UAB Barcelona
Summer School

Geography of East Asia

UAB Barcelona Summer School

14-Geography of East Asia - Hyerim Yoon

Number of credits: 6 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)
Course Fee: 850 €
Course Fee for UAB students and Alumni UAB Premium+ : 200 €
Teaching Language: English
Place: Online
Teaching Period: 12 July to 30 July

  • 9-10h: Lecture class with professor 
  • 10-11h: Interactive seminar
  • 11-12h: Organised tutoring sessions

Registration of international and national students (non-UAB students) before May 16 will get 20% discount.  

Enrol now

Enrolment guidelines




Hyerim Yoon has a PhD in Geography from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), and has an MSc from ERASMUS MUNDUS Program JEMES (Joint European Master on Environmental Studies) and a BSc in Chemical Engineering (Yonsei University, South Korea). Currently, she is a lecturer (associate professor) in the Department of East Asian Studies on Geography of Asia at UAB and she also teaches classes on Energy Management in the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), and School of Engineering, UAB. Her current research interest includes energy and water poverty and other social challenges arising with environmental problems. In the past, she worked in Korea Environment Institute as a researcher and has participated in projects that analysed various environmental policies on sustainable development, green growth and green cities in Korea.

  • Department of Geography
  • E-mail:


Contents overview

The course will cover the basics of the Geography of East Asia mainly focusing on China, Japan, North and South Korea, and Taiwan. The students will be introduced to the Physical and Human Geography of East Asian countries touching upon the most relevant aspects in geopolitics; physiography, climate, river basins, population, agricultural and food systems, manufacturing, cities (urbanism) and the state of the environment of the East Asian countries.          

The course combines lectures on the topics previously mentioned and practice sessions that will consist of short essays; forum discussions on documentaries and other visual materials; and other types of exercises. Students must be ready to attend online lecture followed by a Q&A and discussion session. They are also required to work autonomously for practical work (2-3 practical works per week), which is mandatory.

Week programme

Geography of East Asia
 Week   Contents Teaching and Learning Activities

1.1. Geopolitics
1.2.1 Physical Environment: Physiography
1.2.2 Physical Environment II: Rivers
1.3.1 Population I


1. Geopolitics in East Asia

2. Hands-on climatograms

3. Demographic change in East Asia

1.3.2 Population II
2.1.1 Agriculture and food systems I

2.1.2 Agriculture and food systems II
2.2. Energy and manufacturing

2.3. Industrial development of Korea: exemplar of a fast-growing economy

4. Natural disaster and response

5. Changing diet

3.1. Urban systems
3.2. The state of the environment in East Asia

6. Big giant players in the industry

7. Creative cities



Students will be evaluated based on the following activities: 


  • Submission of practice work (60 % of the final grade)
  • Handing in all practice work is mandatory and students will not pass the course unless they submit all requirements).
  • One final online quiz that covers all the material covered in the course at the end of the lecture (40 % of the final grade)

Links and references              

  • BALL, P. (2017). The Water Kingdom. Chicago: The University of ChicagoPress
  • DUNFORD, M. and WEIDONG,L. (eds) (2017). The Geographical Transformation of China. London: Routledge
  • KANASAKA,K, (2009). Discovering Japan. A New Regional Geography. London: JPT Europe
  • KAPLAN, R.D. (2015). Asia's Cauldron. The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific. New York: Penguin Random House
  • MARKS, R.B. 2012). China. Its Environment and History. Kanham UK: Rowan and Littlefield.
  • SAMUELS, R.J. (2013) . 3.11 Disaster and Change in Japan. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
  • STUDWELL,J. (2014). How Asia Works. Success and Failure in the World's Most Dynamic Region.London: Profile Books.
  • TUAN, Yi -Fu (1969). A Historical Geography of China. Chicago: Aldine
  • VEEK, G., PANNELL, C.W., HUANG, Y and BAO; S (2016). China's Geography. Globalization and theDynamics of Political, Economic and Social Change. Lanham, MD: Rowman &Littlefield
  • WONG, D.W. S., WONG,K.K.K., CHUNG,H. and WANG,J.J. (2018). China. A Geographical Perspective. New York: Guilford Press.
  • SETH, M (2020). A Concise History of Korea. London UK: Rowan and Littlefield