When choosing a language for your college requirements, you should not disregard Korean. There are over 77 million native Korean speakers in the world[i], and an immersion Korean language program provides you with a way to learn this valuable language along with Korean culture. With the threat of North Korea growing stronger, many governmental agencies and organizations most likely will want to hire people who speak the language. In fact, it is designated as one of the critical languages by the U.S. State Department[ii].
Why Learn Korean in Korea? Immersion Korean Language Program
Learning a language so different from English can be very difficult, especially one like Korean that uses a different alphabet. Although it is not a tonal language like Chinese and Vietnamese, the many differences cause it to be difficult for some to learn. When you study the Korean language in Korea, you have the chance to practice the language throughout the day. You also hear the language as you go about your daily life, which helps it to become more familiar. While in Korea, you also have the chance to learn about Korean culture in a way that can only be learned while living in the country.
Korean Language Course
There are many ways that enrolling in one of the intensive language programs in South Korea might benefit your future career. If you wish to work in the government, especially in foreign affairs, then knowing Korean can be a great benefit. There are also many businesses that have locations in Korea or outsource some of the manufacturing or other business there. Korea is also a major player in the technical world, with companies such as Samsung and LG headquartered in the country. International businesses that do any sort of work in Korea might wish to have staff members fluent in the language. The fact that you studied in country rather than just learned from books also helps you to stand out compared to other candidates. It demonstrates that you have insight into the cultural practices, as well as the language, which can assist in the communication between the businesses.
Short Term Immersion Korean Language Program
Although Korean is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, not every college offers courses. Enrolling in a study abroad program in Korea provides you with the chance to learn it and potentially complete your language requirements. This can be done over the summer, or you can find programs that are available for semester or yearlong time commitments. While you are in Korea, you can visit some of the ancient temples, go to the beach in Incheon or Haeundae Beach, hike the mountains, see some beautiful ancient and modern architecture, or enjoy the nightlife. You might also have time to travel to nearby Asian countries, including Japan, China, Thailand, Cambodia, and Hong Kong. Although you may not have long enough while in your Korean language course to visit these other countries, it is possible to extend your stay in Asia by a few weeks to tour the area, especially as you do not know when you might be back.
As with any study abroad program, there are many considerations about heading to Korea to learn the language. An immersion Korean language program course is one of the best ways to learn a language, and there are many benefits to choosing Korean as a language to learn. However, you still have to consider whether it can fit in with your graduation timeline, whether or not your school offers the program, and if any of your funding for school can apply to the program. In many situations, it is possible to find a way to go abroad even if your school does not have a program.