The history of Korea is believed to have its genesis in the founding of, in 2333 BC of Gojoseaon. Since then, Korea has had a complex geographical, political and social story. Some of Korea’s turbulent history includes the splitting of the nation into North and South after the end of World War II. North and South Korea engaged in a war in the 1950s. With the current nuclear enrichment in North Korea, and unpredictable international relations, it has become essential to understand Korean culture, history and language.
Courses offered in Korean Studies attempt to furnish students with a critical knowhow of Korean society, its culture, economics, philosophy, politics and language. Prior knowledge of the Korean Language is not necessary. However, the student needs to demonstrate ability for language learning. The majority of courses in Korean studies give language modules which cover speaking, reading and writing. An intensive course in Korean language at a university is often required. Non-language based areas of study cover a wide range of Korean culture. Korean studies cover a wide range of subjects and courses. The subjects and courses depend on the institution offering Korean studies. Common subjects are the Korean history, Korean conversation, work ethics and religion. Other courses include Korean-English transaction, philosophy, Business micro-economics, Financial accounting and women and gender studies.
A variety of career opportunities exist for graduates of Korean studies. Many of the graduates work in the region of East Asia to utilize their language skills. Other graduates engage in further research based in the East Asia region. There are as many opportunities to work as interpreters in private commercial enterprises or in the public sector organizations. Assessment is done through assessed essays, coursework and oral and written examination. At the end of the course in Korean studies, it is expected that graduates are competent in precise translation, oral presentation and strong vocational skills. The graduates are also expected to have developed strong intercultural awareness. The students find that they have an abundance of transferable skills and language skills to work in East Asia or conduct further research internationally.
Courses in Korean Studies are offered in many international universities such as Oxford and University of Western Australia. Whichever institution of higher learning an individual chooses, the student will find suitable content and appropriate course material. All that is required is for the prospective student to have an interest in Korean language. The student also ought to be ready to appreciate alternative culture and contemporary international relations.
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