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International Studies Research Guide

International Studies

Thinking about Studying Abroad in Asia?

Studying abroad can be one of the most impactful and beneficial experiences for college students. By studying abroad, you have the ability to immerse yourself in a totally foreign culture while providing a great opportunity to develop and strengthen your interpersonal and intercultural skills.  Here at HSU, we have many programs with which you can study abroad: 

California State University International Programs (CSUIP)

University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) 

HSU Faculty-Led Programs 

HSU Bilateral Exchanges 

Other Programs 

Find more info about these programs on the HSU Study Abroad Website!

Or contact the Center for International Programs Staff:  



Still on the fence? Click to learn more about the benefits of study abroad

Asian Art Resources


Free access provided through HSU to a Digital Library, Institutional Collections, and Public Collections, of art from everywhere! 

Asian Art Museum 

The Asian Art Museum–Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture is one of San Francisco's premier arts institutions and home to a world-renowned collection of more than 18,000 Asian Art treasures spanning 6000 years of history.

The Smithsonian's Museum of Asian Art

The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives is a manuscript and photograph repository dedicated to furthering the study of Asian and Middle Eastern art, archaeology, and culture.

Asian World Film Festival 

The Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) brings the best of a broad selection of Asian World cinema to Los Angeles in order to draw greater recognition to the region's wealth of filmmakers, strengthening ties between the Asian and Hollywood film industries. Uniting through cross-cultural collaboration, our festival champions films from over 50 countries across Asia spanning from Turkey to Japan and Russia to India.

The Huntington Archive of Buddhist and Asian Art

The Huntington Archive is devoted to providing pan-Asian documentation and resource materials for scholarly research and classroom teaching. It contains nearly 300,000 original slides and photographs – photographic documentation of art and architecture throughout Asia, including India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma), China, and Japan. 

Asian Studies Resources

Welcome! This page is designed to provide access to those interested in studying an Asian language, perhaps not offered at HSU. For those INTL majors required to be proficient in a second language who desire to learn an Asian language, this page provides an introduction to free resources and information needed to begin the process of studying. For non-INTL majors, it simply provides access to free language learning materials to be studied at any time. If the language you are looking for is not on this page, let us know! We are more than happy to add new information as this page is intended on being ever-expanding as new language-learning styles develop.


About Korean:                                                                                       

The Korean Language is fairly recently developed compared to other Asian languages. Created in the 15th century by King Sejong of the Joseon dynasty. Korea had previously been using a version of Chinese to represent the sounds of Korean, but it did not adequately represent the sounds and tones in Korean speech patterns, so Sejong created an entirely new writing system called Hangul. Additionally, Chinese was complex and hard to study thus only the elites had the ability to learn and use it, however, when creating Hangul, Sejong created a phonetic script that was both more efficient and accessible to the common people, allowing Hangul to be learned by all. 

Online Classes: 

Cyber University of Korea 

Free online classes through the fully online University of Korea. Each lesson ends with a small lesson in Korean history. 

Sejong Korean Conversation 

Free online classes through Sejong Univerity on YouTube. They also feature cultural videos including Korean food, music, and fashion! 

Free Apps: 

Drops: Great for beginning learners. Features grammar, vocabulary, and spelling practice. 

Memrise: Also great for beginners. Features, vocabulary, speaking practice, and more! 

Duolingo: Not as great as the ones above but still a good way to learn and practice vocabulary and spelling.  Beware the owl! 

Talk to me in Korean: A well-rounded app focused on learning at every level. NOTE: This app does require purchases for more services. 


Want to learn Korean like they do at Yonsei University in Korea? These books are the exact ones they use there, but beware, these are for those with prior knowledge of Korean and want to work because the books are all in Korean! 

Korean Stories for Langauge Learners is a great way to learn Korean while simultaneously learning about ancient Korean culture. This book includes 42 folktales that they teach you how to read in Korean.  And it's only $15 on Amazon! 

Big Hit Learn! Korean with BTS Book Package

For fans of BTS, or just those who want a Korean-developed state-of-the-art learning system. This Brand-new package includes a 4 book set, a speaking pen, a study notebook (compatible with speaking pen), a micro-USB cable, and two Hangeul Keyboard Sticker Sheets! The plotline of the Learn! Korean with BTS will be about a character named “Bora” who learns Korean while traveling Korea and it’s appropriate for beginners or medium-level learners.

Talk to me in Korean! 

After studying with Talk To Me In Korean’s Level 1 textbook and workbook, you will be able to hold simple conversations in Korean and feel more confident about studying Korean further. From saying the basic greetings to counting numbers, and having simple yet natural conversations in Korean, you can learn the basics of the Korean language with this textbook. 



