SNU gears up support for Korean studies abroad
Seoul National University announced Wednesday (Oct. 17) that it has decided to open an International Center for Studies on Korea.

A worldwide network on Korean studies is in order to allow the school's academic exchange with nine universities abroad: Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, UC Berkeley, UCLA and the University of Washington in the U.S., the University of British Columbia in Canada, and the University of Vienna in Austria.

The university explained that the idea followed realization that although Korea is rich in researchers for the related subject, there have not been enough institutions to organize and exchange the results abroad, thus making systematic management of Korean studies difficult, overall. Foreign scholars too have pointed to the lack of Korean language programs and quality translation of reference material as big problems for studying Korea abroad.

The planned center is expected to allow a more diverse scholarship, including research projects across national boundaries, by coordinating an international consortium that comprises all the top centers for Korean studies. Students and young scholars are expected to benefit the most from the broad alliance.

Other plans include distributing translated books and journals on Korean studies to universities and libraries abroad through foreign publication. Such include the "Seoul Journal of Korean Studies" published twice a year under the Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies at Seoul National University and the upcoming "Seoul-California Series in Korean Studies," which would be made in collaboration with the Global, Area and International Archive of the University of California. The latter series -- original and translated -- will be available next year in both paperback and digital versions.

Seoul National University meanwhile also runs an annual Kyujanggak Fellowship Program which provides administrative and financial on-site support for research positions at the Kyujanggak Institute for foreign scholars. A year-long position that covers housing and other daily costs provides a chance for in-depth studies for those involved in Korean studies. This year's program began in September. Eugene Y. Park, 39, Andreas Mueller-Lee, 33, and Sem Vermeersch, 39, were selected for the fellowship.

By Kim Hee-sung
Korea.net staff writer
October 17, 2007
(writer : kyuadmin, date : January 3, 2008)  
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