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On 2/19/2019 at 8:53 PM, EAstudies said:

Just my personal opinion:

The U.S. is indeed in a precarious state, to put it generously. Nonetheless, I don't think the U.S. will completely "eat itself" in the next six or seven years to the point academia will also collapse. Major U.S. schools have large endowments compared to schools in other countries due to how they operate the schools, and they still have influential scholars, resources, and research networks here. State schools are indeed more dependent on the government grant, but if you're a student from the U.S., I don't think your stipend will be affected any time soon. And regional studies like EALC/EAS are not an exception.

If any, after doing a Ph.D. in the United States, you can be a professor in another country. Every year, there are quite a few Ph.D. recipients who get a tenure-track job in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, etc. This is a very common practice. However, the other way is simply not an option. There are numbers of scholars who have a B.A. or M.A. from East Asian schools, but all of them (or at least I haven't seen a single exception yet) have their final degrees, i.e., Ph.D., in the United States. This sounds unfair since this is East Asian studies, but this is the reality. So you should consider where you'd really like to stay after graduation. If you are sure that you only want to stay in Japan and nowhere else, then U Tokyo is a great option. But if you seriously want to remain in academia and do not work in an industry, a Ph.D. degree from the United States will open a bigger academic job market for you, and this includes moving back to Japan.

Lastly, you should remember that methodologies and the academic trend may differ in the United States and Japan. Even if you're studying the same discipline, let's say Japanology, the U.S. schools are becoming more and more inter-regional and interdisciplinary (though in varying degrees). Also, grad schools here and there have different cultures or vibes (e.g., a relationship between a grad student and professor), so that would be another thing to consider. 

And congrats on your acceptances!

 

On 2/20/2019 at 6:04 AM, potsupotsu said:

Yes, I'd echo what @EAstudies said. I'm not an American citizen myself, and I definitely agree that the situation in the US seems incredibly scary, but remember that the current president is fairly unpopular and the election is coming up soon, so you will very likely not have to experience this for the entire 6 years you spend in graduate school in the US.

Also, while Toudai is a great school, keep in mind @EAstudies point about the way a foreign degree will be looked at in the US. I'd also encourage you to think about the way the training you will receive in Japan will be perceived in the US because there are major differences between Japanese-style scholarship and US-style scholarship. Japanese historians, for example, tend to produce works that are very descriptive and focus narrowly on a particular subject or particular documents, while in the US you will be encouraged to make a more analytic "big picture" argument. Both styles have their positives, but it might be difficult to make a name for yourself in the US if you produce Japanese-style work. 

Thank you @EAstudies and @potsupotsu for your kind responses. It's given me a broader perspective from which to consider this: what kind of work do I want to do; what kind of scholar do I want to be? Thank you for reminding me of these questions. My stay in the US does not have to be permanent, but the training I receive at a US institution would indeed greatly influence my future prospects and capabilities as a researcher.

Now to weigh a US Ph.D. program against secure employment in a country with healthcare relatively figured out...a whole different sort of problem, haha.

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I got an offer from Princeton yesterday (Ph.D.). I still haven't heard back from others, but I can now sit back and relax whatsoever. Best of luck to everyone! 

Yes, I'd echo what @EAstudies said. I'm not an American citizen myself, and I definitely agree that the situation in the US seems incredibly scary, but remember that the current president is fairly un

Just my personal opinion: The U.S. is indeed in a precarious state, to put it generously. Nonetheless, I don't think the U.S. will completely "eat itself" in the next six or seven years to the po

3 minutes ago, bugster88 said:

Now to weigh a US Ph.D. program against secure employment in a country with healthcare relatively figured out...a whole different sort of problem, haha.

I'm glad it helped! And I know how it feels since I'm originally from S. Korea, which has a national health insurance system for all citizens and some qualified foreigners. It's pretty intimidating to think about the American health care system. But if you get accepted to a Ph.D. program with a full package, you'll also get health insurance from your school. While each school works with a different insurance company, they tend to be pretty comprehensive. And you can also see a general practitioner at a school's health service/center without an appointment, so your situation would be quite a bit different from a regular Americans who do not have health insurance. 

For example, I got health insurance covered by my undergraduate school, and we had a pretty good package. Also, since we, just like any other school, had doctors on campus, seeing doctors for most little things like cold or stomach bugs were free. So I rarely paid for seeing a doctor off-campus except when I needed a surgery from an injury. And as for the surgery, my insurance package had set $2,500 as a maximum out-of-pocket fee (if and only if you're seeing an in-network doctor, which there were plenty), regardless of a type of surgery and how much it costs. So in some cases, if a surgery costs more than $2,500 in Korea (or Japan), it would be actually cheaper to get it in the States with this specific insurance.