About Japanese:                                                                                        

The origin of the Japanese language is largely unknown, but some scholars hypothesis that it formed as a combination of Korean and indigenous dialects around 300 BCE by the Yayoi people. Today Japanese utilizes three styles, Hiragana (used for native words), Katakana (used for foreign words), and Kanji (Chinese derived characters) to create what we now recognize as the Japanese language. 

Online Classes: 

Waseda University 

Free fully online classes through Waseda University. 

Japanese Society

Free online classes through Youtube. They also feature videos that highlight aspects of Japanese culture including films and food! 

Free Apps: 

Drops: Great for beginning learners. Features grammar, vocabulary, and spelling practice. 

LingoDeer: A comprehensive collection of everyday essentials and more, designed for daily use and building on what you have learned. 

MemriseAlso great for beginners. Features, vocabulary, speaking practice, and more! 

HiriganaQuest: Ideal for beginners, practice writing, reading and speaking the alphabet along with simple vocabulary. 

KanjiStudy: This app is a great way to study and quiz yourself on the individual characters of Kanji.  


I'm Learning Japanese!: Learn to Speak, Read and Write the Basics

I'm Learning Japanese! takes a lighthearted approach to the Japanese language by using fun anime-style manga characters to teach Japanese. Though fun and lighthearted, this book is incredibly practical as well. By the end, students will master reading and writing the entire Hiragana alphabet, Japanese sentence structure and 23 key Kanji characters.

Learning Japanese Hiragana and Katakana: Workbook and Practice Sheets

Learning Japanese Hiragana and Katakana provides beginning-level students of Japanese a thorough grounding in the basic hiragana and katakana phonetic symbols or syllabaries. A comprehensive introduction presents their primary function, origin, pronunciation and usage. The main body of the book is devoted to presenting the 92 hira and kata characters along with their variations, giving step-by-step guidelines on how to write each character neatly in the correct stroke order, with generous practice spaces provided for handwriting practice.

50 Japanese Short Stories for Beginners:

Read Entertaining Japanese Stories to Improve your Vocabulary and Learn Japanese While Having Fun: Japanese Edition Including Hiragana and Kanji. And it's only $8 on Amazon! 


About Chinese:                                                                             

The Chinese language is the oldest written language in the world with at least six thousand years of history. Chinese character inscriptions have been found in turtle shells dating back to the Shang dynasty (1766-1123 BC) proving the written language has existed for more than 3,000 years. The Chinese written language uses single distinctive symbols, or characters, to represent each word of the vocabulary. The vast majority of characters are written versions of spoken sounds that have meaning. A large dictionary usually contains 40,000 characters. One must be able to recognize 2,000 to 3,000 characters to read a newspaper. Although the written system has been altered over time due to revolutions and political changes, the principles of the language along with the symbols and characters have remained basically the same.

Online Classes: 


Free fully online classes through Loecson. 


Free online classes through Youtube. They also feature videos that highlight aspects of Chinese culture including films and food! 

Free Apps: 

Drops: Great for beginning learners. Features grammar, vocabulary, and spelling practice. 

LingoDeerA comprehensive collection of everyday essentials and more, designed for daily use and building on what you have learned. 

MemriseAlso great for beginners. Features, vocabulary, speaking practice, and more! 

HelloChinese: Super fun app designed for beginners that highlight writing, reading, and speaking. 


Short Stories in Chinese: New Penguin Parallel Text

This book features dual-language stories designed to help to begin Chinese learners practice through traditional Chinese stories. And it's only $8 on ThriftBooks! 

Chinestory - Learning Chinese Through Pictures and Stories (Storybook 1) In the Beginning. 

An Efficient Cognitive Approach Designed for Readers of All Ages to Learn 3000 Chinese Characters and Phrases, and Begin to Speak Like a Native. 



About Russian:                                                                                       

The roots of Russian can be traced back about 4000 – 6000 years ago. At this time, the language known as Indo-European was beginning to split, with various communities of speakers migrating away from their homeland in the areas of modern-day Ukraine and Southwest Russia, forming their own dialects in the process. As these communities moved further West, the Slavic tribes remained as a separate group in Eastern Europe and subsequently developed their own language, known as Proto-Slavonic. Eventually, the speakers of Proto-Slavonic separated into three branches – Southern, Western and Eastern – around the year 500AD. Not long after, there followed further separation of the Eastern branch (speakers of so-called Old Russian) which ultimately gave rise to the formation of three distinct languages – Russian, Belorussian and Ukrainian. 

