South Korea is truly becoming a multi-cultural society. According to the statistics on foreign students in Korea, there were 49,270 foreign students from 143 different countries studying at 408 Korean universities as of April 1, 2007. To give you an idea of the global diversity of students, in this picture alone, there are students from Indonesia, India, Myanmar, Vietnam, Mongolia, Turkey, El Salvador, Tanzania, Algeria, China, Malaysia, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh and Thailand.
Approximately 6,000 foreign students from 55 countries stream into the nation of Korea to study the Korean language and the figures are doubling every year. This is my mom and her fellow classmates who studied the Korean language (hangeul- 한글) for a year in Seoul National University (SNU). There were people from all over the world, of all ages, different religions and cultures, and various streams of studies and careers, but they were formed a special bond of friendship under the common goal of studying Korean.They had special Korean classes structured for foreign students and the teachers were excellent in their field and patiently guided each and everyone to read, write and converse in Korean over the span of a year.
This is a group picture of some of the ladies who studied with my mom after they graduated from the language school of SNU. In this picture there are ladies from Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Algeria, El Salvador, China, Morocco, Kazakhstan and Myanmar, and oh of course, my mom from Nepal.Recently they held the Ajou International Day in Ajou University where my mom studies now. It is an event held every year to celebrate the diversity of students and to promote cultural awareness and camaraderie among the students of all nations.
It was an outdoor event held on a sunny Autumn day and attracted a lot of visitors.
Various countries had their own booths and were either offering their delicious local cuisine, or some games and cultural events related to their country.
There was even a booth for the Republic of Korea with Korean food and events where you could wear the traditional Korean dress the Hanbok ( 한복 ) and get your picture taken.
This is my parent’s beautiful friend Katja from Russia with her team. They had delicious food and vodka too in their booth.
Some of the students added to the festivity by dressing up in their traditional clothes. The Nepali lady in the middle is Namrata with people from all over the world posing for a picture with her.
The ambassadors of many countries also attended the event. This is a group picture of some of the Nepali students and a few Korean students of Ajou University with the ambassador of Nepal.
As Korea rapidly strides towards globalization, it has become a land of boundless opportunities for foreign students. Not only does it offer state of the art learning facilities and up to date curriculum in any subject, but the Korean government policy is also extremely welcoming to foreign students. For worthy students, there are also innumerable scholarship programs for which you could apply. Here are a few websites you could check out for more information on scholarships available to foreign students in Korea: