BSc in Business, Asian Language and Culture - Asian Studies Programme
The number of students per year is very small, and you will easily get to know each other. People come together and share their passion for Asian culture and language, and they are open and eager to meet and work together with others who share their interest. You will be part of a small but very active, dedicated and diverse group of international students.
Where students in most other programmes plan an annual skiing trip together, ASP students tend to group up and plan trips to Asia together instead.
There are many social and extracurricular activities to participate in for students on ASP.
One example is ‘Talk Nights’ where students gather with volunteer Chinese native speakers to socialise and practice their language skills and meet new people. Talk Nights take place around once a month, and is an excellent opportunity to practice your language, learn more about Asia, and maybe even enjoy some real Asian home cooking.
Another example is ‘Asia Days’, a series of seminars where experts from both university and the business community give talks on Asia-related topics. The seminars give students an idea of how they can use their knowledge in real life when they graduate.
In addition to activities organised by the ASP programme and its students , there are also close ties to other Asia-related programmes at other universities, to embassies and to the Confucius Institute in Copenhagen. This means that ASP students are always informed of any Asian festival or event taking place.
From upper secondary school to university
Beginning at a university is a radical change for many new students. You will meet new people and new academic challenges. At the same time you have to familiarise yourself with a new place, new it-systems, rules, regulations and procedures and a lot more.
Being a university student means taking responsibility for your own education. There is no compulsory attendance to lectures, you only get grades after examinations and you do not have homework in the traditional sense. Instead you receive a semester plan, containing a reading list with the literature and materials you are expected to prepare, and a list of recommended literature that you can read if you want. You are expected to prepare for classes and to participate actively. Your professors are not teachers, but dialogue partners with whom you can discuss academic content, ideas, get new inspiration etc. What you learn and how much you learn depends on the effort you put into it.
The programme often consists of many different courses and assignments, and the workload is hardly ever evenly distributed during the semester. The curriculum is substantially bigger than the one of your upper secondary school, and it may at times seem impossible to get an overview . The teaching styles are also very different from what you are used to, which requires you to work on your study skills.
When starting at university, you should be prepared to learn how to be a student. Besides getting to grips with the academic content, you also need to learn to work independently,to take new initiatives and responsibilities, to identify problems and find possible solutions. All in all, it means that you will have to work on your study techniques. Among other things, you need to learn to manage og prioritise your time and assignments, your courses and curriculum, in a way that gives you time for both your studies, spare time and work. You will probably also have to develop or learn new reading and note-taking techniques.
You are not expected to master it all from the first day, but to be aware of the new challenges and learn how to approach them along the way. Besides, your fellow students, mentors and student guidance counsellors can help you along.
Challenges on BSc ASP
Most students find studying at university to be very different from what they are used to from their upper secondary education. It is a new way of studying that makes higher demands on you, requires you to do more work independently and have the self-discipline to prepare and do your homework. The ASP is a very demanding programme.
Year zero is a one-year preparatory language course that you can apply for if you do not meet the entry requirements in Chinese.
It consists of intense language courses and a course named PALCS - Presentation on Asian Languages, Culture and Society.
The level increases quickly and you have to stay very focused on learning the language. You will have to do most of the work on your own by preparing for lectures and practising the written and spoken language. You should expect a workload of 40-60 hours per week, and self-discipline and good study habits are important.
The language level is higher in year 1 than on year zero, which is a challenge for most students. You will still have to stay focused on improving your language skills while at the same time learning completely new areas like economics and business.
Most students will have to put a lot of effort and time into learning the language, particularly writing and speaking. But there are also students who struggle with the economics courses.
You have to be prepared for a long period of study – a bachelor’s programme is usually 3 years, but if you start with Year Zero it will take you 4 years to complete the ASP. It is important that you are interested in Asian culture and language, or it will be difficult to find the motivation to do all the hard work.
The ASP uses a mix of different teaching methods:
- Lectures for up to 200 students, where a teacher will go over the theories and assignments you have prepared
- Exercise classes, workshops or tutorials where you will have the opportunity to discuss the theory or assignments with a teacher or your fellow students.