Online Classes: 

St. Petersburg State University

Free fully online classes through Coursera. 

Help My Russian 

Free online classes through Youtube. They also feature videos that highlight aspects of Russian culture including films and food! 

Free Apps: 

Duolingo: Great for beginning learners. Features grammar, vocabulary, and spelling practice. 

BusuuA comprehensive collection of everyday essentials and more, designed for daily use and building on what you have learned. 

MemriseAlso great for beginners. Features, vocabulary, speaking practice, and more! 


Sputnik: An Introductory Russian Language Course

An introductory language book featuring speakers to aid in pronunciation. 

The Everything Learning Russian Book with CD: Speak, write, and understand Russian in no time!

Whether you're planning a trip to Russia or adding a valuable second language to your resume, this book is just what you need.


About Vietnamese:                                                                          

Once known as Annamese, Vietnamese is part of the huge Austro-Asiatic language tree. That means it comes from similar roots as Khmer in Cambodia and several other languages spoken by minority groups in the surrounding regions. It shares the inflected morphology and consonant clusters for which that branch of the tree is known. It is also a tonal language, where the tone used to pronounce a word can dramatically alter its meaning. These days, the language of Vietnam is one of the top twenty most spoken in the world.

Online Classes: 


Free fully online classes through Loecson! 

Learn Vietnamese With SVFF

Free online classes through Youtube. Focused on the Southern Vietnamese accent, this page offers vocab, grammar, and more specifically tailored to foreigners. It also features videos about food and culture to aid in linguistic retention. 

Free Apps: 

Drops: Great for beginning learners. Features grammar, vocabulary, and spelling practice. 

LingoDeerA comprehensive collection of everyday essentials and more, designed for daily use and building on what you have learned. 

Duolingo: If you can stand the green owl it's great for beginners, and features, vocabulary, speaking practice, and more! 

Bilingua: Connect with native speakers around the world for language exchange, practice speaking, and monitor your progress while having fun! 


Elementary Vietnamese, Let's Speak Vietnamese.

This is a complete Vietnamese language course designed for college or high school–level classroom use or self–study. Elementary Vietnamese has become the leading book for anyone wishing to learn Vietnamese, and an invaluable resource for people traveling, studying, or working in Vietnam. This beginner Vietnamese book was originally developed for classroom use at Harvard University, where it has been field-tested for many years.

Vietnamese Stories for Language Learners: Traditional Folktales in Vietnamese and English

Nothing introduces students and cultural enthusiasts to a language and people better than stories. Intended for Vietnamese language students or heritage learners, the stories in this volume present the everyday vocabulary and grammar in use in Vietnam today. Forty folk stories have been edited and simplified for learning purposes and are presented in parallel Vietnamese and English versions to facilitate language learning.

Learn Vietnamese with Word Search Puzzles: Learn Vietnamese Language Vocabulary with Word Find Puzzles for All Ages

Learning a new language can be both challenging and rewarding. This book provides puzzle-based vocabulary exercises and is intended to supplement traditional methods of language study.


About Tagalog:                                                          

Tagalog began appearing in written language as far back as 900 CE. The oldest Filipino document found in the Philippines, the Laguna Copperplate Inscription, was written in Tagalog. It was discovered in 1989. At the beginning of the 18th century, Pablo Cain wrote the first Tagalog dictionary. In 1879, Tagalog became the official language of the Philippine islands, but its reign was short-lived; in 1935, Spanish was established as the national language. Over times of various occupations, Tagalog incorporated words, phrases, and pronunciations of other languages. Some Filipinos refer to the combination of Tagalog and English as Taglish. Most Filipinos still speak Tagalog, though many of the younger generations also learn other Filipino dialects as well.

Online Classes: 


Free Philipino Language Lessons with Examples, Drills, Flash Cards & Audio.


Free online classes through Youtube. They also feature videos that highlight aspects of Philipino culture including films and food! 

Free Apps: 

Drops: Great for beginning learners. Features grammar, vocabulary, and spelling practice. 

DalubhasaAn app created and developed by Philipinos for the most accurate translations.  


Learning Tagalog - Fluency Made Fast and Easy

Together, this fully integrated suite of learning materials provides all the essential elements you need to learn Tagalog in a fast, fun and easy way and to speak Tagalog fluently. At a pace of 15-30 minutes a day, you'll progress very quickly. In just 6 months (roughly 70 hours), you'll be able to understand and participate in everyday Tagalog conversations.

Making Out in Tagalog: A Tagalog Language Phrase Book

This best-selling Tagalog phrasebook is the perfect introduction to everyday interactions in The Philippines and includes colorful slang that'll help rev up your social life. A great way to learn Tagalog, Making Out in Tagalog features a pronunciation guide, and notes on Tagalog language and culture.


