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. You choose to study Hindi, Sanskrit, Tibetan, or Indonesian.

Programme outline

All students of Hindi and Indonesian spend the first semester of Year 3 abroad in Asia for intensive language studies, a hallmark of this programme. Students will take their semester abroad at, respectively, the University of Hyderabad (India) or Gadjah Mada University (Indonesia). This immersion enables you to quickly obtain a command of a new language, while contact with local people helps you develop intercultural understanding and skills. There are parallel options for students studying Tibetan or Sanskrit. You can also decide to study in another European country. 

Some of the courses

This course offers an introduction to the various languages of South and Southeast Asia. You will learn about their historical, cultural and linguistic context and will acquire insight into the primary ways in which these languages can be studied in a scholarly fashion.

This course offers a historical overview of pre-modern South and Southeast Asia. By concentrating on the common long-term processes such as Indianisation, Islamisation and European expansion, you will be given fascinating insights into the connections between the various regions, and the individual nature of these separate areas that make up this region of Asia.

This course is an introduction to the modern cultures of South and Southeast Asia. The central concepts covered in the course include modernity, tradition and culture, and comparing and contrasting South and Southeast Asia. In this context you will be considering expressions of both everyday and ‘higher’ culture.

Detailed programme

For a detailed programme, see the e-Prospectus. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

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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