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About Us

Through academic endeavor and public outreach, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at NIU is dedicated to increasing the world’s knowledge and understanding of Southeast Asia's eleven countries: Brunei, Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Located 65 miles west of Chicago, NIU is a comprehensive undergraduate and graduate university with approximately 20,000 students. For those pursuing an undergraduate minor or contract major in Southeast Asian studies, or a graduate certificate with a Southeast Asia focus, NIU and CSEAS offer:

  • Fellowships and scholarship opportunities
  • Language training in Burmese, Indonesian, Khmer, Tagalog, Thai, and (as of fall 2014) Vietnamese
  • Research opportunities in a variety of disciplines
  • Cultural and networking activities
  • Study abroad options

The Center was established at NIU in 1963, an outgrowth of one of the first Peace Corps training programs for Southeast Asia volunteers. Since 1997, the Center has been a federally funded National Resource Center  for Southeast Asian studies. CSEAS, under the auspices of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is guided by Center staff and an interdisciplinary council of faculty associates.

In addition to coordinating Southeast Asian studies on campus, CSEAS also supports community outreach projects and K–16 teacher training on Southeast Asian topics. It also partners with U.S. and international governments and organizations on academic and youth leadership training programs.

Federally funded
National Resource Center

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies has been awarded a U.S. Department of Education National Resource Center Title VI grants since 1997. In October 2014, CSEAS received its most recent National Resource Center Title VI grant, including funding for Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships. Our current Title VI grant runs through June 2018. 

Learn more about Title VI
National Resource Centers


NIU Connections

Study at CSEAS is strengthened by our linkages to a number of NIU resources.


CSEAS Office