So as a Ph.D. student, you don't have to be too worried about health care. You'll get it covered. But if you want to make sure, you can check what type of insurance your school offers on your school's website and go to the insurance website and read the general condition and agreement. You might also want to check if the insurance package covers dental and eyesight if those are something you regularly need.

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18 hours ago, AnUglyBoringNerd said:

There indeed is one thread in this forum about American Studies. 

Thank you, I'm aware of that one! I've been participating in it but I haven't seen anybody else in that thread who's looking at the programs I'm applying to. They tend to be more general "American Studies" programs, and I'm asking specifically if there's anybody else here who's looking into the Asian American Studies programs at a few institutions.

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Quick question for the group.

I was recently rejected from PhD applications to East Asian Studies programs. I believe that my application would be much stronger with an MA, but I'm hesitant to go into debt for one. Anyone have any recommendations for quality East Asian Studies MA programs, preferably with a strong emphasis on media/film, that offer significant funding packages? Any clarity or insight is appreciated!

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On 3/2/2019 at 9:24 AM, newmedianewme said:

Quick question for the group.

I was recently rejected from PhD applications to East Asian Studies programs. I believe that my application would be much stronger with an MA, but I'm hesitant to go into debt for one. Anyone have any recommendations for quality East Asian Studies MA programs, preferably with a strong emphasis on media/film, that offer significant funding packages? Any clarity or insight is appreciated!

Have you tried looking at some Canadian schools? Tuition is much cheaper over there. 

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On 3/2/2019 at 12:24 PM, newmedianewme said:

Quick question for the group.

I was recently rejected from PhD applications to East Asian Studies programs. I believe that my application would be much stronger with an MA, but I'm hesitant to go into debt for one. Anyone have any recommendations for quality East Asian Studies MA programs, preferably with a strong emphasis on media/film, that offer significant funding packages? Any clarity or insight is appreciated!

There aren't many funded MA programs for EAS in the United States. A lot of departments use them as a means for raising revenue. The funded ones that I know of are the University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Oregon, University of Washington and University of Colorado. These schools all offer TAships to (some) MA students; if that's what you'd be interested in doing, its good to have some kind of teaching experience when applying, particularly language teaching experience. I can't speak for any of the other programs but I did my MA at UMass and they have a small but strong faculty in media, lit and language. In terms of emphasis, I would focus less on any program at large and focus on the professors in your field you'd like to work with on a particular project. If a program doesn't have someone who they feel is equipped to supervise your project, they probably won't admit you, so figuring out specific people you could work with and reaching out to them is a good way to boost your chances. I totally feel you on not wanting to go into debt, but be forewarned that even if you don't go into debt or have to take out loans, even funded MAs likely won't give you as much funding as they give PhDs. I hope this helps!

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On 3/3/2019 at 2:24 AM, newmedianewme said:

Quick question for the group.

I was recently rejected from PhD applications to East Asian Studies programs. I believe that my application would be much stronger with an MA, but I'm hesitant to go into debt for one. Anyone have any recommendations for quality East Asian Studies MA programs, preferably with a strong emphasis on media/film, that offer significant funding packages? Any clarity or insight is appreciated!

 

I'm not well-informed about MA programs, but I've seen quite a few people who got their Masters in East Asian countries and came back to the United States for Ph.D. (and successfully entered TT if that's your interest). This can work especially well if you received your BA in the United States or Canada (and perhaps other English-speaking countries--not sure about this part, though) and trying to come back to the United States for a doctoral degree. I was also seriously thinking of pursuing this option as a plan B. Tuitions there tend to be much cheaper than in the United States, and if you get Masters from the country of your interest, your degree will be relevant to your academic trajectory (Of course, how much cheaper it would depend on each country and school (e.g., private vs. public university)). Also, there might be scholarships available from the government or other foundations like MEXT for Japan or NIIED scholarship for South Korea, which will cut costs even further. 

 

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17 hours ago, EAstudies said:

 

I'm not well-informed about MA programs, but I've seen quite a few people who got their Masters in East Asian countries and came back to the United States for Ph.D. (and successfully entered TT if that's your interest). This can work especially well if you received your BA in the United States or Canada (and perhaps other English-speaking countries--not sure about this part, though) and trying to come back to the United States for a doctoral degree. I was also seriously thinking of pursuing this option as a plan B. Tuitions there tend to be much cheaper than in the United States, and if you get Masters from the country of your interest, your degree will be relevant to your academic trajectory (Of course, how much cheaper it would depend on each country and school (e.g., private vs. public university)). Also, there might be scholarships available from the government or other foundations like MEXT for Japan or NIIED scholarship for South Korea, which will cut costs even further. 

