About “EAST”…

EAST: Exploring Asia through Study and Travel, is an innovative conference on student exchanges, one of which will clearly inform all students interested in studying abroad in key areas of Asia, and learn from past exchange students of exchange, about (but content no limited to) ways one could possibly organize a trip, challenges and rewards of the experience, how to transfer credits for their Univerity of Toronto Degree, etc. Speakers will be carefully selected to share their experience abroad with any attending students who are interested in studying in the main regions of Asia, and we will also bring in speakers who are involved n the co-ordination of study abroad programs, such as those from ISXO. It is our fourth time organizing this event, and it has been great success in the past years. However, every year the scale would different, as such, this year, we have added the JET Program and students who have taught abroad in Korea.


Such an event will hopefully dismiss previous doubts or presumptions about international travel to East Asia for academic purposes, and suggest possibly paths for students to take in planning their trips, and what troubles, if any that should be universally stated, to avoid. For students constrained financially, we also want to help provide ways of funding and routes to find funding from sponsors and organizations for promising, driven candidates. This seminar will also provide and informal forum for students to ask questions directly to speakers, and provide connections for those intersted in studying abroad with those who have direct experience without fear of intimidation.

We are hoping to achieve the following:

  • Inform: Provide informationfor students about where to start when planning a trip abroad, how to get transfer credits, etc.
  • Provide Opportunities/Funding: Providing routes of funding for those financially incapable of studying abroad (ie. via sponsorship)
  • Promote clarity of understanding: Dismissing doubts or fears that are unnecessary when studying abroad
  • Encourage Benefits for Students: Get students involved in the study abroad programs available to gain the benefits as discussed earlier in the proposal
  • Direct Engagement: Dialogue between alumni and speakers with the students, a good way to network and find individual routes for studying abroad, and other concerns and issues that may or may not be related to the topic of the seminar.

Our Inspirations…

Studying abroad is often something students are confused, nervous or evasive about, due to a multitude of reasons, including financial limitations. For a University of Toronto student, such an experience can be invaluable, inspiring and a real eye-opener as a cultural experience, and from an academic perspective, fulfilling as one can have a hands-on experience in the actual society that they have been studying for past couple of years. The past participants of the Japan exchange program describes the experience to be an exhilarating and a wondrous opportunity to see all the historical sights such as the Kinkaku-ji I had been reading about in text books or in magazines and genuinely pleasing for me to experience such rich cultural interchanges that surpassed my imagination.

We believe that studying abroad holds the following benefits:

  • Cosmopolitanism, Enrichment: Widen student¬ís approaches, views and understanding concerning their field of academic study by actually visiting and study their country/countries of interest
  • Language Skills: Improve language skills due to direct communication with local communities and academics (of the specified country)
  • Cultural interchange: Cultural interchange
  • Networking: Aiding of social, academic networking
  • Historical Sites: Fulfilment from visiting places of significance, i.e. the Whampoa Academy in the Hong Kong Summer Abroad Program (Woodsworth College)


“I was first introduced to studying abroad through EASSU. As an executive member, I was able to plan the event and get to know those who has been abroad through this conference, which imspired me to go abroad. I gain a lot more studying in Asia as I learned a lot about the culture, improved my language abilities, as well as become more dependent. It was a great eye-opener!” –Trinh Quan, Webmaster of EASSU

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