The Office of Global Affairs hosts free Korean lessons for UW Tacoma students on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the West Coast Grocery building, room 110.
The lessons started March 27 and will continue to be offered throughout the quarter. Jemin Kang, a UWT student proficient in Korean, will be heading the classes in spring quarter.
This is the first time that informal Korean lessons will be offered at UWT. The program was created due to the success of the free Arabic lessons that were recently taught based on a similar schematic.
International students — who are native Korean speakers — are being sought out and hired to oversee these workshops. The same lesson is repeated twice within a week to accommodate more students’ schedules.
Cindy Schaarschmidt, director of Student Fellowships and Study Abroad, is a key member of this initiative. She has been at UWT for the past three years, focusing on fellowships and other global learning opportunities.
“This is the first time we will be offering informal Korean lessons, after successfully pulling off free Arabic lessons,” said Schaarschmidt. “We hire international students that are native speakers of a particular language, and have some experience in mentorship, teaching and tutoring.”
Schaarschmidt also explained that they were able to fund these language facilitators with the generous investment from the strategic initiative fund. The funding will cover all costs for at least this quarter.
The aim of these lessons is to teach basic skills to beginners, providing them with the linguistic and cultural base that they would need to interact with people that speak Korean. Schaarschmidt thinks it’s the perfect platform for students to get a head start if they are heading to South Korea on the UWT study abroad program in fall of 2018.
“You can’t learn another language if you spend only an hour a week on these workshops,” said Schaarschmidt. “But these lessons allow exchange students to adapt quickly.”
The majority of UWT students won’t have the opportunity to study abroad and gain firsthand experience of other cultures. The Office of Global Affairs initiated these workshops while keeping that in mind.
“This is a great opportunity to learn a language and a culture without travelling to a specific country. We welcome students to come and join us, and we hope that we can learn with you as well,” Schaarschmidt said.