 

That's an interesting trick! But from everyone I've talked to, earning your graduate degree outside of the US (or West) is a real gamble... general opinion seems to be a degree from a non-Western institution is not worth "much", though... of course, that assumes you intend to come back to the States for the PhD. I bet you could do just fine in the right schools/which schools you are talking about.

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29 minutes ago, Fantasmapocalypse said:

That's an interesting trick! But from everyone I've talked to, earning your graduate degree outside of the US (or West) is a real gamble... general opinion seems to be a degree from a non-Western institution is not worth "much", though... of course, that assumes you intend to come back to the States for the PhD. I bet you could do just fine in the right schools/which schools you are talking about.

I'd have to agree. I've done a lot of informational interviewing this application season and the standard response I have received about going outside the USA is that a MA degree from an Asian University just doesn't stand up in the US. Europe is a bit better but you will be lacking a network if you decide to come back to the USA for work. If those factors are not major in your decision making process ie: not intending to come back to the USA, specific program interests or financial reasons etc... then go for it!

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56 minutes ago, Fantasmapocalypse said:

That's an interesting trick! But from everyone I've talked to, earning your graduate degree outside of the US (or West) is a real gamble... general opinion seems to be a degree from a non-Western institution is not worth "much", though... of course, that assumes you intend to come back to the States for the PhD. I bet you could do just fine in the right schools/which schools you are talking about.

Yes, that's generally very true. It's risky to do MA in countries other than the U.S. and Canada, and this includes "Western" institutions (and even other English-speaking countries like Australia or New Zealand).  

Nonetheless, as far as I know, this is an uncommon practice in area studies (e.g., East Asian studies; and note that I'm not saying this is a "common" practice). So, for example, if you want to apply for East Asian studies with the focus on Japan and did BA in the U.S. or Canada, doing Masters in Japan isn't a bad idea. However, if you want to go into a traditional department like history, anthropology, or any other non-Area studies major it can be quite risky and should think about it twice. 

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38 minutes ago, Leznver said:

I'd have to agree. I've done a lot of informational interviewing this application season and the standard response I have received about going outside the USA is that a MA degree from an Asian University just doesn't stand up in the US. Europe is a bit better but you will be lacking a network if you decide to come back to the USA for work. If those factors are not major in your decision making process ie: not intending to come back to the USA, specific program interests or financial reasons etc... then go for it!

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It's true that if you can do MA in the US or Canada, that's much better than doing it in East Asia due to how the application process works. So I wasn't denying that part, and that was not the point. The thing is that newmedianewme asked if there's an MA where he or she can finish without getting into debt. And the chance is very slim at least in the US, and I'd say even in Canada, especially if newmedianewme is not a Canadian citizen. That's why I mentioned another route that is far less popular but nonetheless has been taken by some people in EALC. 

And I've seen people who did MA in European countries far less often than the people who did MA in East Asian countries in EALC departments. (And by this, I'm not talking about people who did BA in Europe or East Asia.) The vast majority did MA in the U.S. or Canada, which is an ideal option if available. But given that that's not an option due to a financial circumstance or whatnot, I've seen people (who did BA in the United States or Canada) finishing MA in an East Asian country (especially with a full government scholarship) and coming back to the States more so than the people who have done the same in continental Europe. But then, North Americans who go to Asia or Europe to do Masters in East Asian studies and come back are too few in number, so I don't have a reliable sample size to compare the two. So just a grain of salt. But I do have a general doubt that a degree from Europe (unless it's from the UK) will be any better than a degree from East Asia, even by a tiny bit.

That being said, I don't know too much about MA programs, so if anyone can recommend MA programs in the US or Canada that's quite affordable, that would be super helpful to newmedianewme because I do think, for an obvious reason, that would be the best case scenario if he/she wants to stay in the U.S. after Masters. 

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On 3/2/2019 at 9:24 AM, newmedianewme said:

Quick question for the group.

I was recently rejected from PhD applications to East Asian Studies programs. I believe that my application would be much stronger with an MA, but I'm hesitant to go into debt for one. Anyone have any recommendations for quality East Asian Studies MA programs, preferably with a strong emphasis on media/film, that offer significant funding packages? Any clarity or insight is appreciated!

I think you should look into the University of Alberta. I am not sure but I think they provide full? some? funding through TAship. I see their alumni on many of "Current Graduate Students" page of great Ph.D. programs, including Columbia.

 

And, what Interesting discussion about doing M.A. outside of the U.S! 

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