From Hanoi, City Burning with Zeal for Korean Language Education
Eum Min Jin, Faculty of Korean Language and Culture
University of Languages and International Studies
Greetings from Hanoi! I am a KF Visiting Professor currently teaching at the Faculty of Korean Language and Culture at the University of Languages and International Studies (ULIS), one of the seven member universities of Vietnam National University, Hanoi. ULIS is a prestigious institute that has taken the lead in establishing Korean language courses and conducting related projects.
Korean language education is already well established in Viet Nam, owing largely to K-pop stars such as BTS and Blackpink, as well as Korean businesses operating across the country. The demand for Korean language education in Hanoi is increasing rapidly. Those wishing to pursue Korean language studies in the city can do so at public education institutes such as universities and high schools specializing in teaching foreign languages, as well as at private institutions like cram schools and foreign language schools, or through extra-curricular tutoring.
In terms of educational quality and quantity, I believe that ULIS tops all such institutes. There are about 900 students enrolled in the Faculty of Korean Language and Culture, all eager to learn Korean. Last year, Thang Long University in Hanoi celebrated Hangeul Day with diverse events to commemorate the creation of the Korean alphabet. Participants included students from a large number of universities in northern and central Viet Nam. The highlight of the celebration was the "Quiz on Korea“ in which ULIS students claimed the top three ranks.
Let me share an unforgettable moment from my experience last semester. One day after school, I was walking with a fellow teacher towards the back gate when a student approached and walked alongside us without saying anything. When I asked the student why they were following us, they said that, motivated by a strong desire to master Korean, they had wanted to listen to an ordinary Korean conversation. The student did not simply stop at learning Korean through books or in classrooms but wanted to go the extra mile. Their enthusiasm awakened my own dormant zeal for learning.
My students are as interested in Korean culture as they are in the language. When walking around the campus, you can hear K-pop quite often. It is also common to see students from all faculties, not to mention those from the Faculty of Korean Language and Culture, dancing to K-pop. When I see those students, I feel both proud of being Korean and thankful to those Vietnamese students for loving our culture.
Witnessing the enthusiastic youth and their love for Korea, I cannot help but have great expectations for the future of Korean language education in Viet Nam. I hope that it will serve as a bridge between the two countries and enable sustained development of Korean language education and promotion of Korean culture in the coming years.
Last but not least, I would like to express my deep appreciation to Dr. Tran Thi Huong, dean of the Faculty of Korean Language and Culture, who has greatly contributed to the establishment of Korean education in Viet Nam, and, of course, to other members of the faculty as well.