Universiteit Leiden

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South and Southeast Asian Studies (BA)

Programme structure

The bachelor’s in South and Southeast Asian Studies is a unique multidisciplinary programme that integrates the culture, religion, history, sociology, economics and politics of the region. As a student, you can choose to study Hindi, Sanskrit, Tibetan or Indonesian.

Some of the courses

This course introduces you to historical, cultural, and structural dimensions of the languages of South and Southeast Asia, and to the main ways in which these languages are studied and analysed.

This course introduces you to the long-term history of South and Southeast Asia from ancient times up to about 1850 CE. The focus is on three varieties of globalisation which each affected very large parts of the region in this period: Indianisation, Islamisation, and colonisation. 

An introduction to the contemporary cultures of South and Southeast Asia. Central concepts include culture, tradition and modernity. Expressions of both ‘high’ and everyday culture are studied. Frequent comparisons are made between South and Southeast Asian practices.

Study abroad

All students are strongly recommended to spend the first semester of the third year abroad in Asia for intensive language studies and cultural immersion, a hallmark of this programme. Those students learning Hindi will take their semester abroad at the University of Hyderabad (India), those studying Indonesian at Gadjah Mada University (Indonesia), and those studying Tibetan or Sanskrit at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Nepal.

Detailed programme

Below you can find an overview of the curriculum. For a detailed description of the courses, see the Prospectus. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

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How do you fill in your electives?

The third year of your programme offers even more flexibility and freedom of choice, with one half of your study credits (EC) in both your first semester (normally spent abroad) and the second semester (back in Leiden) coming from elective courses. This includes courses offered in other programmes. Alternatively it is possible for you to organise an internship.

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