The Asian culture and history, in general, are very broad, ranging from Southeast, East to West/ Middle East Asia. Countries are interconnected, but every country has distinct features in culture, politics, history, etc. That’s why many of these Asian countries offer numerous study programs in Asian Studies, most of which are subdivided into different specializations to deepen their knowledge and gain more information about a particular area.

Many international students from other parts of Asia, and westerners alike, are highly interested in this field. Since Asian Studies, part of the Humanities and Social Science discipline is quite extensive, we have come up with a list of countries that offer the best Asian Studies programs from undergraduate to graduate levels!

Top Countries to Study Asian Studies Abroad

1. Japan

  • Reasons: excellent education system, high quality of living, and rich cultural heritage

It is unquestionable that many international students desire to study in Japan. This is apparently due to the influence of anime, advanced technology, and stunning tourist destinations. In addition, it is a country with a developed and steady economy. With this in mind, it is undoubtedly a definite result of having an excellent educational system in the country, leading to a high quality of living for its citizens. To sum up, international students pursuing their studies in Japan will have the privilege to experience all these things.

Japan is a great country to study Asian studies as it offers excellent and unique study programs in the field of Social Sciences. The Asian Studies, in particular, will equip students with substantial knowledge about Asia. However, many universities focus their concentration on Japanese culture and heritage. An excellent way for students seeking their studies in that particular field. It is truly a wonderful experience for students to immerse themselves in the country while studying its heritage. A culture that has paved the way and introduced Asia to the world. A country with the most advanced technology while preserving its rich cultural history.

Several outstanding universities are offering Asian Studies in Japan. Kyoto University, Keio University, Tokyo Metropolitan University, and Waseda University are some of the reputable schools that currently offer these unique study programs.

2. Singapore

  • Reasons: English-taught study programs, globally recognized degrees, and multi-cultural society

Singapore may be a small country, but with a steady economy, it is one of the wealthiest countries in Asia. This shows that a high standard of living equates to the government’s prioritization of a high-quality education system. Several universities are highly placed in the world ratings, and the degrees obtained are globally recognized. Numerous institutions have partnered with top universities abroad, making their study programs similar to these top schools. Studying in Singapore has become a desirable and better option for international students because study programs are taught in English.

Singapore embraces multiculturism as many ex-pats and foreigners live and study in the country. Students will not be having a hard time adjusting and can instead focus on their studies.

Top universities such as the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University offer Asian Studies with minor specializations.

3. Malaysia

  • Reasons: affordable tuition fees, low cost of living, and opportunity to cross-country travel around Asia

Another Asian country that is best suitable to study Asian Studies is, of course in, Malaysia. Several top universities focus their concentration on Southeast and East Asian Studies. These highly ranked universities have been attracting international students because not only do they offer high standards in higher education, but they offer affordable tuition fees as well.

With cheap tuition fees, international students also get to enjoy living in the country due to its low cost of living. Meals and Rent are reasonably priced—low cost of living in a country with an advanced transportation system and impressive infrastructures. It is a definite win for international students who are anxious about their financial budget yet still want to study in a prestigious school abroad.

Malaysia is surrounded by other Asian countries where students can enjoy and easily access cross-country travel. Students can travel to neighboring countries such as Brunei, Thailand, and Indonesia during their spare time.

Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and New Era University College are some of the reputable universities offering Asian Studies that specialize in Southeast and East Asian Studies.

4. New Zealand

  • Reasons: high-quality education, future-focused style of learning, employability-ready

New Zealand may not be an Asian country, but it offers a world-class and comprehensive study programs in Asian Studies. Again, like every country that boasts its educational system, New Zealand is considered to be truly one of the best. The government assures and has committed that education at all levels, public and private institutions have passed in the required quality assurance systems. This ensures that schools are internationally recognized, and degrees obtained will be acknowledged in other countries, making it easier for graduates who wish to further their postgraduate studies abroad.

A unique teaching approach, the “future-focused way of learning,” is highly practiced in the country. This teaching method provides students with hands-on learning, trained to think critically, and provides preferential skills and knowledge needed in their future careers. Graduates will have adequate academic qualifications and skills, enabling them to find work quickly.

Universities that offer well-thought and detailed Asian Studies programs are the University of Auckland, Victoria University of Wellington, and the University of Otago.

5. Taiwan

  • Reasons: medical care/health insurance for international students, working while studying, and affordable living in a high-quality living society

Taiwan is an excellent country to study Asian studies, as it is a democratic society that encourages and welcomes international students to experience a high standard of education in their nation. Students are allowed to work while studying. This is an added credential; not only will they obtain a degree, but they will also have working experience abroad. The living cost in Taiwan is surprisingly affordable, yet the nation is included in the list with high-quality of living in Asia. International students will indeed feel at ease because of this.

Another reason to study in Taiwan is that medical care is easily accessible not only for people who work in Taiwan but also for international students. In these current times, health care is vital when studying abroad, and medical insurance is required for international students.

There are many universities that offer Asian Studies from undergraduate to postgraduate levels. Institutions such as National Taiwan Normal University, National Tsing Hua University, National Dong Hwa University, and National Sun Yat-sen University offer well-thought study programs in this particular field.

6. UAE

  • Reasons: total immersion in the country while studying, tourism, a variety of recreational activities

Asia is a massive continent, and part of West Asia is UAE which provides a top-quality higher education system for Asian studies to its citizens and international students. Under the Social Science discipline, several institutions have centered their programs in the Middle East or West Asian Studies. Total immersion in the country will broaden the minds of students that will leave immeasurable experiences while at the same time studying its culture and history.

UAE has a lot to offer when it comes to tourism; with its strategic location, recreational activities such as sports, water sports, and desert adventure activities are a top hit for international students who want to see a livelier sight of the country.

Institutions with study programs in the Middle East or West Asian Studies are Zayed University, American University of Sharjah, and American University in Dubai.

7. Thailand

  • Reasons: inexpensive universities, studying the local language as an added credential, and hospitable country

Thailand is best known for being a hospitable country and a great destination to study Asian studies. Locals are the friendliest, and warm gestures will greet you everywhere. These attributes are one of the reasons why studying in Thailand has become the preferred choice for international students. Another reason would, of course, be reputable universities that offer inexpensive tuition fees. While obtaining a degree, students should also take advantage of learning the local language, as this will become an added credential to the student’s future professional portfolio.

Asian Studies programs available for students are specializations in Southeast Asian Studies. Universities such as Chulalongkorn University, Chiang Mai University, Thammasat University, and Khon Kaen University offer these degree programs.


I hope that this article on Best Countries to Study Asian Studies Abroad was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs for International Students to know more!