Student Resources at the Asian Institute

The Asian Institute’s supports a number of student  activities and groups who work together on exciting initiatives, including speaker series, conferences, and online publications. We are also supportive of students who come to us with new ideas for student initiatives. Get involved – it will greatly enrich your university experience.


Scholarships and awards

The Asian Institute offers a wide range of scholarships to support our undergraduate and graduate students in their studies and to offset the costs of travel to Asia for research purposes. In addition to the scholarships and awards that we offer, we also keep our students in the know about outside funding opportunities – within the University of Toronto and beyond. Check our opportunities page for further details on currently open opportunities.

awards Open to all students

The Richard Charles Lee Insights through Asia Challenge awards funding to individual students and teams.

Big Ideas Competition: Exploring Global Taiwan provides funding for outstanding research and creative projects in Taiwan.

Dr. David Chu Scholarships in Asia-Pacific Studies award a significant number of undergraduate and graduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science with funding to travel to the Asia-Pacific region (East and Southeast Asia) for study and research purposes.

Dr. David Chu Leadership Award recognizes student leadership and academic achievement in pursuing and promoting extracurricular activities related to the Asia-Pacific region. The application deadline is on or around March 15 each year. Details are posted on the Asian Institute opportunities page in early winter.

Imaging the Asia Pacific Photo Contest, 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 incite us to imagine the region from unique perspectives. The winning photos are displayed at the Asian Institute and on the Chu Program’s website.

Faculty of Arts and Science Scholarships (including the Dean’s Student Initiatives Fund)


The Daisy Ho Contemporary China Special 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 will be 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. Contact for deadline and details.

awards open to graduate students

The Federation of Canadian Chinese Professionals Asian Studies Fellowship is awarded to a Master’s or Doctoral student affiliated with the Asian Institute on the basis of academic achievement, whose studies focus on Asian culture, history, economics and/or politics. Preference goes to a student who is conducting research related to China and/or the Chinese-Canadian community.

The Man Family Graduate Scholarships in Asian Studies. Reserved for 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. Priority will be given to proposals that significantly engage with the Japanese Empire and/or its legacies. Normally, these awards will be used to help defray project costs associated with the travel and research of the applicant. The application deadline is on or around March 15 each year. Details are posted on the Asian Institute opportunities page in early winter.

The Centre for South Asian Studies awards a number of Graduate Scholarships and Bursaries for the study of India and South Asia.


Travel to Asia

Spending time in Asia is essential to gaining a deeper understanding of the region. We encourage students to take advantage of opportunities to travel to Asia for study or research, through Faculty of Arts and Science international opportunities, the Woodsworth College Summer Abroad program, a UofT exchange program, or an international course module. We also advertise internships opportunities in Asia for our students and recent graduates on the AI’s Opportunities page.

Faculty of Arts and Science International Opportunities

Summer Abroad Courses

The Summer Abroad program at Woodsworth College at the University of Toronto are designed to 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. 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.

AI also has a unique relationship with the School of International Relations and Public Affairs at Fudan University in Shanghai. U of T students who take the China (Shanghai and Beijing) summer abroad course JPA376Y0: Transforming Global Politics: Comparative and Chinese Perspectives visit and study with Chinese students, taught by Canadian and Fudan professors.

Exchange Programs

The Centre for International Experience offers U of T students a number of opportunities to travel and study abroad. Exchange programs allow students to travel to other countries for one or two semesters and take courses for credit at an affiliated institution. For more information on exchange programs, including partner institutions, eligibility, tuition, and financing, please visit the CIE website. A partnership with the National University of Singapore offers an exclusive international minor program in Asian Geographies. 

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.


Student Groups

Contemporary Asian Studies Student Union

The Contemporary Asian Studies Student Union (CASSU) strives to strengthen students’ understanding towards contemporary Asian from a global perspective through non-classroom activities and aims to enhance students interest in the region and involvement in the Asian Institute community.


INDePth (Interrogating Notions of Development and Progress) is an annual undergraduate conference hosted by the Asian Institute at the University of Toronto. Founded as a student initiative, the series has held conferences on Indonesia, China, Korea and Japan. Our aim is to foster dialogue on Asia through interdisciplinary analysis. INDePth utilizes research methodologies offered by courses from the Asian Institute to unpack the prism of “Asia” through notions of “development” and “progress.”

Re:Locations: Journal of the Asia-Pacific World

Founded by a group of graduate students at the University of Toronto, Re:locations is a student-run journal and academic forum that seeks to bridge disciplinary and geographical divides. In order to foster dialogue among a wide range of scholars interested in Asia and the Pacific, we invite quality submissions from graduate students in any discipline who are conducting research related to the Asia-Pacific world.

Synergy: The Journal of Contemporary Asian Studies

Synergy: The Journal of Contemporary Asian Studies is an undergraduate academic journal with a regional focus on East, Southeast, and South Asia founded at the Asian Institute at the University of Toronto. Synergy Journal is envisioned as a platform for the celebration of Asia in both its collectivist historical past and its current geopolitical cooperation within the region. The goal of the journal is to stimulate and generate vibrant academic discussions on the current political, societal, and/or economic developments in the Asia region. The journal regularly publishes academic submissions in terms of Academic Articles, Book Reviews, and Original Photography, editorial written contents such as op-eds, current event reports, and academic event coverage of on-campus University of Toronto events, as well as organizing academic and professional events throughout the year that centre on Asia’s rising prominence and economic growth in the recent decade. Synergy Journal publishes online content throughout the year and selectively compiles articles into a print publication at the end of each academic year.


Learn more about the University of Toronto Korean Students’ Association.

Graduate Student Network

We encourage U of T graduate students researching Asia and Asian worlds – whether or not you are currently active at the Asian Institute or new to it – to sign up formally to the Asian Institute Graduate Student Network. We will use this list to keep you informed about events, awards, opportunities, and invite you to take part in our vibrant graduate student community.

Join the Network

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