BUSAN, Feb. 21 (Korea Bizwire) – Vietnamese is gaining popularity among South Korean universities as Vietnam’s rapid economic development, coupled with Park Hang-seo’s sterling reputation as the South Korean head coach of Vietnam’s national football team, is leading many students to take interest in the country.
Vietnam has also been chosen to host the upcoming U.S.-North Korea Summit, adding to South Korea’s interest in the country.
“Everybody was talking about Vietnam, so I applied to take a course on the Vietnamese language,” said Lee, a student at the Busan University of Foreign Studies. “I couldn’t, of course, because all the seats were already taken.”
Some 160 freshmen who entered the university competed over Vietnamese courses which were available only for 25 to 45 students each.
“I decided to study Vietnamese after hearing about an economic boom in Vietnam,” said Lee. “Other colleagues and seniors all want to learn Vietnamese, so competition is inevitable.”
The Busan University of Foreign Studies plans to add courses in Vietnamese if the demand continues.
“An increasing number of South Korean students are looking for jobs in Vietnam, while Vietnamese students have replaced the Chinese to become the largest group of study abroad students here,” said a university employee.
“The trend is expected to continue as South Korea and Vietnam have future plans to expand economic and cultural exchanges.”
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)