The students of UT can now study Korean language and culture in depth
On the spring semester 2014, the students of the University of Tartu have the opportunity to study Korean culture and language in depth at the university. The South Korean visiting lecturer Hyun Jung Shin employed by the Institute for Cultural Research and Fine Arts in the Faculty of Philosophy will teach two courses: Introduction to Korean culture and Korean language for the beginners.
Yhun Jung Shin has a degree in languages and she came to Tartu from the Korean Language Institute at the Yonsei University, where she has been teaching Korean to foreigners from 2006. She has come to teach at the University of Tartu within the framework of the programme of The Academy of Korean Studies titled Furthering the Education on Korean Research outside Korea.
The application for sending a teacher and funding her work in the University of Tartu in 2014 was submitted by the Faculty of Philosophy on the initiative of the Centre of the Oriental Studies. “The impulse for this particular application was given by the Baltic Korean International Symposium that took place in Tartu in autumn 2012, where the representatives of the University of Tartu as well as the Korean side expressed an interest and willingness to enhance Korean studies and research in the University of Tartu. The esto- and baltophile Jinseok Seo who got his Doctoral level degree in the University of Tartu last year also played a part, as he recommended the project of the Academy of Korean Studies and also lobbied it in Korea”, commented Märt Läänemets, a Senior Research Fellow of Sinology in the Centre of Oriental Studies.
Hyun Jung Shin studied Czech and Slovak languages during her Bachelor studies and has received additional education in these countries. This is where her interest in Eastern Europe stems from. She said she has been looking for an opportunity to teach Korean language and culture in Eastern Europe for a while, which is why the decision to take on the offer by the Academy of Korean Studies was not a difficult one.
She describes Tartu with its clean air and slow pace as an excellent place for living and working. “The academic atmosphere, colleagues and students naturally take some getting used to, but the first impressions are entirely positive”, said Hyun Jung Shin.