Matt Wei ' 17
My real name is Hyung Bin Wie. In Korean, 위형빈 . I’m Korean and live in South Korea. I never knew I would major in East Asian Studies until the middle of the fall semester of my junior year, when I switched my major. My former major was Comparative Literature. If you’d like to know why I switched my major, or if you’re in similar shoes deciding whether you should major or transfer into EAS, I’d love to talk with you. One thing I can tell you is that I felt at ‘home’ immediately after I switched into EAS. The professors and language lecturers are fantastic, by the way.
Although I switched into EAS in the middle of my junior year, God probably knew all along that I would major in EAS. I’m very interested in the historical, cultural, economical and political relationships between Korea, China, and Japan. I took Chinese 101 in my freshman year, went to Princeton in Beijing, and have taken Chinese every semester. The summer prior to my junior year, I interned at a media company in South Korea that writes newspapers on North Korea and broadcasts to North Korean people. The summer prior to my senior year, I attended the Global Seminar in Beijing and had tremendous fun learning about the contemporary Chinese society.
I love music, and I write and produce my own songs. I like making melodies while I shower. I write lyrics and rap in Korean, English, and sometimes Chinese. I’ve written four Chinese songs so far, and hope to write more. Here’s the most recent: 《我一直想着你》:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXzFSRFFIgM. If you’d like to check out a full-length album that I produced in my junior year, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/mattwie. It's a charity project called It’s Dark Before the Sunrise.
Whoever you are, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I live at Mathey College. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have anything I can pray for, please don’t hesitate to let me know, and I’ll pray for you.
Zoe Zhang '16
I definitely did not think I would be an EAS major when I entered Princeton as a freshman! To the consternation of my first advisor, I wanted to be major in the Woodrow Wilson School and Public Policy, get a certificate in materials science and engineering, and then hop off to medical school.
My freshman year, I took courses in both Chinese language and Chinese history. The classes were fascinating, but the excellent faculty and discussions made them my favorite courses freshman year. I spent the ensuing summer working as a public relations intern at the Sichuan Provincial Museum, where I helped author an English-language guidebook and give daily bilingual tours.
As a sophomore, I took a seminar about China’s Frontiers, which convinced me that China had a far more complex history and ethnography than I’d grown up assuming. It convinced me that I could onlylove my thesis if I was an EAS major. My favorite aspects of EAS are the quality of the courses, great faculty, and the opportunity to explore East Asia-related topics from an interdisciplinary standpoint.
I studied abroad in the spring of my junior year at The Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies in Beijing. While I focused on advancing my knowledge of Chinese academic writing and Classical Chinese, I also had the opportunity to study Chinese law and do independent research for my JP. I even ended up as the language partner of a clerk from the Chinese Supreme Court!
Since declaring an EAS major, I’ve continued to work on the history of China’s frontier regions: My fall JP studied the 1951 “Liberation” of Tibet through the perspective of contemporaneous children’s books, and my spring JP focused on an 18th century travelogue’s contributions to the Chinese conceptualization of Xinjiang in the Qing Dynasty. For my senior thesis, I’m planning to continue studying Qing Dynasty Xinjiang.
On campus, I‘ve worked for the Rare Books and Special Collections department in Firestone, managed a consulting project for Princeton Business Volunteers, and served as the Head of Advertising on The Daily Princetonian’s business board. I’ve also had internships at a tech startup and American Express’ Enterprise Growth group. I think my experiences prove that it’s entirely possible to choose EAS and still do whatever you want after you graduate.
Besides my best friends, EAS is what I love most about my Princeton experience. I’m happy to be a resource for anyone considering a concentration in EAS, email@example.com.