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Korean Studies in Poland

CHOI Sungeun

Abstract

Research in Korean studies in Poland has been conducted spontaneously since the mid-twentieth
century. Even when Polish people had low interest in Korea, a small number of scholars were
conducting research in Korean studies out of intellectual curiosity and passion. Owing to such efforts,
enthusiasm for Korean studies is continuously increasing in Poland. In addition to partnerships in
the field of economy, cultural exchanges between Poland and Korea are also increasing, so the future
of students majoring in Korean studies looks very promising. Currently, a total of six universities
are in charge of Korean language education in Poland. In particular the University of Warsaw and
Adam Mickiewicz University have each established themselves as educational institutes specializing
in Korean studies over the past thirty-four years and fourteen years, respectively. And though both
Jagiellonian University and the University of Wrocław began offering a major in Korean language
three years ago, both schools need to improve their educational programs by securing competent
Polish and Korean faculty who can teach core courses. As for the University of Silesia and Samuel
Bogumił Linde College of Modern Languages, which plan to offer Korean language courses from
the autumn of 2017, each should look to improve their competitiveness by developing specialized
programs clearly differentiated from those on offer at existing Korean studies educational institutes.

Keywords: Korean Studies in Poland, teaching Korean as a foreign language, King


Sejong Institute, conditions for revitalization of Korean Studies in Poland

Choi Sungeun is a Professor in the Department of Polish Studies at Hankuk University


of Foreign Studies, Korea. She received her PhD in Polish Literature from the University of
Warsaw. From 1997 to 2001 she taught Korean Language and Literature in the Department of
Korean Studies at University of Warsaw. Her main research interests are Polish literature, com-
parative literature, and translation of Polish literature to Korean. She has translated about fifty
Polish literary books into Korean, including Quo vadis written by Henryk Sienkiewicz, The An-
thology of Poetry written by Wisława Szymborska, and Cosmos written by Witold Gombrowicz.
E-mail: estera90@hufs.ac.kr

Journal of Contemporary Korean Studies Vol. 4, No. 1 (March 2017) : 209~224

© 2017 National Museum of Korean Contemporary History


Introduction

Poland, which was a socialist nation during the Cold War period and a friendly
country toward North Korea, for a long period of time held a negative view of South
Korea as ‘the only divided country in the world which has experienced the tragedy of a
fratricidal war’. However, after converting to a market economy system in 1989, Poland
established official diplomatic relations with South Korea. Since then, exchanges
between the two countries have gradually increased in the fields of politics, economy,
and culture. During the twenty-first century, Poland has constructed a positive image
of Korea as ‘a dragon in Asia which has achieved amazing economic growth within a
short period of time’.
Currently, some 140 Korean companies, including Korea’s major conglomerates,
have advanced into Poland, and they are actively forming cooperative relationships in
various economic fields. In addition, owing to the popularity of K-POP among young
people in Poland, Polish people have become very interested in Korean culture and
the number of Polish people who want to learn the Korean language has increased
rapidly in recent years. As exchanges between Poland and Korea continue to increase
in various fields, a demand for professionals specializing in the Korean language is
increasing accordingly in Poland.
In the past, Korean language education in Poland was offered by national
universities, particularly the Department of Korean Studies at the University of
Warsaw which offered education in the Korean language while maintaining exchanges
with North Korea in the socialist period. In the twenty-first century, the number
of universities that have established Korean studies departments or offer Korean
language courses has increased to six, and this includes private colleges. Institutes
which offer lectures on the Korean language and culture under the supervision of
the Korean government such as the King Sejong Institute or the Korean Cultural
Center have also opened in Poland. Private language institutes where Polish people
can learn the Korean language are being established in the capital city Warsaw and in
several other cities across Poland. Currently, Poland has the largest number of higher
education institutions offering Korean studies in Central and Eastern Europe.
This study investigates the current condition of Korean language education offered
in Poland during the twenty-first century, with a focus on which institutes offer such
education and the kinds of educational programs they employ.

