EAST ASIA PRACTICUM (CHINA & JAPAN)
Needless to say, this trip is indeed educational and eye-opening. I would advise future students being fully prepared for the trip, of course not just logistically, but also intellectually. In other words, you might want to familiarize yourself with the background knowledge and culture, history of China and Japan well before the trip. The more you know about the politics, cultures and the history of the relation of the two countries, the more rewarding this trip will be. For example, with a solid background knowledge, you will be able to listen to the lectures with critical ears, rather than just passively taking note and “learn the information from them”. It was interesting to see different people, scholars, government officials and so on, have different point of view and stance. Their narratives vary from one to another. Without any background research, it might be difficult to take a step back and analyze their narratives. Many information they give can be found online. However, the ways they convey it are different, which subtly reflects their stances and occupations. Therefore, I would strongly recommend those who know little about China and Japan conducting an extensive research to make the best use of the trip.