“It’s the most beautiful and difficult language in the world,” Professor Oh Seung-Hun from the Center for International Affairs at Jeju National University said about the Korean language. Prof. Oh takes great pride in teaching Korean to foreign students but he admits that it can be a challenging language for speakers of other tongues.
Since 2006 the Center for International Affairs in Jeju National University has conducted the Korean Language Program for foreign students, mainly those who wish to apply to Jeju National University.
After completing the program, students are eligible to apply to the degree courses the school provides. The program is also an opportunity for students to learn about Korean culture, with visits to major tourist sites and museums during the semester.
All classes are done solely in Korean, divided into three main sections: speaking/listening, reading, and writing. Three to four 60-minute classes are held daily, with an average of 15 students in each class.
Students’ learning continues outside of class as well. There are out-of-class tutoring sessions available and extracurricular activities. These activities include Intensive English Course, Experiencing Korean Culture, and Sports – scuba diving, horse riding, windsurfing, golf, and Oreum trekking.
All foreign students are required to have at least level 4, from level 1-6, 6 being the highest, at the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) to enroll in Jeju National University.
Overcoming the language barrier is only one of the challenges international students face. Students are more than welcome to ask for advice or assistance, not only concerning their studies but also about their living, from their teachers during their office hours.
The program has eight instructors, three of whom speak fluent Chinese. A majority of the students currently enrolled are from Asian countries such as Japan, China, or Mongolia, accounting for 80 to 90 percent of the 96 students. The rest are from the United States, Australia, and France.
The Center for International Affairs sends brochures to the schools overseas, mainly to sister-schools around the world to recruit foreign students to Jeju National University. However, the most direct means of promotion is done by teachers personally visiting the universities overseas to conduct interviews with the students who have already applied.
“Right now, we are aiming for the students in Asian countries,” Prof. Oh said, “But we are planning to go even further, across the globe to promote this very efficient program and our school.”
The university shares academic exchange relationships with 12 universities in seven countries, including Japan, the United States, Germany, France, Taiwan, Russia, and China.
Registration for the General Program for fall quarter is closed. However, registration for the Short-term Program, with a total of 60 hours from Dec. 21 – Jan. 13 is open. The deadline for application is Nov. 30. For more information, contact the Center for International Affairs at 064-754-2197, ext. 8.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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