Isis Sartori Reis from Brazil, alumna of the programme, now working as Junior Programme Officer at The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
"The Master’s Programme in Asian Studies helped me gain new perspectives and understanding of cultures, which is important when you work with a continent that is not your own."
lsis has a background in international relations, which she studied in Brazil.
After doing an exchange in Beijing during her Bachelor's degree, lsis started to develop an interest in China and she decided to study Chinese.
While still studying in Brazil, lsis decided she wanted to go to Paris to study human rights in China.
lsis asked her professor in Paris where she could go to develop her knowledge of the topic through a Master's degree, and was recommended the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies at Lund University.
The programme experience
lsis started the MSc programme in Asian Studies in 2014 and focused on China during the programme.
The flexibility of the programme made it possible for lsis to tailor it according to her interests. She chose the China track and selected the third semester elective courses based on what she wanted to focus on in her future thesis.
After taking courses in discourse analysis as well as human rights and international relations in Asia, lsis wrote her thesis on how China has shaped norms in the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The most important knowledge and skills lsis developed during the programme were critical thinking, general knowledge of Asia, specialised knowledge of human rights in China and a more empathetic approach to various cultures.
lsis believes that not only has her Asia profile helped her secure jobs related to Asia, it also shows future employers that she has 'cultural capital'. It has therefore enabled her to work with many different regions.
After graduating from the MSc programme, lsis was accepted to an internship at the United Nations office for South–South cooperation in New York. Following her time in New York, lsis spent six months in Brussels with the European Commission's Blue Book Traineeship.
During the autumn of 2017, lsis did an internship at the Raoul Wallenberg lnsitute of Human Rights in Lund, where she now works as a junior programme officer for the Zimbabwe Programme.
Ulf Stomberg from Sweden, alumnus of the programme, now Co-owner of Practice Leader in Tokyo
”If you want to go to Japan, you need to be very adjustable and dedicated to learn the culture. The programme and especially the fieldwork provided me with the tools I needed to thrive.”
Ulf has a background in international business, which he studied in Sweden.
During his Bachelor's programme, Ulf studied at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea. While in Korea, Ulf went on a holiday to Japan, and there his interest in working in Japan was born.
The passion for business and Japan made the MSc programme in Asian Studies a natural choice for Ulf after his graduation. It would give him the opportunity to complement his academic background with specialised knowledge in a region.
The programme experience
Ulf started the MSc programme in Asian Studies in 2010 and focused on Japan and Korea during the programme.
For the elective courses during the third semester, Ulf focused on business and often travelled to Japan, which kept him motivated to start working there after his graduation.
Ulf wrote his thesis on business networks in Japan. His fieldwork experience in Tokyo was the most influential part of the programme. Waseda University, which Ulf was affiliated with during his fieldwork, is highly regarded and the affiliation opened many doors for Ulf.
Obtaining general knowledge of Asia helped Ulf in terms of networking and building contacts with business.
After graduating from the MSc programme, Ulf got an internship at Practice Leader in Tokyo. Starting out with a minimum salary and a three-month contract, Ulf worked his way up in the company and today, he is a manager and co-owner.
Although he did not know the language before coming to Japan, Ulf learned Japanese while in Japan. The knowledge he received from the MSc programme in combination with his Bachelor's degree made it possible for Ulf to land a job without having the language skills.
"Getting to where you want to be takes a lot of time and effort, and you will get a lot of 'no's', but it is very rewarding once you are here," Ulf says.