East Asian Languages and Cultures

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 

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
  • Museums
  • Research Institutes and Foundations
  • Public/Private Schools
  • Travel and Hospitality Providers
  • TV Networks and Film Studios 

Job and Internship Search Resources

Career Exploration Hub

Employment Strategies

  1. Identify areas of interest related to your major so you can focus your academics and experiences towards these fields. 
  2. Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent studies, internshipspart-time jobsstudent organization involvement, or volunteering
  3. Register for Hire Jayhawks and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information. 
  4. 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. 
  5. Practice interviewing on your own or by conducting a mock interview at the University Career Center. 
  6. Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest.
  7. Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant to your career goals. 
  8. Complete an independent study to gain advanced research skills. 
  9. Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional school. 
  10. Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest.