Laken’s Experience in SFU Global Asia:
What influenced you to take GA courses? How did you hear about them or what made you want to take them?
Largely due to my background! Being biracial I already had some natural connections and interests concerning Asia. Growing up, there was heavy focus on European society and not as much on Asia as I would have preferred. I heard about [GA courses] through Japanese classes at SFU and decided to take them hoping to expand my knowledge on the Asian region.
Is there anything about GA that stands out compared to other courses you have taken at SFU? What feels unique about them?
I've found that GA courses have found the right balance between having structure while allowing students freedom to pursue their own interests! [For example] a course may be centered on Chinese culture specifically, but there is still room for students to focus on the topics they like in particular such as religion within Chinese society, food and diet, etcetera.
Can you describe a memorable experience from one of your GA courses?
One of the projects in GA 101 was a historical preservation project where we could choose a historical site, language or object to research and create a project ensuring its preservation. I based mine on comfort women statues found primarily in South Korea but also in the USA, Canada, Australia etcetera and argued for their legally ensured preservation against Japanese persecution. This project allowed me to be creative and research something that really mattered to me specifically! A lot of other students came up with amazing ideas as well that were great to lean about. It was so much more intriguing than your average essay or exam.
Does GA fit in with your major? Why do you believe GA is worth taking?
Yes since I'm an International Studies major! The teachings offered in GA are super relevant since I'm already looking at culture, society, transnationalism etcetera. I would still recommend GA courses as electives for other requirements like WQB