South and Southeast Asian Studies
In the South and Southeast Asian programme you gain a thorough understanding of the history, cultures, politics and languages of the region, home to almost a third of the world's population (and two-thirds of its Muslims) and some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Relevant contemporary issues such as ethnic and religious conflicts, inequality and development, the surge in cultural and political movements and the tensions between modernity and tradition are addressed in lectures and seminars.
Why South and Southeast Asian Studies at Leiden University?
In your first year you will follow core courses designed to give you a basic understanding of the history, cultures, and modern societies of South and Southeast Asia. In addition you will follow elective courses of your own choosing. You choose to study one of four languages: Hindi, Sanskrit, Tibetan, or Indonesian. This language study makes up a third of your study programme in Years one and two. In your first year you also choose between introductory courses on three major religions of the region, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.
In year two you will opt for one of two thematic specialisations or 'tracks', 'Modern South and Modern Southeast Asia' and 'Classical Cultures of South and Southeast Asia', each with its own range of elective courses to choose from. It will also be possible to follow one course from the other track if you wish so. In addition you will attend a seminar in which you will learn to develop your academic skills, and continue studying the language you chose in the first year.
In the first half of Year three, students learning Hindi and Indonesian will spend a semester abroad in (respectively) India or Indonesia taking classes at a local university. This experience of linguistic and cultural immersion is a signature element of the programme; for students of Sanskrit and Tibetan, parallel options are available. In the second semester you write a thesis on a topic of your own choosing under the supervision of a member of the teaching staff. There is also plenty of room to take electives, including courses from outside the programme.
More information: https://studiegids.universiteitleiden.nl/
Job and Careers prospects
Graduates of South and Southeast Asian Studies have taken on a wide variety of positions internationally and in the Netherlands, working for such organisations as The United Nations Development Programme, Political party ChristenUnie, SGP The Hague, The Indonesia Nederland Youth Society, Wageningen University and PUSKAPA Center on Child Protection.
In 2016, the Humanities Career Service carried out a survey on the jobs and activities of the alumni of the Faculty of Humanities. The survey showed that alumni of South and Southeast Asian Studies work primarily in the following areas:
Do you want to apply for the bachelors programme Linguistics at Leiden University?
Find out how to apply by following the step-by step guide: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/
About Leiden University
Are you curious, critical and involved in the world around you? At Leiden University, the oldest university in the Netherlands, you can make a valuable contribution to tackling the various national and international challenges facing modern society. Together with academics and fellow students from all over the world, you will actively address these challenges. We keep an open mind, do not shy away from difficult discussions and allow one another the space to disagree. We expect the same active, open-minded and critical attitude from you.
We challenge you to look beyond your own boundaries. Leiden University welcomes anyone who wants to achieve their full potential. Our modest community size in the historical cities of Leiden and The Hague creates a highly personal and committed atmosphere. Together, we map out a learning path that suits you and your ambitions. You will also be encouraged to conduct research in cooperation with eminent and enthusiastic scholars. The knowledge and skills you develop here will benefit you for the rest of your life, regardless of the career path you choose!
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