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Questionnaire for the Letter of Motivation

Applicants for admission to the programme of East Asian Economy and Society(EcoS) are asked to write a letter of motivation based on the following questionnaire. Please answer all questions one by one and do not write an essay-style text. There is no limitation in length, though keep a baseline of 5-6 pages in mind.

  • Why are you interested in East Asia?
  • Why have you chosen EcoS rather than another, comparable programme?
  • How do your previous studies and the EcoS programme correspond?
  • Are you primarily interested in one of the countries of East Asia? If so, which one and why?
  • Are you primarily interested in cross-country or regional issues? If so, which one(s)?
  • Are you primarily interested in historical or contemporary issues?
  • Concerning East Asia, are you primarily interested in cultural studies or in social sciences?
  • How do you think about the relationship between theory, methodology, and empirics?
  • Which part of the EcoS curriculum do you find particularly interesting?
  • What is your schedule for studying EcoS, i.e. which courses (including which language) do you want to take and when?
  • Imagine you are asked to write a 20 page term paper. Please rank the following research topics/questions according to your preferences (1 [highest] - 10 [lowest]):

(a) Similarities and differences in bond market developments in East Asia since 1998
(b) The economic development of East Asia
(c) Climate change governance in East Asia
(d) The history of East Asia 1600-1900
(e) Comparing the political systems of Japan and South Korea
(f) The South China Sea dispute - a neorealist analysis 
(g) The history of North Korea’s Worker’s Party 1980-1994
(h) The experience of XYZ Company in China and Singapore: Reaching the breakeven point
(i) The economic development of South Korea
(j) ASEAN's centrality in East Asia

  • Do you have a topic for your MA-thesis in mind?
  • Do you plan to study other programmes in addition to EcoS?
  • What are your future plans after graduation from the EcoS programme?
  • What is your estimate of the annual cost of studying in Vienna, and how do you plan to finance your studies?
  • How did you learn about EcoS?


„Chair of East Asian Economy and Society
Department of East Asian Studies
University of Vienna
AAKH-Campus, Hof 2, Entrance 2.3
Spitalgasse 2
1090 Vienna
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