Asian studies program partners with Japan Foundation

Aaron Pabon/Staff Writer

The Asian Studies Program will launch The South Florida Partnership in Japanese Studies.

Starting this fall semester, the University will introduce the South Florida Partnership in Japanese Studies designed to “expand the University’s coverage of Japanese history,” said Steven Heine, director of Asian studies and associate director of the School for International and Public Affairs.

Funded by over $550,000 from an Institutional Project Support Program Grant from the Japan Foundation and FIU, SFPJS will help more than 125 students majoring in the Asian Studies Program, specifically with a concentration in Japanese.

“The Japan Foundation Grant will contribute greatly to the ever expanding Asian Studies Program at FIU,” said Kristina Loveman, an international and intercultural education major.

“Having lived in Japan for two years, I am personally enthusiastic to see growing opportunities for teaching and research on Japan here in South Florida,” said Loveman. “We are excited to broaden the Japan-related coursework for students while working with local organizations and communities.”

The Japan Foundation was established in the 1970s as a public institution to help promote Japanese arts and culture, Japanese language education and intellectual exchange between other countries and Japan.

“I know that because of the Japan Foundation Grant, FIU will continue to attract many students passionate about Asian Studies,” said Loveman.

Gabriela Romeu, a recent FIU alumnus with a master’s in Asian Studies, worked as a graduate assistant for Heine. She assisted in the application work for the grant.

“Not only will Asian Studies be partnering with other organizations who also have an affliction with Japan, but they will also hire an assistant professor who will focus on pre-modern Japanese history,” said Romeu.

The hiring of an assistant professor is the program’s and Heine’s next major step.

“I believe this will give students a deeper understanding of Japan and its extensive history, especially since the global focus is moving to the east,” said Romeu.

The grant will also enable SFPJS to take University faculty to Japan to help better understand the culture.

“As a graduate of the Asian Studies program, I focused primarily on Japanese language and culture, so it is especially exciting to see this area of study receiving more attention,” said Ian Verhine, another recent FIU alumnus with a master’s in Asian Studies.

The project will develop curriculum and courses with FIU, Florida Atlantic University and Miami-Dade College, all of which will hold classes this fall.

SFPJS partners include the Association of Florida Teachers of Japanese, Miami-Dade College and the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.

The SFPJS partnership is set to run until 2017.


1 Comment on "Asian studies program partners with Japan Foundation"

  1. i want to study in japan

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