With a Vietnamese mother and a Jewish father, I was always intrigued by different cultures and languages – in being different in general. Initially accepted to study French and Hispanic studies at Bath University, it all changed when I accompanied a friend to a talk at SOAS. Despite never having heard of SOAS, from the moment I stepped into the JCR and realised that it was possible to study Vietnam
My first thought upon stepping inside the Central Prison of one of Thailand’s troubled Deep South provinces, was to question how I had ended up there. Which were the choices that had led me from a SOAS classroom studying BA Thai and Development Studies to standing there, my sparsely thatched head baking in the hot sun, blinking at the light as I stooped to step from the gloomy antechamber, through
Lukas Fort graduated with a 1st class degree in BA Indonesian and Social Anthropology in 2015. Here he reflects on his time in the South East Asia Department and his year abroad in Indonesia. My six-month stay in Indonesia in 2002 first sparked my interest and intrigue in Indonesian cultures. And it was this personal curiosity about South East Asia and Indonesia in particular that subsequently led me to SOAS, where
Sarah Watt is in the 4th year of her BA South East Asian Studies (with a year abroad). As a student of both Indonesian and Burmese she chose the best of both worlds during her year abroad, spending one semester in Yogyakarta and one semester in Yangon. I was told it would be the most memorable, unique year of my life. It probably was. As part of my degree in
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