Asian Conversations

Spring Exhibit in Response to “Lost in Asia” ©2020 by Kasha Joy Mouacheupao ’22, Daisy Torres ’22, and Mei Kreibich ’22

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Asian Conversations seeks motivated students interested in and committed to taking a course sequence of 2 Intermediate (or higher) Chinese/Japanese courses [Fall/Spring] concurrent with 3 Asian Con courses [Fall/Interim/Spring].  We want students who are excited about their Chinese or Japanese language study, eager for a set of linked classes exploring Asia, and ready for an integrated interim program in China and Japan.  Students who complete the program will earn six General Education credits (ALS-A, ALS-L, HBS, MCG, ORC and WRI), in addition to completing their FOL requirement.  See course descriptions.

What will I get from Asian Conversations?

Big Pictures

  1. This program fosters community and collaborative work through discussion and reflection; encouraging you to exercise and recognize your personal agency.
  2. This guided academic experience of living and studying in Asian countries will encourage you to return for a longer period.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

Students will demonstrate:

  1. Appreciation for how integrating language and culture in the study of Asia grounds more advanced work related to Asia.
  2. Basic knowledge of Asia, centering on China, Japan, and including Korea and Vietnam.
  3. The ability to pursue interdisciplinary approaches to the study of Asia.
  4. How to write as a way to discover their own “voice,” to clarify ideas, integrate and make coherent the interplay between experience and idea.
  5. How to practice oral communication techniques for negotiating and conducting interviews in a second language, paying attention to appropriateness and social register; analysis of recorded materials; a high level of competency in oral presentation skills, including the effective integration of technology into presentations.
  6. How to reflect intentionally upon their experiences and themselves in relation to the culture/country they study by creating a portfolio that demonstrates knowledge, integrative, cultural and reflexive skills.
  7. Not only cultural and linguistic proficiencies, important as they are, but empathy: an ability to understand what it is like to be “them” in their cultural context and what it is like to be “us” in “their” eyes.


Generally you apply for Asian Conversations in the spring of your first year at St. Olaf.  You should sign up for Chinese or Japanese language during your first and second semesters.  During your sophomore year you continue with language study (two Chinese or Japanese classes – 231/232 or higher) while also taking the three Asian Conversations courses (ASCON210, ASCON215, ASCON220).


Asian Conversations alumni: keep up with the department by liking our Facebook page!