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.

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 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 of Hindi and Indonesian spend the first semester of the third year 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. 

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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