Asian Studies

Your coursework will give you a global perspective and  the tools to understand the events and issues of the day through the lens of the societies you study. You will be encouraged to study abroad in distinguished programs.

Dyllon Young ’15
Dyllon Young '15

A student branches out: a language and a start-up

Dyllon Young ’15 spoke Spanish and Italian before he entered Hamilton College and was ready to take on another language. He majored in Asian studies with a focus on China and Chinese, got a good grip on the language and put his skills to use in an internship funded through the College Career Center. Young went to work for a summer for a burgeoning language-instruction company called Smigin, helped launch its mobile app and remains active in the business.

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He connected with the start-up after he attended a Career Center bootcamp in New York City and followed up with alumni. An alumnus connected Young with Smigin and its founder.

The internship exposed him to fields and possibilities he’d never thought about.  His hands-on experience didn’t end with summer break – when Young returned to campus in the fall, he continued to work with Smigin.

After graduation, Young wants a career in which he can use his Chinese. Based in part on what he learned at Smigin, he thinks there are lots of options. He considers himself prepared for whatever opportunity he encounters.

“The curriculum here is amazing. The professors are some of the greatest minds that I’ve ever met in my life,” he says.

Sarah Bither '13A graduate’s progress: teaching in Japan

Sarah Bither ’13, who works as an assistant teacher in Japan, is delving deep into Japanese culture. She’s taking tea ceremony and koto lessons.

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“Koto is a traditional Japanese stringed instrument. Both of these are highly traditional, stylized and respected art forms in Japanese culture that require a lifetime to master,” she says. “It is a wonderful and fantastic way to learn about the culture, especially because my teacher does not speak any English.”

Bither majored in Asian studies at Hamilton College, with a focus on Japan, and minored in English and economics. She was accepted into the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, which led to her job in a rural mountain village. She works with teachers of English in middle and elementary schools.

Her longer-term goal is to be a cross-cultural consultant for international businesses. She says her Asian studies professors have helped her pursue her interests; she considers them to be lifelong friends.

“The two most important things about the Japanese program at Hamilton that I think sets it apart from other colleges are the wonderful and supportive professors and the program’s emphasis on oral practice,” Bither says.