Mary Schulman, '14
I had my heart set on majoring in East Asian Studies ever since I arrived at Princeton from Fairfield, CT. I studied Chinese in high school and helped teach the first- and second-year Chinese courses as a high school senior. I was fascinated by China’s uniquely ancient cultural heritage and the mechanics of the Chinese language—as a tonal language in which verbs are not conjugated and which often draws sharper distinctions between concrete and abstract nouns than between nouns and verbs, Chinese shapes and communicates ideas very differently than does English. The interdisciplinary nature of the East Asian Studies department and the excellence of the Chinese language program have been invaluable in my exploration of this theme. My independent research focuses on the concept of freedom in the Chinese intellectual tradition and incorporates both classical Chinese and Western philosophy. I am pursuing a certificate in Humanistic Studies due to the cross-cultural nature of my research; I have also studied language more broadly from evolutionary, neurological, and cultural perspectives.
Sasha Small, '14
When I first came to Princeton from London, I had no clue what I'd end up majoring in. During my first semester here, I decided on a whim to take second-year Chinese. At the time, it seemed like an insignificant decision. But after I spent my first summer in China under the Princeton in Beijing program, I knew that I wanted to continue my study of Chinese language and culture as my major. The East Asian Studies department appealed to me because it includes such a large scope of subject matter within many different academic disciplines. I am focusing on Chinese language and linguistics -- in addition to my major, I look forward to pursuing a certificate in Translation and Intercultural Communication. This past summer, I worked as an intern in Shanghai. I am involved in Advertise This, Service in Style, PACT, Princyclopedia, and tutoring at the public library.
Margaret Wang, '14
I was immediately drawn to EAS through the language department. As a native Shanghainese speaker, taking Chinese opened a lot of doors to my family's history. After taking my first Chinese language course in Princeton, which immediately became my favorite course, I explored contemporary Chinese society and culture with several other courses in Princeton. Eventually, I traveled to China for the first time through Princeton in Beijing. Forced to speak only Chinese for two months, this program really initiated my interest in East Asian Studies. Moreover, I also taught in Sichuan as a volunteer project immediately afterwards, which brought my attention to the education system in China.
Cameron White, '14
I came to the East Asian Studies Department in a somewhat roundabout way. I had taken Mandarin before coming to Princeton, but it wasn’t something that I knew I wanted to commit to in the long-run. However, during my freshman fall, I took courses in both modern Japanese literature and Chinese language. In both cases, the classes had only a few students and the instructors were very passionate, making a future with the department very appealing.