There’s a surge in interest in Korean culture and language on college campuses, and universities such as Boston University are responding by expanding their curriculum, reports BU Today.
The impact of Psy’s Gangham Style has been well publicized, but at BU, the Mixx K-Pop Cover Dance Crew also gets some credit. The student group’s videos have attracted a large following and their stated goal is to promote a K-Pop loving culture on campus.
Serialized TV dramas are gaining large followings in the U.S. with students often learning about the shows from their parents.
“You don’t know how many testimonies I have heard,” says Jaemin Roh, a senior lecturer in Korean. “‘My mom converted me to Korean drama.’ ‘But your mom is not Korean, is she,’ I’ll ask. ‘No, she’s Malaysian.’”
Interest in Korean culture, however, is not just limited to entertainment. Enrollment in Korean language classes has surged from 127 in 2008 to 312 last school year.
Some of that can be attributed to the growing Korean student population. This year’s 1st year class at BU includes 60 Korean students, a 50 percent increase from 2005.
“It’s an astounding growth,” said J. Keith Vincent, a Japanese language professor, about enrollment in Korean language classes.
“Korean culture is cool” said Eugenio Menegon, a former director of the BU Center for the Study of Asia.
You can read more about what’s behind the Korean wave in BU Today.