About the Program


The Pacific Rim/Asia Study Travel Program is a nine-month study abroad through the University of Puget Sound under the stewardship of the Asian Studies Program.  Meticulously organized only once every three years and spanning the world’s largest and most populous continent, it requires a great deal of preparation, independence, flexibility, and commitment from the students involved.  The program itself has evolved; each trip has had different itineraries, from the first trip in 1970 to Fiji, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, India, and Iran to the current one which includes Mongolia, China, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, and India.

There are obvious benefits and challenges to traveling as a culturally-aware citizen of the world – enhanced personal responsibility; immersion in different cultures and values; the displacement of the ordinary which allows reflection and improvement; the privilege of witnessing stunning art, architecture, performance, and monuments of human accomplishment and the natural world; intimate rituals; the passing of a thousand unfamiliar faces; maintaining the humility befitting one walking among many who are far less privileged; and, most importantly, learning from all these experiences.

Students will also find themselves privy to the essential thrills, bonds, and tribulations that only come from constant exposure to other peers - both before the trip as classmates in the preparatory academic and social settings; during the trip as travel companions in oftentimes too-close-for-comfort quarters or as islands of solace in a sea of cultural and linguistic isolation; and, after all is said and done, as old friends.

All the while, the students will undergo rigorous academic curricula as they attend classes and work on their independent research project.  Quite an experience, wouldn’t you say?

Asian Studies Department
The Program page @ UPS
Ning site (invitation only)
LibraryThing (see what books the PacRimmers are reading)

About this Wiki

This wiki intends to provide a source of information on the Pacific Rim/Asian Study Travel Program 2008-2009 class currently in session abroad, including commentary, observations, realizations, gripes, stories, pictures, and video.  As time passes and content accrues, the curious reader will see the program goals and curriculum in action, as well as gain a better understanding of individual student experiences, including unique insight into the topics in question, many of which contain broader cultural significance.

The main content can be found in:

  • The wiki blog, which features updates by various PacRim students/staff and is organized chronologically in the manner of your typical blog.  Most entries will focus on a specific class, event, or excursion, and will feature pictures (with the occasional video).  There are also a few students who maintain personal blogs related to the trip and are therefore linked from the wiki.
  • Individual country pages (see the map on the right or links to the left), which aim to become repositories for any of the perspectives and experiences relating to the respective country – links to relevant blog entries, pictures, video, lists, miscellanea.  They will also contain a collection of links to web pages, articles, books, and other resources for those who wish to expand their knowledge.  Please keep in mind that categorization by nation state is in many cases a shameless simplification of disparate ethnic, cultural, and religious boundaries (or lack thereof, really) – however, it suits the purpose at hand.
Also note there is a password-protected full itinerary for the current trip and brief bios of participants of the current 08-09 trip. 

We encourage you to send any and all questions, comments, or suggestions to pacrimups@gmail.com.

Countries on the 2008-2009 Itinerary:


Blog Feed

2008-2009 PacRim Blog

  • Being There http://ups.journalgraphicsdigital.com/pubs/ups/current/Please click the above link to access the Summer 2009 issue of Arches, which includes an article by Professor Karl Fields on his ...
    Posted Sep 12, 2009, 8:29 PM by Pacific Rim
  • July 4th, Yakima, USA For the US at least, Independence Day. Yeee Ha. In Yakima, the city holds a day-long fair entitled 'One World, One Valley, One Nation' at the fair grounds, followed ...
    Posted Aug 10, 2009, 9:52 PM by Pacific Rim
  • Reflections on 16,000 ft Jagged mountain peaks surrounded us on all sides while snow-capped summits gazed down at us like the eyes of giants who beckoned us to climb higher. The crisp, early ...
    Posted Aug 10, 2009, 9:37 PM by Pacific Rim
  • Rato Dratsag: A Peaceful Retreat in South India This article is restricted for privacy and sensitivity reasons.  Access is the same as for the Itinerary and Profiles - please email pacrimups@gmail.com if you have any questions!Click ...
    Posted Jun 10, 2009, 7:04 AM by Pacific Rim
  • Kashgaria (Slideshow by Zen)
    Posted May 22, 2009, 3:13 PM by Pacific Rim
  • Jessica's Spring Break I had originally planned on studying reproductive health and family planning in India for my thesis, but once I began my research I felt totally overwhelmed by the different policies ...
    Posted May 22, 2009, 2:56 PM by Pacific Rim
  • Safa's Spring Break As a member of the Baha'i Faith, over spring break I was able to volunteer at the Baha'i House of Worship in Dehli. Calling it an impressive place ...
    Posted May 22, 2009, 2:02 PM by Pacific Rim
  • Pacrim in the Middle East: Spring Break Jordan I have always wanted to travel to the Middle East, largely due to many of the same reasons that I decided to come on this program; my fascination with experiencing ...
    Posted May 22, 2009, 1:36 PM by Pacific Rim
  • A Spring Break of Two Proposals It was the first day of spring break, and I was bound for South Australia. Eight flights there and back, the first two landed me in Malaysia where I spent ...
    Posted May 22, 2009, 1:18 PM by Pacific Rim
  • Sunshine, Shrimp, and Spring Break in Goa What do you do with two weeks of free time after months of classes and traveling? When I originally planned my Spring Break vacation, flying to Goa and enrolling myself ...
    Posted May 22, 2009, 1:14 PM by Pacific Rim
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