East Asia is booming. Or is it? How have some East Asian countries achieved such economic growth and global prominence in so little time? What are the global implications of the rise of East Asia?
East Asia is the foremost dynamic region in the world. This Master's track is organized around the achievements, opportunities and challenges facing East Asia. Taught by international staff affiliated with the Centre for East Asian Studies Groningen this International Relations Master's programme focuses on the political economy and international relations of China, Japan and Korea.
The track takes a multidisciplinary approach. Lectures and seminars are taught by experts in international relations, history, economy or law. You will gain knowledge on the top-three economies in East Asia and develop oral, writing and research skills to analyse developments from a local and global perspective. Work placement and study abroad are optional.
I became fascinated with East Asia
Whilst studying for my Bachelor's degree in History, I became intrigued by the Minor in Modern Japan. It started with an introduction to Non-Western Studies. The further we got into the Minor, the more we learnt about East Asia and Japan and the more these took centre stage. Japan's international relations with the West, the ASEAN+3 and the rest of the world was a subject I particularly wanted to delve into.
I became fascinated with East Asia and curious about the other disciplines that study this region. The Master's track in East Asian Studies was exactly what I was looking for.
In this interdisciplinary track, you approach complex
international issues from cultural, legal, political and economic
perspectives. The track thus provides the deeper meaning and
intellectual challenge that I need. In addition, the students and
lecturers get on well and go out for a drink every now and again.
This is not just fun but is also a good occasion to exchange ideas
and knowledge. The lecturers have a large network, which offers
many opportunities. Thanks to these connections, I am going to
study at the Osaka University of Japan for four months. But the
track also offers opportunities for study in China, Korea, even
We study East Asia form a political, historical, economic and legal perspective
Within the master programme we study East Asia (so China, Korea and Japan) from a political, historical, economic and legal perspective. This multidisciplinary approach surely helps to grasp the dynamics in the region. In the first semester, I take two research seminars: ‘History, Culture and Politics of East Asia’ and ‘Multinational Corporations’. Next to this I take the course ‘Advanced Theories of International Relations.’ This combination can be tough, but when you manage your time appropriately you will have time to do something next to your studies. For example, I am taking extra Chinese language courses next to the regular courses.
The East Asian Studies Master is one of the tracks of the Master in International Relations and International Organization. Within this track, you can choose for several research seminars related to East Asia. In the second semester you can opt for a study abroad period, (the University of Groningen can easily place you in Beijing, Shanghai, Osaka or Busan), an internship or an extra research seminar.
"The courses are challenging, but at the same time give you the opportunity to delve deeper into your topic of interest."
The Master International Relations offers six different tracks, and I chose East Asian Studies. This means that my Master is focused on International Relations in East Asia, but also that we look at East Asia from an Asian perspective instead of a Western perspective. I find it very interesting and I am enthusiastic about my Master: it is challenging and it forces you to look critically toward your own perspective..
The courses are challenging, but at the same time give you the
opportunity to delve deeper into your topic of interest. Also, the
courses are a preparation for your thesis, which I find really
Within the Master’s programme, there is a lot of freedom of choice: in the second semester we have the option to study abroad in East Asia, to do an internship or to follow another research seminar. You are supposed to work hard for the Master: besides taking part in the intensive classes, it takes a lot of time to prepare the seminars and study the theories of International Relations as well. Nonetheless, I do not find the study load is too heavy: due to good time management it is possible to do something extra besides the study.
I have chosen for the University of Groningen because their Master’s programme allows me to expand my knowledge about the Asian region in general, in addition to my knowledge about China. Also, I am really interested in International Relations, so for me this programme brings together the best of both worlds. I am originally not from Groningen, but I feel at home here. It is a friendly, cozy city, “gezellig” as we call it in Dutch. The city centre is small, which allows you to bike around and get to know the city very easily. I am very happy to study here, and I would definitely recommend the Master if you are interested in International Relations and East Asia!