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Title [Media Analysis] Korean Language Department Gaining Popularity
No 81 Inquiry 529 Date 2018.07.25

Universities in Poland closed student admissions applications on July 20, as their new school year begins in October, unlike Korea. Some departments receive more student applications than others, and the rankings change each year by slight margins. East Asian language departments such as Korean, Chinese, and Japanese are hugely popular in Poland these days. The Korean language departments at the University of Warsaw and the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań are famous. Jagiellonian University and the University of Wrocław recently opened Korean language specialization programs in their Far East Asia departments.


Article on popular departments at Polish universities (Source: Interia)


Article on popular departments at Polish universities (Source: Wprost)


Korean language department at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań ranked fifth most  popular (Source: Głos Wielkopolski)


Major Polish media outlets such as Wirtualna Polska, Wprost, and Interia announced the rankings of departments that marked the highest competition rate around July 20 when the admission applications closed. Generally, Swedish, Korean, and Japanese language departments were the most popular. As for the University of Warsaw, the School of Eastern Languages was overwhelmingly popular this year, like every other year. The competition rates for the Korean language department and Japanese language department neared 20 to 1. Economics, business management, and media departments came second, with competition rates of 19 to 1. At the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, the Swedish language department was the most popular with a competition rate of 27 to 1, followed by the departments of Danish language, business, public administration, law, English, and Chinese. The Korean language department ranked fifth with a competition rate of 9.32 to 1. Like the University of Warsaw, Jagiellonian University in Kraków also has popular Eastern language departments, with the Japanese department ranking no. 1 with a competition rate of 13 to 1. The newly opened Korean language specialization programs in the Far East Asian studies departments of Jagiellonian University and the University of Wrocław did not make it to the top rankings, but it looks like they will sooner or later.

Głos Wielkopolski, a daily of the province of Wielkopolska, analyzed the popularity of foreign language departments in Poland. One of the reasons Eastern language departments are popular in Poland is because the students have high chances of getting employed by large companies and publishers or as interpreters upon graduation. If they study Chinese, for example, they can get a monthly salary of about PLN 8,000, or about KRW 2.45 million. If they study Korean or Japanese, they can get good positions in workplaces and earn between PLN 5,000 and 6,000 in monthly income, the newspaper reported. If they can speak both English and Chinese well, their value in the job market rises. This is why many students actively participate in Eastern language courses and exchange student programs in addition to classes in school. They are also requesting the universities to increase class hours for language studies. Korea is lesser known compared to China or Japan in Poland, but its prominence as the world’s 10th largest economy is continuing to grow. In addition to economic reasons, the popularity of taekwondo and K-pop also add to the popularity of the Korean department, the newspaper said. Another reason students study Eastern languages is because they developed a cultural interest after watching movies or traveling to the East. In conclusion, it is not easy to learn Eastern languages that have different syntax and grammar, but they are worth learning, said the newspaper.

Scandinavian languages are popular because of the abundance of jobs and high levels of income. While learning Eastern languages guarantee high incomes but not so many available jobs, Polish professionals can easily move to Scandinavian countries to work. The growing interest among the Polish youth in Korean language and culture was good news. I hope to see the Korean language programs in major Polish cities prosper.



Wirtualna Polskahttps://wiadomosci.wp.pl/najpopularniejsze-kierunki-studiow-2018-najwiecej-chetnych-na-filologie-szwedzka-i-japonistyke-6275087785580673a



Głos Wielkopolski

 1) http://www.gloswielkopolski.pl/artykul/649533,jezyki-obce-praca-zarobki-co-warto-wybrac-i-dlaczego,id,t.html

 2) http://www.gloswielkopolski.pl/edukacja/g/najpopularniejsze-kierunki-na-uam-poznan-20182019-top-5,13330337,30078441/


Choi Yun-kyo (Correspondent of KOFICE in Poland)