East Asian Languages & Cultures

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The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC) in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers six EALC B.A. degrees and two minors, as well as a MA and a J.D./M.A. These majors learn about the languages, literatures, and cultures of three of the oldest continuous civilizations in the world: China, Japan, and Korea. Japan and mainland China are the world’s largest economies, after the United States, and South Korea and Taiwan are key U.S. trading partners. The economic and political relationship between the U.S. and East Asia will be among the most important for the U.S. in the 21st century. With an EALC B.A. or minor, students can pursue a range of careers in business, government, education, or nonprofit organizations or continue on to graduate study in East Asian languages and literatures.

East Asian Languages & Studies Department website

Sample of Related Skills

  • Understand major issues and paradigms in the field of East Asian studies  
  • Interpret foreign cultural texts in various media from a historically informed and situated perspective 
  • Apply the foregoing language skills, knowledge, and habits or critical thinking in a practical context that can include completing an internship or designing and completing a special project 
  • Speak an east Asian language, having the ability to communicate in an effective and culturally appropriate manner
  • Demonstrate and understanding of East Asian cultures through multiple disciplines 

Popular Career Paths

Business, Commerce, Trade: Uses foreign language skills and cultural knowledge to work with international partners in all aspects of global business, management, banking, and trade.

Communications & Media: Utilizes foreign language skills and cultural knowledge to work for domestic or international employers in the areas of journalism, broadcasting media, communications, public relations, and advertising.

Foreign Relations: Works with US government agencies and international non-profit organizations to inform and enhance relations between countries through foreign diplomacy, intelligence, policy, and law.

International Development & Human Services: Works with US government agencies and non-profit organizations to develop and advocate for economic, political, and social quality-of-life issues on behalf of those living abroad and those immigrating to the US.

Research: Involves conducting research to inform educational programs, policy development, and other educational or political interests.

Teaching/Education Administration: Utilizes foreign language skills and cultural knowledge to build educational systems in developing countries, oversee educational exchange programs for students and educators, and teach language skills domestically or abroad.

Jobs to Consider



English or Foreign Language Instructor

Foreign Exchange Trader

Foreign Service Officer

Fundraising/Development Officer

Grant Writer

Human Rights Advocate

Immigration Specialist/Analyst

Intelligence Specialist/Analyst

International Correspondent

International Program Coordinator

International Relations Specialist

Lawyer - International, Travel, or Immigration Law



Policy Researcher/Analyst

Social Worker - Immigrant Populations

Study Abroad Coordinator

Trade Specialist


Travel Agent

Travel Journalist


Places to Seek Employment

Consulting Firms

Domestic/Foreign Banking and Financial Institutions

Domestic/Foreign Corporations

International Trade Firms

Multilateral Organizations (e.g. United Nations)

Newspaper, Magazine, and Book Publishers

Non-Profit Organizations

US Federal Government and Military

US State and Local Governments


Research Institutes and Foundations

Public/Private Schools

Travel and Hospitality Providers

TV Networks and Film Studios


View specific employers by state.

Employment Strategies

  1. Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent study, internships, part-time jobs, student organization involvement, or volunteering.
  2. Register for HireJayhawks.com and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
  3. Immerse yourself in foreign cultures though study abroad programs, international internships, volunteer programs, and/or personal travel.
  4. Seek out opportunities to interact with others of diverse nationalities and cultures to develop your language skills and intercultural competencies.
  5. If majoring in International Studies, identify global issues and foreign languages that interest you and specialize in these areas.
  6. Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your areas of interest, such as: Global & International Studies Student Organization, AIESEC, Amnesty International, International Friends, KU Model United Nations, and Students for Global Awareness.
  7. Take LA&S 480: Preparing for International Careers as an elective.
  8. Complete KU's Global Awareness Program.
  9. Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field.
  10. Practice interviewing on your own or by conducting a mock interview at the University Career Center. List of practice questions: ESL/TESOL (pdf), general interview (pdf).
  11. Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest: sample resume (pdf).
  12. Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional school.

Job and Internship Search Resources

The quick link for this page is career.ku.edu/ealc.

Go back to Careers & KU Majors homepage.

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