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The Current Condition of Departments of Korean Studies at Universities in
Poland

The foundation of Korean studies has been built in Poland through the continuous
research and education conducted by Polish and Korean scholars working at
universities in the country from the mid-twentieth century to the present. Poland
and Korea established diplomatic relations in 1989, and from that point onward
Poland entered a new era of Korean studies education. The Korean studies field is
supported and promoted by numerous South Korean organizations, such as the Korea
Foundation, the Korea Research Foundation, the Academy of Korean Studies, and the
Korea Literary Translation Institute. The South Korean government as well provides
broad supports for Korean language educational institutions in Poland. Such supports
range from teaching materials and scholarships for students to study in South Korea
to assistance in the recruitment of qualified language instructors. The South Korean
government also offers financial support for the development of Korean language
textbooks or dictionaries for the Polish people, for the translation of Korean literary
works into Polish, and for the hosting of academic and cultural events participated by
notable scholars and artists from Korea. Such continuous support from the Korean
government has contributed greatly to the rooting and development of Korean studies
in Poland.
As of August 2017, two national universities in Poland—the University of
Warsaw (Uniwersytet Warszawski) and Adam Mickiewicz University (Uniwersytet
im. Adama Mickiewicz)—have established Korean studies as an independent
department offering undergraduate and graduate degrees. Two other national
universities—the University of Wrocław (Uniwersytet Wrocławski) and Jagiellonian
University (Uniwersytet Jagielloński)—though they have not established Korean
studies as an independent department, still offer major courses in Korean studies
at the undergraduate and graduate level. These four universities always receive high
scores in university evaluations conducted in Poland, and they belong to the top five
universities in the ranking.
Furthermore, from the academic year 2017/2018,1 a national university—the
University of Silesi (Uniwersytet Śląski)—and private school, Samuel Bogumił
Linde College of Modern Languages (Wyższa Szkoła Języków Obcych im. Samuela
Bogumiła Lindego), will begin to offer a major course in the Korean language.

CHOI · Korean Studies in Poland 211


Department of Korean Studies at University of Warsaw in Warsaw

The University of Warsaw is the oldest educational institution in the field of Korean
studies in Poland. The field of Korean studies began from 1953 in Poland. At that
time students of Chinese studies at the University of Warsaw could study Korean as
a second or third East Asian language. Professor Kim Chun-taek who was dispatched
by Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang, taught Korean language to four students
majoring in Chinese language at the University of Warsaw until 1961. One of these
students was Prof. Halina Ogarek-Czoj (1931~2004), who is respectfully considered
a pioneer of Korean studies in Poland as the first academic scholar in the field.
After graduating from the Department of Chinese Studies in 1955, Prof. Ogarek-
Czoj studied modern Korean literature at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang
between 1957 and 1962, and then returned to Poland to teach the Korean language
as a second Asian language in the Department of Japanese Studies. After Prof. Kim
Chun-taek, North Korea continuously sent professors to Poland until 1993. For
almost thirty years Korean language and literature was taught in the North Korean
version by North Korean lecturers 9 (Ogarek-Czoj 1998).
In the academic year 1983/1984 Korean studies was officially inaugurated at the
University of Warsaw within the newly formed Department of Japanese and Korean
Studies. The first students of the new Korean Studies Section graduated in 1988.
When communism fell in 1989, Poland established a diplomatic relationship with
South Korea and the post-communist Republic of Poland allowed for radical changes
in the study of Korean language and literature (Stalowski 2012). Since then, South
Korea has sent professors to teach at the University of Warsaw. In 1991, Lee Hyun-
bok, a professor of linguistics at Seoul National University in South Korea, and Prof.
Ro Gil-lyong from North Korea, each taught Korean language in Poland and jointly
conducted comparative research on the South and North Korean languages. However,
from 1993, North Korea ceased sending professors to Poland, and currently, Polish
professors are operating the Department of Korean Language at the University of
Warsaw.
In 1994, a PhD program in Korean studies was established within the Faculty of
Oriental Studies at the University of Warsaw and it has produced five graduates so far.
In 2007, the five-year MA program was divided into a three-year BA and a two-year
MA program.
The university separated the Japanese and Korean Studies Department into two
independent departments—the Department of Japanese Studies and the Department

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of Korean Studies—in 2015. Currently, the Department of Korean Studies at the
University of Warsaw has ten faculty members including one Korean professor. During
the early period, the department did not have enough faculty members or students.
This has changed over the past thirty-four years as graduates who studied in Korea
have returned to Poland and taken teaching positions. Faculty in the Department of
Korean Studies—as leaders of language education in Poland—proactively collaborate
with Korean professors to develop Korean language textbooks for the Polish people.2
They are currently compiling The Dictionary of Korean Verbs-Adjectives with support
from the Academy of Korean Studies.
As the department with the longest tradition, it has various systematic curricula.
It offers practical courses on Korean conversation and grammar, pronunciation, and
translation practices in addition to a two-year course on Chinese characters. It also
holds lectures on Korean history, religion, literature, society, geography and culture.
When students in the department reach their third year, they are required to study
another Oriental language as a second foreign language.
The Department of Korean Studies at the University of Warsaw admits around
twenty-five new students every year. In 2017, some 500 students applied to the
department. According to an article published on July 14, 2017 by the Polish daily
newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, the Department of Economics showed the highest
competition according to the entrance examination administered by the University
of Warsaw, and the subsequent highest departments were related to departments that
teach the three languages of East Asia—the Department of Japanese Studies (24:1);
the Department of Korean Studies (20:1); and the Department of Chinese Studies
(19:1), ratios that are similar to the previous year. Other departments that showed
high competition include the departments of finance, accounting, management,
English language and literature, and psychology (Kinga Jakiela 2017).
The Department of Korean Studies at the University of Warsaw offers a three-
year Bachelor’s degree and a two-year Master’s. Most students study for five years
to acquire the Master’s. Until now, about 120 Master’s theses have been published
by the Department of Korean Studies at the University of Warsaw and some ninety
Bachelor's Degree Research Papers have been recorded. Most of the theses focus on
themes related to literature and linguistics, but there are also research papers about
Korean history, and Korean religion and folk customs, thus showing an expanded
scope of interest.
Of particular note is that the Department of Korean Studies began to offer the
Bachelor’s degree course under the “evening program of studies” from the academic

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year 2014/2015. This was established to accommodate the rapid increase in people
who want to learn the Korean language. Though tuition for national universities in
Poland is free for Polish students, students who register for this “evening program
of studies” should pay tuition. Most of the students who failed to be admitted to the
regular course of the Department of Korean Studies take this evening program, study
Korean language classes for three years and earn a Bachelor’s degree. These students
tend to have high interest in Korean popular culture such as K-POP and K-Dramas,
and their ultimate goal is to learn the Korean language in hopes of getting a job in a
related field. The Master’s level program for these students is scheduled to open during
the academic year 2018/2019, and applicants should pass an entrance examination for
entry. (Department Homepage: http://www.koreanistyka.orient.uw.edu.pl/)

Department of Korean Philology at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

For over fifty years the University of Warsaw was considered the only center of Korean
studies and Korean language education in Poland. However, in the academic year
1998/1999 Korean language classes were also on offer as part of the newly established
ethno-linguistics program at Adam Mickiewicz University. These classes were offered
until 2002. In April 2002 the Department of Korean Philology was established at
Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. The Department of Korean Philology belongs
to the Institute of Linguistics in the Faculty of Modern Language and Literatures. The
five-year Master’s program began in the academic year 2003/2004.
In 2007, the five-year Master’s program was divided into a three-year Bachelor’s and
a two-year Master’s. Adam Mickiewicz University, like the University of Warsaw, offers
Korean studies at all levels, undergraduate and graduate.
Currently, in the Department of Korean Philology at Adam Mickiewicz University,
a total of ten faculty members, including one Korean professor and two Korean
instructors are providing instruction. For the past fourteen years, stable teaching
staff has been secured through cooperation between Korea and Poland and intensive
fostering of the next generation of academics in the field.
As far as curriculum goes, practical Korean language classes focused on grammar,
conversation, listening and translation, as well as humanities classes on Korean history,
religion and culture in addition to classes on Chinese characters, are all being offered.
Compared with the curriculum of the Department of Korean Studies at the University
of Warsaw, in general, both offer similar lectures. In the educational programs of both

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universities, language is at the heart of each year’s curriculum. The number of practical
Korean language classes is also similar at both universities. However, in the case of the
University of Warsaw, students study a second Asian language (Chinese or Japanese,
depending on the academic year) as an elective from their third year of school, but
in the case of Adam Mickiewicz University, only students who are in the Master’s
program are required to study a second Asian language.
There are also various student clubs at Adam Mickiewicz University (AMU) that
focus on Korea-related content, and these help to strengthen the Department of
Korean Philology at AMU. In 2006 a traditional samulnori percussion band under the
name of “Keunsoriro (in big sound)” was formed. In 2008, a traditional Korean fan
dance troupe “Buchaechum (fan dance)” was established comprised of AMU’s Korean
philology students. A traditional Korean dance troupe “Sogo (small drum)” was also
founded in 2013 as a student club. This troupe currently consists of eight dancers who
perform using drums and sticks. These student clubs perform annually on Korean
Culture Days. Such activities, through which students can more personally experience
Korean traditional culture and present their performances in front of large groups
of people, have had positive effects on students’ motivation for learning the Korean
language and have raised their understanding of Korean culture and sensibility.
In 2017, the Department of Korean Philology at AMU admitted forty-two new
students among 292 applicants, showing the high level of competition for admittance
into the program. Until now, a total of eighty-two students have earned a Master’s
degree from the Department of Korean Philology at AMU, with the majority of their
research focused on Korean literature and linguistics.
As with Warsaw, from 2016 Poznań began to offer its own “evening program of
study” Korean course (tuition charged), providing an opportunity for up to thirty
students to study the Korean language.
(Department Homepage: http://filkor.amu.edu.pl/?page_id=49&lang=pl)

“Major in the Region of the Korean Peninsula” at Jagiellonian University in Cracow

Jagiellonian University has been offering Korean language classes and lectures on
Korean history and politics since 2002 and officially opened the “major in the region
of the Korean peninsula” from the academic year 2014/2015.
Unusually, this course is run by the Institute of the Middle and Far East which is
part of the Faculty of International and Political Studies of Jagiellonian University.

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Unlike the two universities mentioned previously which focus on language education,
Jagiellonian University focuses on research related to Korean history, politics,
economy, society, and culture from the perspective of regional studies. However,
Jagiellonian University’s programs do not omit language classes. Compared to the
two previousmuniversities which require 850 hours of language education over three
years in the Bachelor’s degree program, Jagiellonian University requires less at a total
of 540 hours in language programs over three years. The students of all modules at
the Institute of the Middle and Far East study two languages, including one Oriental:
Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Arabic or Hebrew—a 540-hour course at first
degree studies and a 360-hour course at second degree studies. In the case of practical
language classes, Polish lecturers teach first-year students, while Korean lecturers teach
students from the second year.
However, according to the details of curriculum, as the major is newly established
and currently Poland does not have a sufficient number of experts in “Korean regional
studies,” most courses related to social science and humanities deal with the politics,
economy, religion and social issues of Asia and the Far East comprehensively, rather
than focusing on Korea. First-year courses such as “Asia’s Religion,” “Far East Asia
Geography,” and “Sociology of Asia,” as well as second and third year courses such
as “Far East Asian Religion” and “Political System of Far East Asian Countries,” are
representative examples.3 Such courses are offered as common subjects for students
who major in the “Studies of the Region of China” and in the “Studies of the Region
of Japan.” These subjects can help students understand Korea from a larger perspective
of Asia and the Far East, but they provide limited expertise in Korean studies. In
addition, though both undergraduate and postgraduate level courses are being offered
theoretically, the postgraduate course has yet to be launched. The “major course in
the region of the Korean peninsula” has been offered for the past three years, so most
students are still at the undergraduate level. In reality, there are not enough professors
who can teach at the postgraduate level for students who want to conduct in-depth
academic research. More faculty with expertise in Korean history and politics are
needed here as is a more systematic system that reflects a long-term plan.
To differentiate itself from other existing universities, Jagiellonian University’s
strategy for offering Korean studies as “regional studies” seems to be successful. During
the 2017 academic year, 254 applicants applied for the Korean studies department
which admits only forty applicants, showing higher competition compared to Chinese
or Japanese studies.
It should also be noted that since 2013 the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK),

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which is a written Korean language exam for foreign learners, has been available
in Poland. This exam is administered at the Institute of the Middle and Far East of
Jagiellonian University. The university also operates the King Sejong Institute for the
general public interested in learning the Korean language. The university is actively
participating in various activities in order to foster Korean studies and increase
people’s awareness of Korea and the Korean language in Poland. Though the university
does not operate a separate homepage for Korean studies, information can be found
via the homepage of the Institute of the Middle and Far East: (http://www.orient.
uj.edu.pl/dla-kandydatow/studia-dalekowschodnie/i-stopnia-stacjonarne-korea).

Major in Korean Language and Culture at the University of Wrocław in Wrocław

Wrocław is a city where Korean companies such as LG and SK have built and operate
production plants. Accordingly, demand for Korean interpreters and translations in
Wrocław is very high compared to other cities in Poland.
The University of Wrocław established a two-year educational course in Korean
language and culture within the Institute of Classical, Mediterranean and Oriental
Studies under the Faculty of Philology through support received from LG Display in
2010. This program is offered to students at the University of Wrocław who want to
study the Korean language. It is a four-semester (two-year) course and offers forty-five
hours per semester. Based on this two-year course, a major in Korean language and
culture was newly established as a specialty module under the Institute of Classical,
Mediterranean and Oriental Studies during the academic year 2013/2014. Under
this major, which takes three years to complete, practical language classes are offered
for ten hours per week during students’ first year of school, while practical language
classes are offered for eight hours plus two hours of practice per week during the
second and third years of school. As with other universities, the University of Wrocław
offers courses related to Korean history, politics, and society and culture in addition to
language lectures.
A curriculum characteristic that differentiates the Wroclaw program from the others
discussed is that the university holds separate lectures on Korean Confucianism, art,
film, and pop culture among others.4 Among the students who were admitted in 2013,
seven students earned a Bachelor’s degree. As the Master’s level has not been estab-
lished yet, one graduate who earned a Bachelor’s in 2016 went on to do graduate work
at Adam Mickiewicz University, while another entered Sungkyunkwan University in

CHOI · Korean Studies in Poland 217


South Korea.
Unlike other universities which operate departments with the help of local schol-
ars, the University of Wrocław develops and manages Korean language education
programs with the help of Korean professors who speak the Polish language flu-
ently. From a long-term perspective, the university needs to construct a system that
strengthens academic administration and management, including the supervision of
theses by hiring Polish professors who specialize in Korean studies.
As a large number of Korean companies have advanced to Wrocław, the admission
competition rate for the department is also very high. During the academic year 2017,
the department recruited forty-five students with a major either in Korean language
or the Chinese language. A total of 376 applied for the department, showing a high
competition rate of 8.3:1. This competition rate ranked second after the Department
of Italian Language and showed the same ranking with that of the Department of the
English Language. Once students are admitted to the department, they can choose ei-
ther the Korean language or the Chinese language as their major. Among the forty-five
new students admitted, twenty-eight students tentatively stated on their application
that they will choose the Korean language as their major.
The University of Wrocław offers separate Korean language classes for students
majoring in different fields and for the general public. During the academic year
2016/2017, forty-six students took classes at the beginning level, and fourteen
students took a class at the intermediate level. For each group, three-hour classes are
offered every week. The major in Korean language and culture at the University of
Wrocław operates a Facebook page, rather than a separate homepage: https://www.
facebook.com/koreanstudieswroclaw/.

