The website for Asia Scholars and Asia Studies in Europe

go to events overview page


HCTS welcomes first semester MATS students



12 January 2021

Since its inception in 2010-2011, the
Master’s in Transcultural Studies (MATS) at Heidelberg University has attracted large numbers of students and young researchers around the world, which has resulted in a significant volume of yearly applications. Despite the Covid-19 crisis, this year was no exception: in 2020, the HCTS has received 77 applications from 23 countries. Out of the 49 applicants admitted to the Master´s, 36 have enrolled in the programme and have begun their studies at the beginning of November. This tenth generation of MATS students is a very international one: altogether, they come from Chile, Colombia, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, the People’s Republic of China, Japan, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, and Germany.
On the MATS Orientation Days, which took place on October 28-29, the HCTS administrative and teaching staff welcomed the newly enrolled students and introduced them to the specificities of the MATS Programme. To best comply with the Covid-19 ordinance in place at Heidelberg University, it was decided to split the new cohort of MATS students into two groups, and meet the two batches on different days. The orientation programme was held in the lecture hall of CATS and followed the same lineup on both dates, First, MATS coordinator
Dr. Takuma Melber welcomed the students to their new academic home and provided them with an introduction to the study programme, the HCTS, and the
Centre for Asian and Transcultural Studies (CATS). After that, the students were given the opportunity to get to know each other.

The programme continued with Charlotte von Knobelsdorff´s presentation about the services of Heidelberg University’s
Equal Opportunities Office, followed by individual presentations by members of the MATS teaching staff, who introduced themselves and their research subjects. In the afternoon, study focus advisor
Dr. Martin Hofmann illustrated in details the study aims, structure, and regulations of the programme; he also provided the students with an overview of their first semester and an outlook of their two years of study in Heidelberg. At the end of the event, the representatives of the MATS student body, the MATS-Fachschaft, got in touch with the new students.

M.A. in Transcultural Studies (MATS) is an interdisciplinary, research-oriented study programme. At the end of their first semester, students choose one of the following three study foci for specialization: ‘Knowledge, Belief and Religion’, ‘Society, Economy and Governance’, or ‘Visual, Media and Material Culture’. During their first year, students learn about the methods and theories of Transcultural Studies and explore the specific topics within their respective study focus. The third semester may be used as a mobility window (e.g. study exchange or research internship), while the fourth semester is devoted to writing the Master thesis.

The Master´s programme at the HCTS further provides the applicants with the option of earning a
Joint Degree Master’s Certificate in Transcultural Studies with Kyoto University (Graduate School of Letters). More information about MATS regulations and the application process is available on the
dedicated website.