history. Did you also cover the opium wars?
Another interesting thing is how the CCP has always maintained that they were the ones fighting the Japanese during the japanese occupation. Yet it was mainly the nationalists fighting Japan while the CCP barely fought them preferring to undermine and kill the nationalists. I think Mao even said that it was thanks to the Japanese that he won the civil war.
I didn't actually cover the Opium wars in too much detail. Mainly focused on the Long March, the Great Leap forward, one child policy, women's rights, education in China, the AIDs crisis in Hunan. A lot was post WW2, which is where my interests lie. I've always been super interested in late 20th century society.

Course is intensive, but most people are able to work part time. For the vast majority of students part time work is a financial necessity in order to live
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adam271
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(Original post by super_kawaii)
I didn't actually cover the Opium wars in too much detail. Mainly focused on the Long March, the Great Leap forward, one child policy, women's rights, education in China, the AIDs crisis in Hunan. A lot was post WW2, which is where my interests lie. I've always been super interested in late 20th century society.

Course is intensive, but most people are able to work part time. For the vast majority of students part time work is a financial necessity in order to live
Sounds interesting.
From what I recall Mao was a huge feminist. In the sense that woman can work just as hard as men.
Did you have any prior knowledge of the language before you started?
How many days a week did you do?
Also what was the book you used in year 1?
Last edited by adam271; 1 year ago
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b.xeccaa
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(Original post by super_kawaii)
I didn't actually cover the Opium wars in too much detail. Mainly focused on the Long March, the Great Leap forward, one child policy, women's rights, education in China, the AIDs crisis in Hunan. A lot was post WW2, which is where my interests lie. I've always been super interested in late 20th century society.

Course is intensive, but most people are able to work part time. For the vast majority of students part time work is a financial necessity in order to live
That sounds amazing!! I agree, late 20th century history is super interesting.

Did you study much about recent popular culture?

Also, with the year abroad, what happened to you accommodation at Sheffield? Was it an easy process to just drop everything and go away for a year or was everything planned quite well?
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super_kawaii
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(Original post by b.xeccaa)
That sounds amazing!! I agree, late 20th century history is super interesting.

Did you study much about recent popular culture?

Also, with the year abroad, what happened to you accommodation at Sheffield? Was it an easy process to just drop everything and go away for a year or was everything planned quite well?
I did a module on Japanese Popular Culture in 4th year (actually dropped my dissertation to do it) and it was really interesting. In the module we looked at the history of anime and manga, the sociology behind Japanese Horror, the legalities surrounding the sex trade, which in turn has an influence on manga, anime, and film in Japan (and why tentacle porn exists in the first place). I ended up writing my essay for that module on the influence of religion on modern popular Japanese TV media.

In first year I lived in uni halls, for which contracts only last a year. On my year abroad in second year, I lived in uni dorms in Nanjing, which were paid for as part of our Chi studies scholarships. Student accommodation contracts are normally only a year long, so there's no "dropping everything"-you just move out at the end of your contract and then go abroad. In third year I moved into a private rental with one of my friends (his flatmate in second year went on a year abroad in 3rd year and my mate didn't want to move out of the flat so asked me if I wanted to take the spare room when I came back from my YA, to which I of course said yes!) 4th year I moved into private halls with a couple of my course mates.
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Bella Xu
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Hi, I'm a Hong Kong student at Associate Degree(year 2). Now I' ve got 2 East Asian Studies offers in England for my Bachelor Degree. One is University of Manchester(year 1 entry), and the other one is University of Sheffield. So I would like to ask that which one would be a better choice? Because I' ve already cost 2 years in my Associate Degree, so it seems better to go to Sheffield. But u know, the world ranking and major ranking in England of University of Manchester is higher then Sheffield, so I'm really in dilemma. Could u give me some suggestions? Thx!
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MrBleu
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(Original post by Bella Xu)
Hi, I'm a Hong Kong student at Associate Degree(year 2). Now I' ve got 2 East Asian Studies offers in England for my Bachelor Degree. One is University of Manchester(year 1 entry), and the other one is University of Sheffield. So I would like to ask that which one would be a better choice? Because I' ve already cost 2 years in my Associate Degree, so it seems better to go to Sheffield. But u know, the world ranking and major ranking in England of University of Manchester is higher then Sheffield, so I'm really in dilemma. Could u give me some suggestions? Thx!
I only have an interview coming up with Manchester, but they're both supposedly great unis. I don't think there's a big difference in quality between either of them. Just compare the modules, accommodation, atmosphere, etc and pick the one you like more.
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Bella Xu
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(Original post by MrBleu)
I only have an interview coming up with Manchester, but they're both supposedly great unis. I don't think there's a big difference in quality between either of them. Just compare the modules, accommodation, atmosphere, etc and pick the one you like more.
Thankk u~
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ruthsamworth
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Hi! I've just received an offer from Manchester for East Asian Studies (with international studies) has anyone else got an offer for this? I'm so excited!
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rsamworth
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(Original post by ruthsamworth)
Hi! I've just received an offer from Manchester for East Asian Studies (with international studies) has anyone else got an offer for this? I'm so excited!
If anyone has can they reply to this account ty
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