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Welcome to the Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies

The Centre of Oriental Studies was formed in 1993 to provide a focus for the creation and dissemination of knowledge about Asia and the Middle East within Vilnius University and at the national level. As of February 1, 2018 the Centre is reformed into the Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies and is an integral part of the Faculty of Philosophy of Vilnius University.

With over thirty scholars and teachers, the Institute now is the largest and most distinguished establishment of non-European culture studies and research in Lithuania and one of the leading institutions in the Baltic countries. The Institute teaches histories, cultures, philosophies, religions, arts and literatures of Asia and the Middle East, as well as subjects on contemporary issues related to Asian and Middle Eastern countries ranging from sociological and anthropological matters to regional politics.

Since 2000 the Institute (formerly known as the Centre of Oriental Studies) runs an undergraduate program (Bachelor degree) of Asian Studies (in Lithuanian). The program offers specializations in Middle Eastern, Chinese, Indian and Japanese languages and cultures. Since 2006 the Institute also offers the graduate master programme of Modern Asian Studies (in Lithuanian), which focuses on modern and contemporary developments of Asia with an interdisciplinary and transcultural approach.

The Instute’s research includes a wide range of disciplines, the most important of which are cultural studies, Asian philosophies and religions, arts, social studies, anthropology, and history. The Institute aims to strengthen the cross-cultural and comparative perspectives so that the regional aspect of research would be seen in a broader context.

The Institute (formerly known as the Centre of Oriental Studies) is also a founding member of the Baltic Alliance for Asian Studies (BAAS) – the regional network for Asian studies and research since 2004.

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