Sophie’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?

I heard about them through my dad who is a professor in the Department of Geography. I was interested in taking them since I had traveled to Asia many times.  Since I am an International Studies major, I thought it would be interesting to not only take courses on international policy and relations but on the history and culture of countries I wanted to learn more about.

Is there anything about GA that stands out compared to other courses you have taken at SFU? What feels unique about them?

I think the diversity of cultures and countries touched upon was really interesting, and was a welcome change compared to the usual Western-focused view of many other social science courses. I also enjoyed the freedom to choose our field of interest when working on projects.

Can you describe a memorable experience from one of your GA courses?

One of the most memorable experiences would have to be the field trip to the Vancouver Japanese Language School for GA 201 [Introduction to Japanese Civilization]. We got to learn a lot about the long history of the school itself and its connection to the Japanese Canadian community in Vancouver, as well as getting hands-on experience with different forms of traditional Japanese culture such as tea ceremonies and koto performances (musical instrument).

Does GA fit in with your major? Why do you believe GA is worth taking?

I do think Global Asia fits with my major, International Studies, since it allows me to take a closer look at the history and development of Asian countries. I often find myself being able to apply concepts and terms learned in my International Studies courses to the information we learn in Global Asia, helping me further understand topics. Global Asia courses are worth taking for anyone with an interest in specifically Asian culture and history, or anyone wishing to expand their world view and learn about other cultures in general.