Asia Society

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Asia Society Website Poster Image
News and culture site helps teens build global awareness.

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The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about the importance of language skills and global awareness. Research-based articles offer updates on global issues like health care and urbanization. Games help kids learn about Asia-related geography, the ancient practice of depicting words with pictures, and origami. They can also learn about different languages, international careers, and current news topics. The site provides informative articles and updates; however, it doesn't have many activities or responsive elements for younger users. Adults are likely to find some helpful resources, but the site could use more content for teens to sink their teeth into.

Positive Messages

The site emphasizes multiculturalism and learning about other countries and languages.


Genocide, sexual assault, and other violent crimes are discussed in articles and posts, but the coverage isn't overly graphic.


Some news stories discuss rape and the sex trade, but the coverage is news based.


There's no filter for comments, and swears do pop up on occasion (such as in a description of a documentary film that involves a man from China calling his country "s--t") -- but they're really the exception, not the rule.


The nonprofit sells a few educational items, but the site doesn't contain ads.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this pro-education site offers articles on global business, culture, art, and other topics with an emphasis on Asia and a few activities for kids. Some articles will be too heavy for younger kids to handle (news items deal with issues like rape in India and human trafficking). User comments appear an instant after you post them with no filtering; however, language abuse seems to be pretty rare.

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What's it about?

The Asia Society was founded in 1956 by a philanthropist hoping to teach the U.S. about Asia. Today, the nonprofit and its website promote global awareness and language education. The content ranges from news articles and blog posts on global issues like the development of mass transit in Asia and women's rights to cultural background on international cuisine. Foodies can test dozens of recipes for regional dishes like Chinese stir-fried beef, and educators can access language instruction advice and guides (much of which relate to teaching Chinese). The site also features items on internationally-themed art events, including recent global literature festivals, films, artist interviews, and Asia Society museum and exhibition information.

Is it any good?

Founded in the 1950s by philanthropist John D. Rockefeller III, the Asia Society's mission is to emphasize global awareness. There's a strong focus on language education; educators can access guides on setting up a Chinese language program and lesson plan ideas that relate to language and other subjects. Content is grouped into six major subjects: art, education, policy, business, countries, and lifestyle. Users won't find every topic under the sun, but the original news articles on global issues and cultural information offer a good look at life around the world. The site features some items for grade school-aged students, too, including a few games. However, educators and older teens are likely to get more out of the site's news articles and other information -- there really isn't much to captivate younger users (or keep them coming back to the site).

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the global news and culture information on the site can be used to extend what kids are learning in school. How do the articles relate to history, geography, and social studies? (For more on using technology to help your kids be academically successful, check out our School Performance Tips guide.)

  • The lifestyle section features global cuisine information and recipes, photos of distant lands, and other cultural information. How is life different for children in the countries pictured compared to your kid's day-to-day life -- and why?

  • The Asia Society's website features information about a variety of artists and writers. How can your kids use storytelling or visual art to express feelings?

Website details

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