East Asian Languages & 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
Places to Seek Employment
Domestic/Foreign Banking and Financial Institutions
International Trade Firms
Multilateral Organizations (e.g. United Nations)
Newspaper, Magazine, and Book Publishers
US Federal Government and Military
US State and Local Governments
Research Institutes and Foundations
Travel and Hospitality Providers
TV Networks and Film Studios
View specific employers by state.
- Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent study, internships, part-time jobs, student organization involvement, or volunteering.
- Register for KU Career Connections and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
- Immerse yourself in foreign cultures though study abroad programs, international internships, volunteer programs, and/or personal travel.
- Seek out opportunities to interact with others of diverse nationalities and cultures to develop your language skills and intercultural competencies.
- If majoring in International Studies, identify global issues and foreign languages that interest you and specialize in these areas.
- Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your areas of interest, such as: Global & International Studies Student Organization, AIESEC, Amnesty International, International Friends, KU Model United Nations, and Students for Global Awareness.
- Take LA&S 480: Preparing for International Careers as an elective.
- Complete KU's Global Awareness Program.
- 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. List of practice questions: ESL/TESOL (pdf), general interview (pdf).
- Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest: sample resume (pdf).
- Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional school.
Job and Internship Search Resources
- AIESEC - offers internships in over 110 countries and territories around the world; Connect with KU's AIESEC group
- Amnesty International - human rights advocacy organization that offers jobs and internships; Connect with KU's AI chapter
- 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 career.ku.edu
- Human Rights Watch - non-profit organization that offers jobs, internships, and fellowships in human rights advocacy
- International Job Links - more from career.ku.edu
- 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; Connect with KU's PeaceCorps representative
- RAND Corporation - think tank that offers jobs, internships, and fellowships in international affairs and national security
- TwoLingos.com - free job board for bilingual professionals
- United Nations - explore UN career paths and current job and internship openings; Connect with KU's Model UN group
- 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.