1) Korean Language Courses to be Opened at Universities in Poland During Academic


Year 2017/2018

As a result of the drastic rise in the number of Polish people who want to study the
Korean language over the years, two universities in Poland plan to offer Korean
language courses during the academic year 2017/2018.
The University of Silesia, which is located in Katowice, an industrial city of
Poland, opened a Korean language class in the academic year 2016/2017 as a liberal
arts subject for students who choose the Far Asia Module from the Department of
International Polish Studies, belonging to the Faculty of Philology. It offers a total of

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thirty hours of class per semester. Based on its experience for one year, it plans to offer
a major in Korean translation from 2017 as an interdisciplinary study at the Institute
of English belonging to the Faculty of Philology. That is, among the students of the
Institute of English, those who are interested in the Korean language choose this
course as their second major and take a total of 180 hours of class over three years.
When they pass the graduation test, they can earn their Bachelor’s degree. As a second
major module, majors in Chinese or Japanese translation have been offered since a few
years ago. What is interesting is that even though the Korean language class has not
been verified yet, 140 students applied for the course which admitted only twenty-five
students in 2017, showing a high competition rate of 5.6:1.
Samuel Bogumił Linde College of Modern Languages (Wyższa Szkoła Języków
Obcych im. Samuela Bogumiła Lindego), which is a private college established in
2000, specializes in foreign language education and plans to offer a Korean philology
class from 2017. Students, who complete the three-year course can earn a Bachelor's
degree. (http://www.wsjo.pl/studia-i-stopnia/koreanistyka/)
In order for the two schools, which have jumped into Korean language education
later than the others, to secure competitiveness, they must secure quality teaching
staff. Jagiellonian University needs to acquire experts in the fields of Korean history,
politics, and economy, while the University of Wrocławski requires Polish experts in
the Korean language who can work with Korean teaching staff. With such recruitment
and specialized educational programs, the two schools will be able to strengthen their
status in the field.

2) King Sejong Institute in Warsaw, Kraków, Poznań

In addition to universities in Poland, another venue through which the Polish people
can learn the Korean language and take classes on Korean culture is Sejonghakdang
(King Sejong Institute), and currently the institute has a presence in three cities
(Warsaw, Kraków, Poznań). Along with France and Germany, Poland is one of three
countries in Europe with a large number of King Sejong Institutes.
Among the three King Sejong Institutes in Poland, the Korean Culture Center
in Warsaw is the oldest. Its Korean language class had only fifty students in 2009 at
its beginning, but in 2017 had a total number of 1,250 students (the number was
obtained by counting students who attended every class during the semester). The
King Sejong Institute’s educational programs are offered over two semesters (spring

CHOI · Korean Studies in Poland 219


and autumn), and each is operated for twelve to fifteen weeks. A special session is
operated for two weeks in the summer
As of 2017, at the King Sejong Institute in Warsaw, teaching staff numbered three
members (two Koreans, one Polish) who teach six classes (three beginner classes,
two intermediate classes, and one high-level class) in Korean language education. A
TOPIC intermediate-level preparation class is also offered separately. The popularity
of the Korean language class continues to steadily increase. In particular, due to a
high demand for evening classes consisting of office workers, two evening classes for
the beginning level were opened this year. Each class can accommodate only fifteen
students, but some 500 people applied for the class and were placed on the waiting list.
In addition, the Korean Cultural Center in Warsaw offers various cultural programs
for the Polish people to experience Korea such as writing their names in Korean,
trying on the Korean traditional costume hanbok, playing Korean traditional games,
tasting Korean traditional tea, watching Korean movies, and experiencing Korean
karaoke.
In 2013, Adam Mickiewicz University established a second King Sejong Institute
in Poznań, which offers Korean language education to the general public. The institute
also operates programs for the spring semester and autumn semester (approximately
twelve to fifteen weeks) and a special summer session (two weeks). In addition to
language education, it organizes various cultural activity programs such as Korean
movie screenings, Korean cooking classes, and introductions to Korean holidays in
order to foster the Polish people’s understanding of Korean culture and tradition.
(Homepage: http://kingsejonginstitutepoznan.blogspot.kr/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sejong.poznan/)
The King Sejong Institute operated by Jagiellonian University in Cracow was
opened in 2016. It too offers a Korean language education program during the regular
semesters and a special summer session. It holds lectures and academic conferences
on Korean history and culture and operates Korean cultural experience programs.
(Facebook: https://ko-kr.facebook.com/sejong.krakow/)
The King Sejong Institute Foundation dispatched a total of three teaching staff
members, one for each of the three Sejong Institutes in Poland. These faculty are in
charge of educational programs in Korean language and culture, working jointly with
local teaching staff.
In addition to the Sejong Institutes, ten private language institutes in several cities
across Poland such as Warsaw, Kraków, Wrocław, Łodź, Katowice, Bydgoszcz, Bielany
Wrocławskie currently offer Korean language classes.

