Sarah Whitley, IEM/MPA ’17

East Asia Practicum (China & Japan), 2017

March 18 – March 26, 2017

Summary of Experience: The class and practicum have both been incredibly valuable experiences for me educationally and personally. My time in Japan and China allowed me to research deeper into the relationship between national historical textbooks in the East Asia region and their effects on young adults’ perceptions of their peers from other people in that region. I also got to explore the importance of education abroad practices in East Asian countries and the potential studying abroad has on mitigating tensions deriving from complex historical narratives.The seminar, Foreign Policy, Trade & Security in East Asia, exposed me to different education and security policies and gave me an excellent starting point for my research topic that I was then able to learn more about during the trip in Tokyo and Beijing. The flexibility of the class and trip in accommodating so many different research topics must have been difficult for the professors, but it was such a great chance for me to explore a topic that I have been interested in for a very long time. Going to Tokyo and Beijing specifically to do field research in my area of interest was quite informative and I was grateful for the opportunity I had to go and experience controversial sites such as Yasukuni Shrine and Tiananmen Square so that I could better understand the complexities that the region faces. Being able to visit these places was difficult but they helped me see the importance of adequately addressing historical controversies in order to create a more stable and secure future in East Asia.

Lecture by Director Yanfen Liang, Ministry of Commerce at the University of International Business and Economics on March 23, 2017, in Beijing, China.

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