About Hindi: 

Hindi, an Indo-European language spoken mainly in northern and central India, is the primary official language of the Union government of India. It is part of a dialect continuum of the Indic family, bounded on the northwest and west by Punjabi, Sindhi, Urdu, and Gujarati; on the south by Marathi; on the southeast by Oriya; on the east by Bengali; and on the north by Nepali. Hindi can be traced back to as early as the seventh or eighth century. The dialect that has been chosen as the official language is Khariboli in the Devnagari script. Other dialects of Hindi are Brajbhasa, Bundeli, Awadhi, Marwari, Maithili, and Bhojpuri.  It is spoken by 437 million people in the world.

Online Classes: 


Free fully online classes through Loecson. 


Free online classes through Youtube. They also feature videos that highlight aspects of Indian culture including films and food! 

Free Apps: 

Drops: Great for beginning learners. Features grammar, vocabulary, and spelling practice. 

DuolingoIF you don't mind the green owl, this is a great way to establish the basics! 

NemoAlso great for beginners. Features, vocabulary, speaking practice, and more! 


Teach Yourself Hindi: A Complete Course for Beginners

A complete course in reading, writing, and speaking Hindi. This book's clear and logical approach makes it the ideal way to learn Hindi. Even those who speak another Indian language will find this an excellent way of learning India's national language accurately and fluently. The course includes the Hindi script and sound system, dialogues and reading passages, clear explanations of Hindi grammar, and information about Indian culture and society.

The Gift Of a Cow - A Translation Of the Hindi Novel Godaan

Godaan is a famous Hindi novel by Munshi Premchand. It was first published in 1936 and is considered one of the greatest Hindi novels of modern Indian literature. Themed around the socio-economic deprivation as well as the exploitation of the village poor, the novel was the last complete novel of Premchand.

What is "Asia"?

Asia is composed of 48 recognized countries making up 5 regions: Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Western Asia. 

  • Central Asia is politically divided into five countries: Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
  • East Asia is politically divided into eight countries and regions: China, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau.
  • South Asia is politically divided into eight autonomous countries: Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, and the Maldives.
  • Southeast Asia is politically divided into 15 countries and territories: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, Vietnam, Christmas Island, Cocos Islands.

Learn more about these regions and the countries within them here

Want to learn a little more about the history of your country?

A brief general history of Asia by Khan Academy here

Or click on the country! 








Clubs At HSU

Interested in joining a club? Here's who to contact! 

Asian Studies Club: 

Contact Dr. Mary Scoggin 


International Studies Club: 

Contact Dr. Matthew Derrick 


Global Connections Club: 

Contact Dr. Robert Cliver 



Want to test your geographical knowledge?

How many Asian countries you can name from a map? Find out here

What about Capitals

How about Flags

Or you can try states, provinces, cities, leaders, and ancient empires with the many selections offered here

Other Asian Resources


Free access provided through HSU to a Digital platform for discovering and connecting research, images, and primary sources!

Asia Society 

Country profiles provide a quick guide to the history, politics, and economic background of Asian and Asia-Pacific countries.

The Silk Road Foundation 

A non-profit organization, established in 1996, to promote the study and preservation of cultures and art on Inner Asia and the Silk Road. The Silkroad Foundation provides resources, information, and interactive exchange in the pursuit of educating communities about Inner Asia and the Silk Road.

East-West Center 

This center promotes better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific through cooperative study, research, and dialogue.

The Asan Forum

This online publication offers in-depth interpretations of rapid changes across the Asia-Pacific region. Its primary mission is to capture the latest currents of thought within Asia on transformative issues as expressed through voices from the region and assessments by outsiders.

New Mandala 

The New Mandala provides a platform for scholarly analysis and discussion on contemporary issues concerning Southeast Asia. It is an excellent resource for scholarly debate on the field of Southeast Asia Studies as well as book reviews, collaborations, and digital projects.

Channel News Asia 

Positioned to “Understand Asia”, it reports on global developments with Asian perspectives. Based in Singapore, it has correspondents in major Asian cities and key Western ones, including New York, Washington D.C., London, and Brussels. CNA brings its audience not only the latest news but also diverse content such as business, lifestyle, human stories, current affairs, and documentary programming.

The Asia Foundation 

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Working through our offices in 18 countries and informed by deep local expertise and six decades of experience, we address the critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century by: strengthening governance, expanding economic opportunity, increasing environmental resilience, empowering women, and promoting international cooperation.