Asia and the Middle East are two of the most fascinating and rapidly developing regions of the World, creating challenges and offering opportunities for the 21st century. By 2050, close to 60% of world’s consumers will live in the region, China will be an indisputable superpower, Hindi, Urdu and Arabic will dominate much of the world business, Islam will change and diversify due to its contact with modernity, and global migration will continue to put pressure on Europe and the Middle East.
Come join our English-taught master’s programme in Contemporary Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at The University of Tartu. We provide
In the base module focuses on Asian and Middle Eastern civilizations and mindsets, on economic developments and demographics in the region. Participating in active discussions you get an comparative perspective on understanding developments in Asia and Middle East. The elective module enables you to choose courses of your interest with a regional and/ or disciplinary focus.
An internship is mandatory in the programme, which prepares you for your future career and enables you to further develop your practical skills as well as extend your professional networks. For your internship you can access, for example, start-ups and companies or organizations and develop your skills and expertise in Asian or Middle Eastern cultures in a practical context.
You can study in Europe, but the programme also offers diverse opportunities to conduct your fieldwork at partner universities in East Asia or the Middle East. The recommended timeframe for the mobility is during the third semester (second year).
The programme finalizes with a Master´s thesis in your specific field (economics, politics, international relations, religion etc.) with a focus on either Asia or Middle East (depending on your interests and upon availability of supervisors). The Master´s thesis shows your ability to conduct independent work, apply theoretical concepts and methodology in order to analyze a specific scientific question.
The CAMES programme collaborates closely with the Asia Centre and the historical Centre for Oriental Studies at the University of Tartu. Students are warmly welcome to attend visiting lectures and regular events organized by the Asia Centre and Centre for Oriental Studies; and use the library at the Centre for Oriental Studies.
The tuition fee on this programme is 3,800 euros per year. Altogether 16 study places are available on the programme. Information about the rules and conditions for tuition fee payments is given here.
NB! Applicants who are not citizens of the member states of the EU, EEA or Switzerland and do not hold a long-term residence permit in any of these countries are required to pay half of the semester fee after they have been informed of the admission decision (offer) via DreamApply. The official admission letter (necessary for visa application) will only be issued once the University of Tartu has received this payment. The second half of the semester fee is to be paid after the studies have started, by 20 September.
There are no tuition waivers available for this programme. Information about other scholarships is available here.
Also, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers two scholarships to Estonian citizens for the nominal study period together with an internship opportunity. All applications that have Estonian citizenship and apply before May 15 will automatically apply for the scholarship provided by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They will be contacted regarding the scholarship by the programme director after the application period.
The master’s programme takes good care of its students’ free time and offers multiple options for extra-curricular activities. Student life in Tartu is very lively.
The University of Tartu hosts many student societies and region-specific academic organisations. It is home for the Asia Centre, the International Relations Society, the Estonian Academic Oriental Society, and many other clubs and organisations.
Students of the programme can participate and be part of the organising team of the biggest Asia-topic conference in the Scandinavian and Baltic region Asia Update. Asia Update 2020 brings together local, regional and international experts, business people and decision-makers who engage with Asia to share ideas and build networks for future growth and development. The conference focuses on discussing both the challenges and opportunities in today’s society caused by the conflicts between different stakeholders, environmental and societal problems, challenges between countries, differences in perceptions between Asia and the West, and the shifting of the world order.
Some institutes of the university have an established Stammtisch tradition where students and teachers gather for discussions once every month. This is where you get to know also our team. Feel free to voice your thoughts about the program or just talk about life, weather and politics.
Our graduates have the skills and knowhow to work in with refugees at the UNHCR or become diplomats, provide area-specific expertise to new businesses or create their own NGO. You can engage with a vast range of topics from international relations and business to demographic trends and human rights management.
Whatever you choose, you can be sure that the need for experts in Asian and Middle Eastern studies is increasing both in public and private sector. We will do our very best to support your progress and future employment.
The Summer Schools are usually organized in August and offer a good opportunity to get to know Tartu and the university before the autumn semester starts.
In 2019, we had a Summer School on Current Social Issues in East Asia: Aging Societies and the Role of Women.
The Summer School in 2020 was planned with a specific focus on Japan Open and Closed Societies: the Example of Japan. However, due to global circumstances we had to cancel the event.
Currently we are planning the 2021 summer programme.
Middle-East, politics and nations between them is something you can focus on during the studies. Here is an overview written by Heidi Maiberg with freelance journalist and researcher Hille Hanso about Kurds, Syrian conflict and Turkey
Previous programme director Urmas Hõbepappel writes in Estonian biggest newspaper about Chinese growing economical and political influence and analyses frequently misunderstood narratives about China.
See another article by the previous programme director about China and orientalism in Estonian media.
"When I did my research, I looked into all the programmes I might be interested in, this programme caught my eyes. The structure of the programme is really interesting. It covers globalization, Asia and Middle Eastern civilization, mindset, business and politics. I would like to learn more about business related topics in this programme. Business is not an individual topic, it’s related with culture and politcs. So I think this programme helps me to learn more about how to make business with Asia and Middle East region from western perspective.
I wanted to study in Europe, but Estonia was new to me. I didn’t really know about Estonia’s history before. I looked it up, and I could feel the opportunities in this beautiful small country. There is a lot of forest here, lovely nature life. Maybe it’s a new independent country, so people here are more open to new ideas, technologies and a new start."
Bing, International Student Ambassador from China
Contact International Student Ambassadors to ask about the programme or life in Tartu or read their blog.
If you want to read CAMES student Liviu's blogpost about University of Tartu professors, click here. Also, if you want to experience life as a full-time CAMES student for a day, contact the programme director.