SEOUL, March 14 (Korea Bizwire) — Nearly 14,000 students at American universities are studying Korean.
Citing a report by the Modern Language Association (MLA) that analyzed foreign language study at universities, various media channels reported 13,936 students were taking Korean language courses at 2,669 U.S. universities in 2016.
Korean was the 11th most studied language. Spanish and French were the most popular foreign language choices, with Chinese, Arabic and Japanese also more widely studied than Korean.
In 2016, the number of Korean learners grew by 13.7 percent from the 12,229 in 2013.
Among the fifteen foreign languages most commonly studied in university, only Korean and Japanese saw an increase in students, with all other language courses losing course takers.
The double-digit growth in Korean language learners has been attributed to greater interest brought about by Hallyu, also known as the Korean Wave.
The MLA first began to track foreign language study at American universities in 1958. At the time, only 26 students were found to be studying Korean.
The number of foreigners university students coming to South Korea for study has been on the rise in recent years.
Data from the Ministry of Education analyzed by the National Institute for International Education revealed that there were 123,858 foreign students studying in South Korean universities as of last April, a 18.8 percent year-on-year increase.
The foreign university student population grew by 7.6 percent in 2015 and 14.2 percent in 2016.
Only 2.2 percent of the students were from the United States, with over 50 percent hailing from China.
Kevin Lee (email@example.com)