East Asia House

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 an inclusive and proactive 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 Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival in Chinatown to watch and discuss sociopolitical and historical issues encountered by Asians in the United States and the Philadelphia Museum of Art to tour Asian art exhibits.

We are also attuned to what is going on in Asian and Asian-American community, both on and off-campus, city-wide and nation-wide. Some events included a collaboration to host a discussion on Asian American living experience during Penn's Asian Pacific American Heritage Week and attending a rally at the Philadelphia city hall to support DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and TPS (Temporary Protected Status program) - two federal immigrant policies to which the Trump administration has announced several changes.  

Moreover, by sharing articles on Asian-American politics and sociocultural topics, RAGAs and residents instigate spirit of courage and sparks of conversations on important topics such as immigrant rights in Asian-American community across the country.

Other activities have included Asian cuisine cooking workshops, such as Korean rice cake, Chinese tang yuan, and Indian-Nepali bhel puri, and program dinners sampling various Asian cuisines.

Residents have also assisted the RAGAs in planning and hosting the annual Lunar New Year celebration as well as Hotpot at Harnwell.

The Program promotes and nurtures interest in Asian and Asian-American cultural and current politics and supplements residents' academic and social obligations on campus by discovering together what it means to be Asian and Asian-American.

Floor: 18, GA-led

Program Traditions:

-Fall and Spring: Hotpot at Harnwell, Dinner discussion with Asian/Asian-American faculty and staff

-Fall: Film screening at the Philadelphia Asian-American Film Festival

-Spring: Lunar New Year celebration

Program Goals: The Program invites residents to expand their understanding of the wide pool of Asian cultures and foster an appreciation for living in an intercultural community. Throughout the academic year, residents will develop their critical thinking skills, take on leadership roles, and engage with various topics through an interdisciplinary model.

Resident Expectations: The Program RAGAs will review details and activities at the beginning of the academic year. Residents will be expected to participate in the following, as decided by the RAGAs:

  • Attend 1 major event per semester and 1 minor event (i.e. weekly study break) per month
  • Implement 1 minor floor event as determined by RAGA
  • Co-host with floormates 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 23, 9:00 a.m., and January 27, 1:00 p.m., to submit your application.

For more detailed information on the Program Community application and process please visit https://www.collegehouses.upenn.edu/life/upperclass


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?

        How will your involvement contribute to the program goals?

        How have you grow from joining the Program Community?

Applications will be reviewed by Harnwell Senior Staff and RAGAs affiliated with the program communities. 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.