2013 Language Institute: Wonju, South Korea
Note: Information below refers to the 2013 CLS Institutes and is subject to change.
The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program in Wonju, Korea provides an intensive 8-week beginning to advanced-level language program set in the city of Wonju located in Gangwon Province, about 60 miles east of Seoul. The Wonju campus is 30 minutes away from PyongChang, the host city of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. The 500-acre campus is surrounded by a dense forest and a beautiful lake. Students receive a minimum of 20 hours per week of classroom instruction and participate in extensive community engagement activities. The CLS program in Wonju incorporates a language policy that requires scholarship recipients to speak only Korean during program activities.
Participants live in a dorm with a Korean roommate. The dorm is within a 5 minute walk from the International Education Center where classes are held. Students will also experience a homestay with a local Korean family for one week.
The CLS curriculum in Wonju incorporates extensive co-curricular activities including excursions to explore culturally significant sites and community service projects where participants utilize their Korean language and culture knowledge and skills.
In 2010, the CLS Program adopted the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) as an additional measure of the effectiveness and quality of the institutes overseas. Before the program, students take a diagnostic OPI test; at the end of their 8-week course of study, they take an ACTFL-certified post-program OPI assessment. The scores on these tests give students a concrete, widely-recognized measure of their speaking skills in Korean.
CLS Blog Entries for Korean
Institute at a Glance: Wonju, South Korea
|June 12 - August 11, 2013||Yonsei University|
- Beginning: No previous knowledge or study of Korean is required, up to 2 years of study or equivalent.
- Advanced Beginning: Minimum requirements: completion of one year of college-level classes, or its equivalent, prior to the start of the program. Students should arrive in country comfortable with the script and sounds, basic vocabulary, and basic grammar.
- Intermediate: Minimum requirement: completion of two years of college-level Korean, or its equivalent, prior to the start of the program.
- Advanced: Minimum requirement: completion of three years of college-level Korean, or its equivalent, prior to the start of the program.
Students on the Korean program were able to participate in a variety of activities during their time on the program. Gregory Pavone, a student at the U.S. Naval Academy, planned a visit to the Korean Naval Academy and wrote about his experiences.
Students Katey Foran and Kimberly McKee worked with institute staff to connect with a local orphanage. Once per week, they volunteered with the young children at the center.
In 2011, students took an excursion to the southern township of Haenam to stay at the peninsula’s southernmost Buddhist temple.
2010 alumnus David Fields traveled to North Korea with Canadian NGO the Pyeongyang Project immediately following CLS. There he was part of a cultural and linguistic exchange delegation to Kim Il Sung University.
2010 alumnae Cody Klock interned at the State Department’s Korea Desk following her study in CLS.
2008 alumnus Brandon Marc Higa writes about life after the CLS program in this interview. He worked in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs following his program, and currently works as a Grants Development Specialist at Kapiolani Community College in Honalulu, Hawaii.