• Updated : 2022.7.25 월 15:48
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CNU Hosts U. S. Department of State CLS Korean Language Program전남대 언어교육원, 미국 대학생 한국어 교육 8년째 연속 운영
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승인 2022.07.25  10:50:04
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▲ U. S. college and university students, who are the recipients of the U. S. Department of Stage Critical Language Scholarship, take an intensive Korean language class on July 12 at the Language Education Center, Chonnam National University in Gwangju, Korea.

    Chonnam National University (CNU) has hosted the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Korean Program sponsored by the U. S. Department of State for eight years in a row. This year, 21 U. S. college and university students selected for the program have been learning Korean language and culture intensively both inside and outside the classroom since June 23. CNU’s Language Education Center also provides a one-on-one language partner program to create an immersive learning environment, where the CLS student can quickly improve their Korean language skills while spending their out or class time with Korean students during the eight-weeks.
    Asonyu Nshanji (Integrative Neuroscience, Binghamton University), one of the CLS students, said, “When I had come to watch a YouTube video of K-pop musician groups, I got to know that the continent of Asia became much bigger than I had thought. This showed me for the first time in my life the image of South Korea. Learning the language became a hobby and being interested in the culture gifted me great friendships. So I applied to CLS that going to South Korea as my first and only option.” Another CLS scholar Samantha Zielinski (Linguistics and Cognitive Science, Rutgers University) said, “My goal in this activity is to practice and improve my Korean and learn about Korean everyday life and history. And maybe make some Korean friends and be able to come back to South Korea in the future.”

By Lee Eun-ji, Student Editor

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The CLS is a program to provide study abroad opportunities to U. S. undergraduate and graduate students to learn one of 15 critical languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, or Urdu. The following is an interview with the abovementioned Samantha Zielinski and Asonyu Nshanji, who participate in the 2021 CLS Korean Language Program hosted by the CNU Language Education Center at Chonnam National University in Gwangju, Korea.

Q. Why did you choose Korean for the CLS program?

Samantha: I chose Korea for the CLS program because I really love Korean culture and I wanted to learn more about it. I also study linguistics at my university, and would love to study Korean linguistics as well!

Asonyu: I had thought for years that the only country in Asia was China. I had grown up not seeing many Asian people except for when I went to Chinese restaurants to get take-out. So when I had come to watch a YouTube video broadcasting the life of a group of Korean male musicians called Monsta X, everything about it was unfamiliar but I enjoyed it. The continent of Asia became much bigger that I had thought. The 10 minute video showed me for the first time in my life the image of South Korea. Learning the language became a hobby and being interested in the culture gifted me great friendships. I had learned Spanish and Chinese in high school, and though these languages are great, the experience that Korea handed to me was something I could not let go of. No matter how busy the semester got or how complicated the language learning gets, I cannot stop. I will not stop. I knew that when applying to CLS that going to South Korea would be my first and only option. Since I arrived to South Korea two weeks ago for the first time, it has been a dream. I am more than happy to be here.

Q. What is your goals in the CLS program?

Samantha: My goals in this activity is to practice and improve my Korean and learn about Korean everyday life and history! And maybe make some Korean friends and be able to come back to South Korea in the future!

Asonyu: Before I arrived to South Korea, I had tried planning where I would eat, where I would go sight-seeing, and what my daily routine would look like. However, days before I was to depart from San Francisco to go to Korea, I erased it all and my only goal became “Do not regret anything,” as I knew this might be the only time I can come to Korea for a few years. This goal has been powerful and made each and every day a blessing and adventure. I have made the most worthwhile experiences so far and planning to make more. I take my classes seriously, trying my absolute best and pushing myself to be better, while also having a good time with friends after school. Trying so many different foods and interacting with Koreans have created experiences that I was only able to hope for just a few months ago. As it is a now reality, I will have more fun and always remember my goal to not regret anything while staying safe and healthy.

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