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Conclusion

Most Polish people first come to know about Korea through Korean electronic
appliances, mobile phones and automobiles, the use of which spurs their interest in
Korea. Poland was a friendly country to North Korea during the socialist period, and
then after transforming to a capitalist system, became more interested in the political
situation of the Korean peninsula. The establishment of diplomatic relations between
Poland and South Korea raised interest in South Korea among the Polish people.
In recent years, after being exposed to Korean cultural contents such as K-POP,
K-Dramas, and K-Movies, many young Polish people have a desire to learn more about
Korean language and culture. And as they begin to learn the Korean language, they
also show more interest in other things Korean—like Korean food and Taekwondo.
Furthermore, as many Korean companies have advanced into Poland, students who
major in the Korean language enjoy more opportunities in getting jobs. For these
reasons, the popularity of Korean studies at universities in Poland is increasing very
rapidly. The recent establishment of departments of Korean studies and the major in
Korean language in four universities in Poland over the past four years reflects the high
interest in Korean language and culture among young Polish people.
Research in Korean studies in Poland has been conducted spontaneously since the
mid-twentieth century. Even in times when Polish people had low interest in Korea,
a small number of scholars conducted research in Korean studies out of intellectual
curiosity and passion. Owing to such efforts, enthusiasm for Korean studies is
continuously increasing in Poland. In addition to partnerships in the field of economy,
cultural exchanges between Poland and Korea are increasing, so the future of students
majoring in Korean studies looks very promising indeed.
Currently, a total of six universities are in charge of Korean language education in
Poland. The University of Warsaw and Adam Mickiewicz University have established
themselves as educational institutes specializing in Korean studies over the past thirty-
four years and fourteen years, respectively. In the cases of Jagiellonian University
and the University of Wrocław, which established a major in Korean language three
years ago, there is a need for both to improve their educational programs by securing
competent Polish and Korean teaching faculty who can teach core courses. In the
cases of the University of Silesia and Samuel Bogumił Linde College of Modern
Languages, which plan to offer Korean language educational courses from the autumn
of 2017, the schools need to improve their competitiveness by developing specialized
programs that are clearly differentiated from existing ones.

CHOI · Korean Studies in Poland 221


In order to revitalize and deepen research in Korean studies further while
maintaining the fever for Korean studies in Poland, quality educational programs
should be offered to accommodate Polish people’s needs. To achieve this goal,
Polish and Korean teaching faculty at all the universities should form an organic
cooperative system to jointly develop curricula and conduct research, and school
authorities should strive for systematic operation and management of Korean studies
departments. In addition, each university should develop differentiated curricula by
considering the condition of Korean language departments in each local region and
the level of learners in order to reduce unnecessary competition between universities.
Lastly, schools need to construct an environment where Korean studies experts can
teach classes that continuously foster future human resources in the field.

Notes

1. In Poland, a new academic year begins from October 1, and consists of two semesters:
Winter Semester (from October 1 to about February 20) and Summer Semester (from
February 21 to about June 10).
2. The list of Korean language textbooks developed by the Department of Korean Studies of
Warsaw University is as follows.
1) Jang, So-wom, Kim Seong-kyu, Jeong Yeong-cheol, Anna Paradowska, Christoph
Janasiak, Nam Su-kyeong, and Chae Suk-hee. 2011. Język koreański dla Polaków [Korean
for Polish People]. Seul: Bakijeong.
2) Ogarek-Czoj, Halina and Choi, Un-hak. 1977. Teksty do nauki języka koreańskiego
[Reading texts for learning Korean]. Warsaw: University of Warsaw Press.
3) Ogarek-Czoj, Halina and Kim, Jeong-geun and Yim Tong-bin. 1990. Teksty do nauki
języka koreańskiego [Reading texts for learning Korean]. Rozmówki koreańskie cz. II [A
Korean Conversation Book. part II]. Warsaw: University of Warsaw Press.
4) Ogarek-Czoj, Halina and Huszcza, Romuald and Choi, Gun-Yong. 1995. Podręcznik
języka koreańskiego. cz. II. Kurs dla zaawansowanych [A Textbook for learning Korean.
Part II. An Advanced Course]. Warsaw: Dialog.
5)  . 1994. Podręcznik języka koreańskiego. cz. I. Kurs podstawowy [A Textbook for
learning Korean. Part I. A Basic Course]. Warsaw: Dialog.
3. The current condition of course offerings can be checked on the following website: http://
www.orient.uj.edu.pl/studia/harmonogramy-studia-stacjonarne.
4. The current condition of course offerings can be checked on the following website:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3ifhWyfsAGgMngyMHpFQ0hxWVE/view.

222 Journal of Contemporary Korean Studies 4(2) · 2017


References

Jang, So-wom, Kim Seong-kyu, Jeong Yeong-cheol, Anna Paradowska, Christoph Janasiak,
Nam Su-kyeong, and Chae Suk-hee. 2011. Język koreański dla Polaków [Korean for Polish
People]. Seul: Bakijeong.
Kinga Jakieła. 2017. “Najpopularniejsze kierunki studiów na stołecznych uczelniach” [“The
most popular majors at universities in Warsaw”]. Gazeta Wyborcza, July 14. http://
warszawa.wyborcza.pl/warszawa/7,54420,22095746,najpopularniejsze-kierunki-studiow-
na-stolecznych-uczelniach.html#BoxLokWawLinkImg.
Ogarek-Czoj, Halina. 1998. ”Studia koreanistyczne w Polsce” [Korean studies in Poland].
Przegląd Orientalistyczny [The Oriental Review] (3-4): 239-243.
Ogarek-Czoj, Halina and Choi, Un-hak. 1977. Teksty do nauki języka koreańskiego [Reading
texts for learning Korean]. Warsaw: University of Warsaw Press.
Ogarek-Czoj, Halina and Huszcza, Romuald and Choi, Gun-Yong. 1995. Podręcznik języka
koreańskiego. cz. II. Kurs dla zaawansowanych [A Textbook for learning Korean. Part II. An
Advanced Course]. Warsaw: Dialog.
. 1994. Podręcznik języka koreańskiego. cz. I. Kurs podstawowy [A Textbook for learning
Korean. Part I. A Basic Course]. Warsaw: Dialog.
Ogarek-Czoj, Halina and Kim, Jeong-geun and Yim Tong-bin. 1990. Teksty do nauki języka
koreańskiego [Reading texts for learning Korean]. Rozmówki koreańskie cz. II [A Korean
Conversation Book. part II]. Warsaw: University of Warsaw Press.
Stalowski, Marcin. 2012. “A Study of Korean Language and Literature Education in Poland”,
EOMUNHAK-The Korean Language and Literature [어문학] 115: 79-107.

Websites

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3ifhWyfsAGgMngyMHpFQ0hxWVE/view
http://filkor.amu.edu.pl/?page_id=49&lang=pl
http://kingsejonginstitutepoznan.blogspot.kr/
https://ko-kr.facebook.com/sejong.krakow/
https://www.facebook.com/koreanstudieswroclaw/
https://www.facebook.com/sejong.poznan/
http://www.koreanistyka.orient.uw.edu.pl/
http://www.orient.uj.edu.pl/dla-kandydatow/studia-dalekowschodnie/i-stopnia-stacjonarne-korea
http://www.orient.uj.edu.pl/studia/harmonogramy-studia-stacjonarne
http://www.wsjo.pl/studia-i-stopnia/koreanistyka/

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