This site is a collection of articles, photos, and video created by students on the current 2014-15 PacRim trip.
The Pacific Rim/Asia Study Travel Program is a nine-month study abroad through the University of Puget Sound under the stewardship of the Asian Studies Program. Meticulously organized once every three years and spanning the world’s largest and most populous continent, it requires a great deal of preparation, independence, flexibility, and commitment from the students involved. The program itself has evolved; each trip has had different itineraries, from the first trip in 1973-74 to Fiji, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, India, and Iran to the current one which includes South Korea, Mongolia, China, Japan, India, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia.
There are obvious benefits and challenges to traveling as a culturally-aware citizen of the world – enhanced personal responsibility; immersion in different cultures and values; the displacement of the ordinary which allows reflection and improvement; the privilege of witnessing stunning art, architecture, performance, and monuments of human accomplishment and the natural world; intimate rituals; new friends; the passing of a thousand unfamiliar faces; maintaining the humility befitting one walking among many who are far less privileged; and, most importantly, learning from all these experiences.
Students will also find themselves privy to the essential thrills, bonds, and tribulations that only come from constant exposure to other peers - both before the trip as classmates in the preparatory academic and social settings; during the trip as travel companions in oftentimes too-close-for-comfort quarters or as islands of solace in a sea of cultural and linguistic isolation; and, after all is said and done, maybe even as old friends. All the while, the students will undergo rigorous academic curricula as they attend classes and work on their independent research project.