Corey Sanderson ’09

Cory SandersonEnglish teacher in Tamsui, Taiwan

IUP opened my life to possibilities outside of the familiar. I graduated with a dual major in Asian Studies and Secondary English Education. During my time at university, the Asian Studies and Political Science departments were able to show me ways in which to use both degrees beyond usual classroom teaching. I participated in the Culture Club and became very acquainted with the Taiwanese community at IUP. After a few Mandarin courses, I made my way to Taiwan on exchange at Tamkang University. There, I experienced a culture different than my own, but one that felt familiar thanks to my studies and friendships made. IUP’s Asian Studies and International Affairs departments more than adequately prepared me for what I was to encounter, making my experiences far richer. After returning, my work focusing on East Asia and Taiwan led me to acceptance into the Formosa Foundation’s Student Ambassador Program; I was able to go to Washington, DC and meet with federal representatives on issues dealing with Taiwan-US relations. When I finished undergraduate school, I headed back to Taiwan. Over a decade later, I continue to teach in a Taiwanese public school and work as an editor for a software development company, both careers I could not have imagined before the Asian Studies program.

Gina Tam '09

Assistant professor of Chinese history at Trinity University
Fellow of the National Committee of US-China Relations

Hear Dr. Tam talk about her time at IUP and what it meant to her.

Sierra Sailor '15


Senior Mobility specialist in Singapore

Double majoring in Asian Studies and international business was the best combination of studies I could have chose back at my time in IUP. Having Asian Studies as a major had significantly given me the upper hand when I first started applying for jobs, as it stood out from the crowds, and it still comes into play on where I am today. From starting out as a Chinese teacher in PA, to now working for an international relocation company based both in Hong Kong and now in Singapore, its been a crazy experience thus far. Whenever someone asks how has living in Asia been the past five years, I consistently answer, "I am still living the dream." Asian Studies played a big part in my success and even has influenced my travel over the years in Asia. From the Philippines, to Thailand, Indonesia, and business trips to Shanghai, China, knowing the culture and history from previous studies made those trips all the more worthwhile and set me up for a more enjoyable and interesting experience, that maybe others could not have reached! I don't know where I would be now without Asian Studies back at IUP.

Linus Morales ’18

Linus MoralesChinese language teacher at Salesianum School in Wilmington, Delaware

I'm very grateful that my professors in Asian Studies encouraged me to explore my own academic research. Expanding outside of the classroom and into the great unknown was truly rewarding. Though I hadn't realized it at first, I was slowly becoming a mini “expert” in modern Chinese propaganda posters. With the knowledge and experience I received studying at IUP and abroad in China, I was carving out my own ideas and theories with my advisor’s guidance. I also received two department-specific scholarships and the Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace, which covered my entire tuition at Middlebury’s Intensive Summer Language program! Participating in a summer language program was crucial for expanding my language fluency. These experiences were crucial to my work in the master’s program in linguistics at the University of Arizona and to my current career as a teacher.

Hanna Maia Frishberg ‘15

Development senior associate, NYU Shanghaih-f

I was always one of those students that wanted to study everything. IUP’s Asian Studies department actually encourages this thirst for knowledge by emphasizing that both casting a wide net through area studies and diving deep into language can greatly enhance your understanding and respect for cultures different from your own. Studying Chinese with Liu Laoshi and building a stable foundation in the language has allowed me to experience life in Shanghai so much more richly, and travel around the country and the region with ease. And that insatiable desire for understanding the cultural diffusion and geopolitics of Asia has helped me “xi guan” (become accustomed to) life in Asia... maybe too accustomed, according to my family! I have served as a community organizer for the Jewish community, which took me to Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia working with expat and indigenous Jewish communities, and making friends in Singapore, Korea, Myanmar, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Thailand (and then subsequently visited many of those friends); and currently I work for the only Sino-American joint university, and get to support its mission every day by communicating the impact a great education has on students in English and Chinese. IUP’s supportive faculty encouraged me to see possibilities for my life far beyond America’s borders, and for that I will be forever grateful!

Kristen Mack ’18

Kristen MackAssistant language teacher at JET Program USA

Through the Asian Studies program at IUP, I was able to study abroad in Japan and I was introduced and accepted into the JET Program. I’ve been living my dream to live and work in Japan as a teacher ever since I graduated from IUP over three years ago! Not only has being an Asian Studies major helped me to increase my language ability and job opportunities, but it has given me friends from all over the world. It has truly been one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Kris Trolio ’13

Kris TrolioTeaches English in Kawasaki, Japan

The Asian Studies major helped to broaden my understanding of areas that are not ordinarily focused upon and deepen my appreciation of the cultures I studied. As a result, I found myself always asking “well, why is it done this way” and “why are these festivals performed,” which oftentimes results in bettering myself as a teacher to my current students. This has also led to some grand adventures throughout Japan, where I now live. Currently, I give back the experience of asking and learning more about the world by teaching a variety of topics in English to young students. When I’m not working, I like to travel and learn more about how traditional Japanese farmhouses have influenced the safety and design of modern ones. Without my experiences as an Asian Studies major, I would not have the cross-cultural communication skills needed in my daily life and as a teacher and Olympic volunteer.