The KU ISC and IWC, the largest of their kind in Korea, sharpening the global focus of students
The ISC, launched in 2004, is Asia’s largest summer program, hosting over 2,000 students from 300 renowned universities across the world per year. The program allows KU students to engage with their overseas counterparts, thus sharpening their international focus and enhancing their skills.
The 2018 ISC hosted 1,830 students from 300 universities in 34 countries, including the US, Singapore, Canada, Hong Kong, the UK and Australia. The ISC has invited eminent scholars from home and abroad to deliver world-class lectures. This year, professors from Pennsylvania State University, Cornell University, and other prestigious universities across the world oversaw over 120 courses in the fields of business, economics, politics, law, the humanities, science, engineering and fine art. Each course consists of 48 hours of classes per week for 4-6 weeks, and all classes, except the classes taught in Korean, are delivered in English.
In addition, the ISC runs various cultural activities aimed at helping students learn about Korea and Korean businesses. As a part of the ISC, the KU Pre-College Program is specifically designed to enable high school graduates from abroad to acclimatize to university life. Prospective KU students can get a head start in campus life by attending university-level courses taught by renowned scholars. The ISC also offers extracurricular activities such as attendance at baseball games, instruction in Korean cooking, taekwondo and calligraphy, participation in a K-pop dance flash mob, and a visit to the Boryeong mud festival. Participants also have internship opportunities in private or public corporations or in Korean governmental agencies. In addition, KU runs a Buddy Program to encourage networking between KU and foreign students, and to facilitate the latter's rapid adaptation to the program. Despite the short duration of the program, students can also learn about Korea and other countries through their contacts with each other.
Meanwhile, KU has run the IWC since 2016. Students can take academic courses by highly respected academics while participating in various cultural activities outside the classroom. The IWC began with 222 students in 2016, a number which grew to 453 participants in 2017. It consists of two separate sessions: Session 1 (three weeks) focused on work which earns credits, and Session 2 (two weeks) for cultural activities.
The Korean Language Center, a global hub that promotes the values of Korea University in Korean
The Korean Language Center, throughout its 32-year history, has also contributed to the worldwide reputation of Korea University.
Beginning with 139 foreign students, the center has grown into the largest Korean language and cultural education institute in Korea, and today over 10,000 foreign students from 82 countries study at the center annually.
In light of the explosive demand for Korean language courses, in June this year Korea University completed the four-storey Korean Language Education Center, which includes an underground level, making it the world's largest Korean language educational institution. The 5,244.23 square-meter building is home to 45 language lecture rooms, thus offering optimal facilities for language education, discussion and group studies. Korea University expects that the center will grow into a specialized institute focused on promoting the Korean language and Korean culture across the world, in sync with the increasing international standing of Korea.
Thanks to such developments, it is no longer rare to find foreign students on KU campus, where they interact with Korean students. The globalized campus allows students to expand their network of relationships, sharpen their international competencies and familiarize themselves with diverse cultures. Sunhyuk Kim, Vice President for International Affairs, said, “When foreign students return home after receiving quality education in Korea University, they’ll become informal diplomats who promote a positive image of Korea. This will enhance not only the global reputation of Korea University but also the standing of Korea across the world.” He further elaborated, “Korea University is committed to enhancing its capacity to support foreign students, in order to help them rapidly adapt to KU campus life, thus making Korea University a true global university.”
“I had a happy time immersed in Korean at the school of my mother.”
Seonghui Bae (completing the Level 5 course at the Korean Language Center)
Seonghui Bae completed the Level 5 course at the Korean Language Center in Korea University. She was born to a second generation Korean-German father and a Korean mother, and grew up in Germany. In order to learn the Korean language and Korean culture, she began to study at the center in the spring semester this year after graduating from high school. As she was among the top 0.5 percent of 1,953 students at the Center in terms of her grades, she received a scholarship covering 50 percent of her tuition fees in recognition of her excellent academic performance. After completing the summer semester, she plans to go back to Germany and continue to study at university. She said, “I had a happy time during my stay here, fully immersed in the Korean language on such a wonderful campus.”
“I wanted to learn Korean properly because of K-pop. My interest in the genre made me curious about the Korean language and Korean culture as a whole, drawing me more towards exploring my roots. I didn’t hesitate to choose Korea University because it is the school my mother attended (Suk Gang, Dept. of German Language and Literature, entry class 86). In addition, Korea University is a renowned university even in Germany, which is another important reason I came here. Everything has been so much better than I expected, including the fabulous campus, and learning the Korean language was so much fun. However, I regret not having made many Korean friends. I hope that more programs are created to connect foreign students with KU students, thus helping them experience real Korean culture and life.”