Experiential learning & awards

Photo of students taking a selfie in Vietnam street, with a string of yellow lanterns above

Gain experience and support

Spending time in Asia and participating in experiential learning are incredible ways to gain a deeper understanding of the region. We encourage students to take advantage of hands-on research opportunities and to travel to Asia for study or research.

Explore our many research funding and travel opportunities below, as well as additional opportunities offered by the Faculty of Arts & Science, University of Toronto, and beyond. This is not an exhaustive list!

If you are a student in one of our programs, you’ll receive updates on the annual deadlines for our scholarships and research opportunities through our student newsletter. If you’re not an Asian Institute student but would like to receive our weekly newsletter with Asian Institute events and opportunities as well as a curated list of community and external events, opportunities, and resources for students, sign up to join our Graduate Student Network.

Opportunities to explore

Scholarships & awards 

Undergraduate Awards

  • The Richard Charles Lee Insights through Asia Challenge awards funding for students to participate in faculty-led research projects.
  • Big Ideas Competition: Exploring Global Taiwan provides funding for research projects in Taiwan. The application is closed for the 2024-25 academic year. 
  • Dr. David Chu Scholarships in Asia-Pacific Studies award undergraduate and graduate students with funding to travel to the Asia-Pacific region (East and Southeast Asia) for study and research purposes.
  • The Daisy Ho Contemporary China Undergraduate Fund provides 4 awards annually of up to $5,000 for third year undergraduate students who are undertaking a special research project on contemporary China. The award is used to help defray the project costs associated with the travel and research of student participants.
  • The Joseph Wong Student Experience Fund provides undergraduate students with financial assistance for learning experiences, such as studying an Asian language abroad, undertaking field research or special projects, or participating in an international field school. Details are posted on the Asian Institute opportunities page and applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
  • Mark Gayn Scholarship for Chinese Studies is offered to students upon admission and enrolment in a program in the Department of East Asian Studies or Contemporary Asian Studies and who are focusing on the study of China. Eligible students will be contacted in November based on awards availability. 

Graduate Awards

  • CSAS Graduate Scholarships and Bursaries. The Centre for South Asian Studies administers a number of awards to support graduate student research on South Asia. Details are posted in early winter and shared through our student newsletter. The application deadline for 2024 is May 15.
  • The Man Family Graduate Scholarships in Asian Studies are awarded to graduate students in the Faculty of Arts & Science who have participated in or attended events sponsored by the Asian Institute whose research focuses on the societies and modern histories of countries affected by the Japanese Empire in Asia. The 2024 application deadline is May 15.
  • The Centre for the Study of Korea graduate student awards offer funding support for graduate students working on research projects in Korean Studies: the Research Travel Award and the Dissertation Writing Award. 

 University of Toronto funding

Travel to Asia

Faculty of Arts & Science international opportunities

  • There are many different international opportunities available to Arts & Science students. You can spend a week abroad, spend a semester taking courses at an international university or go on exchange for a year. Come out to International Opportunities Week to learn how you can make the world your classroom. Learn more about Faculty of Arts & Science International Opportunities.

Summer abroad courses

  • The Summer Abroad programs at Woodsworth College at the University of Toronto enrich students’ academic lives by providing an exciting and educational international experience. Students complete full-year University of Toronto undergraduate degree credit courses from the Faculty of Arts & Science that are relevant to each location. Relatively small classes of about 25 students are taught by University of Toronto professors or faculty from the host university. All classes, with the exception of languages courses, are taught in English. Through these courses, the locations themselves become “living textbooks.” Students observe and experience many of the things they study, including the language, history, culture, art, religion, business, and politics of the host country.

Exchange programs

  • The Centre for International Experience (CIE) offers a range of programs and services to support international students, as well as global learning opportunities for all students. Exchange programs allow students to travel to other countries for one or two semesters and take courses for credit at an affiliated institution. Learn more about exchange programs, including partner institutions, eligibility, tuition, and financing, through the University of Toronto Learning Abroad website. If you’d like your exchange courses to count towards your CAS or SAS program requirements, please consult with our program advisor in advance at ai.asianstudies@utoronto.ca.  
  • For students interested in going on exchange to China, the Canada-China Scholars Exchange program provides funding for Canadian students going on exchange to certain Chinese institutions.
Imaging the Asia Pacific photo and video competition

The Imaging the Asia Pacific photo and video competition, offered by the Dr. David Chu Program in Asia-Pacific Studies, invites students to submit photographic representations of the Asia-Pacific (East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific) that inspire us to imagine the region from unique perspectives. We display the winning photos in the hallway of the Munk School at 1 Devonshire Place (North House, second floor) and on the Asian Institute’s website and social media channels.