The Korean Language

The Korean language, spoken by an estimated 73 million people on the Korean Peninsula, is a complex mixture of Chinese lexical influences and a unique native word and sentence structure. While Korean grammar shares many similarities with Japanese, Turkish and other agglutinative languages, no definitive genetic link has been established between Korean and other languages in the world, and the language's origin remains a heated topic of academic debate. Korean boasts the most scientific script in the world, Hangeul, which was designed by a team of royal linguists by order of the Korean king in the 1440s.

Following a period of unprecedented economic growth, South Korea today has emerged as one of Asia's powerhouse economies. Korea's advanced modern business landscape boasts some of the most widely recognized brands in the world, and the country remains at the forefront of international developments in science and technology. Korea also boasts a rich popular culture that has become an export commodity of its own right in the form of food, popular music, and film.

Program Sites

Busan, South Korea
Jun 06, 2019 - Aug 08, 2019
Gwangju, South Korea
Jun 18, 2019 - Aug 17, 2019

Previous Institutes

Featured Alumni Profiles

Marlena McDaniel
Korean 2016
Gwangju, South Korea
Ethan Jewell
Korean 2018
Gwangju, South Korea
Paula Zhang
Korean 2017
Gwangju, South Korea

Korean Stories

The Power of Sport as Public Diplomacy
Former Olympian and CLS Alumna Siobhan Heekin-Canedy (Russian 2016) writes about the importance of sports diplomacy in the context of the Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

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Posted November 06, 2019

Announcing the 2020 CLS Application - Now Open!

We are pleased to announce that the application for the 2020 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is now open! American undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply now to learn a critical foreign language next summer on a fully-funded study abroad program.


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Posted September 12, 2019

Announcing Application Dates and Changes to the 2020 CLS Program

The CLS Program is in the process of wrapping up another successful summer, and with it we are turning our attention to the fall application and recruitment season. We have a few important updates leading into the fall application season that we want to share with advisors and students as soon...

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Posted August 15, 2019