Tavan Dutton is currently in the third year of his BA Chinese Studies at SOAS. He also studies Indonesian Language as an ‘open option’ and last academic year he took time off from SOAS to spend a year in Indonesia. As is often the case, my decision to learn Indonesian at SOAS was completely unforeseen but it turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.
An alumnus of the South East Asia Department, Sebastian Rumsby (BA Vietnamese and Development 2007-2011; MA South East Asian Studies 2013) recollects his time at SOAS and shares his passion for Vietnam. My journey into South East Asian studies started somewhat randomly at SOAS during my undergraduate degree, where I chose to learn Vietnamese language alongside International Development because Vietnamese was on the bottom of a list of what to
Back in February 2015 I received an e-mail from my Indonesian lecturer Pak Din explaining how every year the Malaysian authorities run a speech competition, and that he’d like to put me in for it. Indonesian and Malay are similar enough to be mutually intelligible, but since I had only just learnt to tell the time, Pak Din aptly ended the e-mail with the words “we shall discuss this further,