The YU Korean Language Institute is in the building which can be seen from the YU front gate. We can see many foreign students there. They are from 20 different countries, and they study the Korean language and Korean culture there. The YU Korean Language Institute has been teaching Korean to multinational students since 2004. Recently, it offers education to foreign graduate students who have been invited from the Korean government. Let’s see how the YU Korean Language Institute helped to raise the prestige of the Korean language.
The YU Korean Language Institute
The Korean Language Institute was established in 2004 to teach the Korean language to foreigners and foreign-born Korean descendants to follow into the globalization period. Furthermore, it educates students on Korean society, culture and history through field education by excellent faculty. Korean course is divided into a regular course and a short term course. The regular course is operated for 4 semesters a year, and it’s divided into 4 levels (Level 1, 2: ordinary command of a language, Level 3: can communicate in daily life, Level 4: can communicate when students study academic majors, read specialty books, and have high level Korean conversation). When it opened, there were only 58 trainees from China, however the number of students has increased and students’ nationalities have diversified since 2009. Now, the first semester of 2014, there were 179 foreign students who studied the Korean language and culture from 20 countries.
Achievement of the YU Korean Language Institute
King Abdullah Scholarship
The YU Korean Language Institute was selected as a training institute for Saudi Arabian King Abdullah Scholarship recipients to study Korean and basic education.
Pulling students from the Sweden CSN Program
About CSN: Swedish government gives Swedish students a chance to study overseas by granting school government loans. Regardless of academic ability, they are able to receive a school loan which is appealing to students. YU hosted an event called, “Korean Night” in Sweden. It changed Swedish students’ mind to come to YU instead of going to Kyunghee University.
Korean Education Institute for Foreign Graduate Scholarship (invited by the government)
The government invited most of the top talented students in the world. The goal is to construct close networking ties and to educate talented people. Invited foreign students are supported financially. The government covers expenses for study abroad like scholarships, living expenses, supporting funds for settlement, round trip ticket, linguistic training costs (24 million won for four quarters), the fee for the Test of Proficiency in Korean and medical insurance premium. 815 foreign graduate school students from 160 countries come to Korea for a year as invitees from the Korean government. The government chose a total of 10 institutes, including YU, through strict document examination of the National Institute for International Education and field estimation. YU is in charge of Korean language education for 70 students. They will be learning for 1,000 hours through Korean language training and cultural activities from September to next August, for 1 year. After finishing their education, students who hold a certification of a level three higher for the Test of Proficiency in Korean, enter a Korean graduation school to study for a master’s degree.
“Language exerts hidden power, like a moon on the tides” said Rita Mae Brown, an American writer and feminist. Language is always more than a means of communication. For a long time, Korean is especially our national pride and source of ethnicity through painful times of history until now. It is really a significant thing to come to Korea, especially to YU, to learn Korean. By spreading Korean language and culture, we want to become a globalized country. The numbers of foreign students are expected to rise through promoting Korean education at YU. “The most Korean style is the most international style.”