Since the end of the Korean War in 1953, South Korea has seen impressive economic advancement. Its business and industry sectors serve as a model for other developing nations. In fact, due to its successful industrial model, South Korea is known as one of the “Four Tigers of East Asia”.
One of the greatest benefits to students studying abroad in South Korea proves to be the unique opportunity to be at a forefront of a blooming international business and trade partnership in the heart of the Pacific Rim economic system. This means study abroad students who take classes about South Korea’s role in the Pacific Rim, or those who land an internship with one of South Korea’s international companies, will have a much greater edge not only in the U.S. job market, but in the international one as well.
According to the U.S. Department of States, “As Korea's economy has developed, trade has become an increasingly important aspect of the U.S.-Korea relationship. The U.S. seeks to improve access to Korea's expanding market and increase investment opportunities for American business…Korean leaders appear determined to successfully manage the complex economic relationship with the United States and to take a more active role in international economic fora as befits Korea's status as a major trading nation.”
In addition to gaining job skills and experience in a truly developing country, learning Korean will make you that much more of a competitive candidate in the job world and, of course, it will look great on your resume!
Study abroad in South Korea isn’t just for students studying business, economics or international relations. South Korea also offers students the opportunity to study language and literature, traditional arts, cultural anthropology, principles of Confucianism, and even the country’s booming industry of sports and athletics. According to Gateway to Korea (Korea.net), “The Republic of Korea is committed to the pursuit of cultural exchanges with foreign countries to enhance bilateral friendship and understanding and to contribute to global reconciliation and cooperation. The nation also seeks to introduce Korean traditional art and culture abroad, and supports overseas Korean studies programs as well as numerous academic conferences and athletic exchanges. The Korea Foundation, established in 1991, coordinates and supports international cultural exchange programs.”
Due to South Korea’s relationship and proximity with North Korea (just across the Demilitarized Zone), learning Korean might also help you qualify for a job in national or international security. As current world events demonstrate, there remains ambiguity surrounding North Korea. As a study abroad student in South Korea, you will be able to learn more about and better assess the current situation in both these countries, and maybe even help to maintain peaceful international relations.