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.
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
Job and Internship Search Resources
- Amnesty International - human rights advocacy organization that offers jobs and internships
- Brookings - think tank and publisher that offers jobs, internships, and fellowships in foreign policy, economic studies, and global economy/development
- Cultural Vistas - non-profit organization that offers international internships, fellowships, and other global programs
- Central Intelligence Agency Careers - explore career paths and current job and internship openings within the CIA
- Council on Foreign Relations - think tank and publisher that offers jobs, internships, and fellowships in foreign relations
- Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) - offers teaching programs in nearly 10 countries around the world
- Dave's ESL Cafe - comprehensive website about teaching ESL; includes job postings, discussion forums, and certification program information
- Department of Homeland Security Careers - explore career paths and current job and internship openings within the DHS
- Department of State Careers - explore career paths and current jobs and internship openings within the DOS
- EPIK: English Program in Korea - teach English abroad in Korea; must have completed a bachelor's degree
- Federal Bureau of Investigation Careers - explore career paths and current job and internship openings with the FBI
- Foreign Policy Research Institute - non-profit devoted to research and public education on international affairs; includes jobs, internships, and a think tank directory
- Government & Non-Profit Resources - more from the KU career site
- Human Rights Watch - non-profit organization that offers jobs, internships, and fellowships in human rights advocacy
- Internships USA - internships in international affairs, law & policy, and human rights
- JET: Japan Exchange & Teaching Programme - cultural exchange program with positions in teaching, international relations, and sports
- Korean Horizons - opportunities to teach English in South Korean public schools - does not require certification and they assist you with placement as well as training, securing documentation and continued support throughout your time there
- KU Office of Study Abroad - internships in Shanghai as well as London, Dublin, Madrid
- GoGovernment.org - job profiles of education jobs in the federal government including available positions and number of positions by region and governmental agency
- LanguageCorps - programs for teaching English abroad in 19 countries around the world
- NABE: National Association for Bilingual Education - professional association for bilingual education administrators and teachers; includes a free job board
- NAFSA: Association of International Educators - career information and job listings for international educators
- PeaceCorps - federal service program that currently sends US volunteers to serve abroad in over 75 countries
- RAND Corporation - think tank that offers jobs, internships, and fellowships in international affairs and national security
- United Nations - explore UN career paths and current job and internship opening
- US Citizenship & Immigration Services - explore career paths and current job and internship openings with the USCIS
- Working Abroad Resources - more from career.ku.edu
- Youth at the United Nations - list of internships through the United Nations system and other international organizations.
Career Exploration Hub
- Identify areas of interest related to your major so you can focus your academics and experiences towards these fields.
- Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent studies, internships, part-time jobsstudent organization involvement, or volunteering
- Register for Hire Jayhawks and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
- 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.
- Practice interviewing on your own or by conducting a mock interview at the University Career Center.
- Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest.
- Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant to your career goals.
- Complete an independent study to gain advanced research skills.
- Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional school.
- Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest.