East Asia House: Cultures Collective

I want you to be everything that's you, deep at the center of your being.

– Confucius

To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.

– Confucius

Curiosity is a spark that allows us to continue to understand ourselves while also revealing what little we know – and what an exciting mode through which to engage in a program community! For students who are curious about the languages, cultures, and societies of Asia (as well as the experiences of Asians and people of Asian descent in the United States), East Asia Program Community provides a friendly and active community to continue exploring such interests.

Resident Advisors and Graduate Associates (RAGAs) support residents and develop programs to facilitate a variety of explorations. In the past, residents have visited the Asian Arts Initiative Film Festival in Chinatown, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art to tour their Asian art exhibits. Other activities have included Asian cuisine cooking preceptorials (How to make Takoyaki, Matcha milkshakes, and Summer Rolls), and program dinners sampling various Asian cuisines. Residents have also assisted the RAGAs in planning and hosting the annual Lunar New Year celebration. The Program promotes and nurtures interest in Asian and Asian American histories, politics and fine arts, and supplements residents’ academic and social obligations on campus.

As part of the Harnwell Cultures Collective, residents will showcase the integrated experience and interconnectedness of cultural commonality in scholarly and creative presentations at the annual Harnwell Symposium. This program is well-suited for the student who takes initiative, is dedicated to the mission of the Cultures Collective, and is seeking intellectual and personal growth.

Program Goals: The Program invites residents to expand their understanding of other cultures and foster an appreciation for living in an intercultural community. At the conclusion of the academic year, residents have developed their critical thinking skills, taken on leadership roles, and engaged with these topics through an interdisciplinary model.

Participant Expectations: The Program RAGAs will review details and activities at the beginning of the academic year, where residents will receive their East Asia Compact. Residents will be expected to participate in the following, as decided by the RAGAs:

  • 1 major event per month
  • 1 minor event per month
  • Implement 1 minor floor event as determined by RAGA
  • Host 1 House program per semester

To apply:

If you are applying to a Program Community, determine if you would like to request a roommate, but keep in mind that your roommate must also be accepted to the Program Community.


Students of any gender can be roommates if they all elect to be in Gender Neutral Housing.


Log on to MyHomeAtPenn between January 24, 9:00 a.m., and January 28, 1:00 p.m., to submit your application.

For more detailed information on the Program Community application and process please visit this page on the Residential Services website or plan to attend our Information Session on Tuesday, January 16 at 9:00 PM in McClelland South Lounge. Please note that all applicants are required to respond to the following questions in an essay using a maximum of 500 words:

        Why are you interested in joining this Program Community?

        What would your involvement bring to this program’s overall experience?

        How have you participated in your current House community?

Applications will be reviewed by Harnwell Senior Staff and RAGAs affiliated with the Harnwell Cultures Collective. Interested students can apply to multiple tracks in the Collective, so it is highly encouraged that the essays reflect the uniqueness of each program in order to be seriously considered. If needed, Harnwell Senior Staff and RAGAs reserve the right to reach out to applicants clarifying room requests and additional concerns.

harnwell@collegehouses.upenn.edu, please include "East Asia House" in the subject header.