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UI considering a Korean minor

BY ALYSSA GUZMAN | JANUARY 22, 2015 5:00 AM

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Due to the recent partnership of the King Sejong Institute and the Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea, the University of Iowa has been able to expand its Korean language and culture programs.

Though a Korean major isn’t a topic for consideration at the moment, the UI hopes to expand its Korean learning programs.

“[There are] no plans for a major, as far as I am aware,” said Downing Thomas, associate provost and dean of International Programs. “However, we hope to be in a position to offer a Korean minor in the near future.”

King Sejong was established on Oct. 9, 2014, and is the first in the Midwest.

“[The partnership] made it possible for us to expand our offerings in Korean language and culture,” Thomas said.

Though there had been a Korean language program at the UI, which had been in place for the last 20 years, the partnership allows supplemental learning about  Korean language and culture.

“These Korean classes are supplements in addition to the established program we’ve had for two decades,” said Russ Ganim, the director of the World Languages Division. 

Professor Sookyung Park, a Korean language instructor, said the UI King Sejong Institute allowed the university to open culture class such as Korean craft and cooking.

Other classes, such as an introductory language course, a continuing language course, and a culture class on Saturday opened on Jan. 20.

“Three instructors of the King Sejong Institute hope that many people who want to meet Korean culture and language come to the class and the upper class that will be open next semester,” Park said.

Graduate student Clara Keum, who has been a member of the Korean-American Student Association, said she is happy about the expansion.

“I realized that the number of students who are interested in Korean language and culture has increased a lot in the past several years,” she said. “However, even though they are interested, not many of them continued their Korean coursework, because there was no minor offered. Offering this minor will be a great opportunity for students who want further understanding and knowledge of Korean and Korean culture.”


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