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)
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.