- Class instructions used for your language class
- Project work, which is usually done in groups
- In addition to this, you will need to spend a lot of time on preparation, reading texts and doing assignments
There are a lot of lectures in the ASP, but they differ in number of students. Only few of them are for up to 200 students, most of them are for a much smaller number of students, and seem more like class instructions.
The advantage of small classes is that there is room for interaction and discussion. This is a great help in learning and improving your language skills. However, it is important that you are well prepared for your classes and that you participate actively – using your language is the only way to master it. You cannot learn a language only by listening, no matter how great your professor is.
Just as teaching methods differ, so do exam types.
Exams may be oral or written, individual or group-based. They may require you to show that you have understood the theory, or to show that you can use the theory in practice. There may be written (group) projects with (individual) oral defence. And there may be take-home assignments that you will have to write within a specified number of hours or days .
You can expect many oral exams in the language courses. You will also have to do some written exams in language courses to demonstrate that you know the characters.
At CBS each course is concluded with an examination. This means that you will have examinations after each semester in December/January and May/June respectively
Time spent on studying
In Year Zero you will have 12-15 hours of teaching per week. From Year 1 you will have 15-18 hours per week.
The ASP is a full-time programme: You will need to spend a lot of time on preparation before each hour of teaching , or you will fall behind. You should expect to spend 40-50 hours a week to keep up. Half of that time you will need to put into studying Chinese, since these are not easy languages to learn. Make sure that you attend the language classes and that you practice your language as much as possible.
It is possible to have a student job , but it is difficult when the study programme is so demanding. In any case, it is recommended not to work more than 10 hours a week .
Following a university programme is demanding and quite different from what most students are used to. It requires self-discipline to do your homework, prepare for classes and lectures, and work independently. You must also be able to prioritise your time and be flexible in order to balance your different courses and assignments.
To study the ASP, you must be passionate about Chinese and Asian culture, as well as patient and hardworking – the language is difficult, but you will learn it if you put in the work.
It is also important that you are open-minded. Not only to learn about the very different culture in Asia, but to gain a ‘cross-cultural understanding’ of the way Asia relates to other cultures. It is an advantage if you are interested in international events and keep up-to-date about what is going on in the world.
As a university student it is important that you learn to manage your time. You will have to balance many different activities at the same time: preparation, reading, group work, maybe a student job and not least time for friends, family and leisure activities. Normally, classes do not take up much space in your calendar, but in order to make time for all activities, it is essential that you plan your time.
You should also want to learn new things and get involved in your studies. To a large extent it is your responsibility to get the outcome you want from your studies and student life
What to be interested in?
Your interests should include languages, other cultures and Asia – not just the popular culture and the food, but the region as a whole, its development, economies, markets and the future.
Studying in English
Before studying a programme taught in English you might want to consider the following:
- All literature, lectures, exams, projects and group work are in English
- Academic English differs from the English used in everyday language – so it might be a challenge even if you are used to speaking English in other situations.
- You may have to spend more time on reading and understanding the material in English
- You may find it challenging to express yourself with the same ease as you would in your mother tongue.
- Some will feel uncomfortable and shy when speaking English – especially when in a crowd or among native speakers.
- On the English programmes there will be a number of international students, which means that you will have to use English when around fellow students.
- Your skills and vocabulary in academic English will improve, but learning English used in everyday situations takes practice
Practice makes perfect
There is a big difference between reading and understanding texts and expressing yourself in English both orally and in writing. This is a challenge for some students. Even if you feel quite good at English, it is still a good idea to practice your English. Try to speak it on a regular basis, watch the news, movies and TV series in English. You should also read books and newspapers in English, as this will help you read faster and increase your vocabulary. A good command of English is essential for getting the maximum learning outcome of your programme.
If you practice your English, and use it among your professors and fellow students, it will become easier and feel more natural with time. Remember that many of your fellow students probably feel the same way as you in the beginning.
Through your active participation in extracurricular activities, you will gain a network with Asian embassies and institutes, Asian exchange students at CBS, among the Asian community in Denmark and with Danish embassies and businesses in Asia.
An alumni association is being established.