Korean Consul General Presents Vision for Korea & U.S. Relations
ESL Academy Co-hosts Educational Event in Downtown Denver
Contemporary Korean topics such as concerns over relationships with China and Japan, an assessment of the impact of the Korean-U.S. Free Trade Act, and the potential for an increase in the Korean High Technology Visa currently being discussed in the U.S. Congress were all part of a lively presentation and discussion held at the University of Colorado Denver’s ESL (English as a Second Language) Academy on Friday, February 14. The ESL Academy co-hosted the event with StudyColorado, an initiative of the State of Colorado with the purpose of promoting Colorado as an education destination for international students.
The honored guest speaker at the event, the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea, Dong-man Han, gave an absorbing presentation, “Korea Now: Vision for Korea-U.S. Relations”, and brought the audience up to date on important current events taking place in Korea and in other parts of Asia.
“South Korea is seeking to build a new order of sustainable peace and cooperation on and around the Korean Peninsula,” explained Consul General Han. He also spoke about the strong pro-American sentiments held by the great majority of South Koreans.
James McGibney, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Korea in Denver, was another special guest. Attendees of the event included Korean students and scholars, Paul Teske, Dean of the School of Public Affairs, members of the Office of International Affairs, members of StudyColorado, international students from a variety of countries, and American students.
The students learned more about the Korean economy, which is the13th largest in the world in terms of GDP (Gross Domestic Product), the 7th largest trading partner of the United States, and the 8th largest trading nation in the world. They also learned that in
the 2011-2012 academic year, more than 72,000 Korean students studied in the United States; nearly 22,000 of these students were enrolled in programs in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields.
Consul General Han wrapped up his presentation on an upbeat note, with a reference to Time magazine’s recognition of “hallyu” (“Korean Wave”), also known as “K-Pop” music, as South Korean’s “greatest export”. As visitors mingled and engaged in further discussions about the ideas presented, the presentation concluded with the phrase: “Korea – A Country Full of Hope”.
The University of Colorado Denver welcomes Korean students in a number of ways. The university is developing affiliation agreements with Korean institutions through programs in the university’s School of Public Affairs, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Business School. Eight different Korean sponsoring agencies are currently sending students to CU Denver. Many international students choose to first attend the ESL Academy for English immersion in order to facilitate English proficiency and ensure academic success in degree programs. Several of the ESL Academy’s Specialists are familiar with Korean culture, having lived and taught in the country; they provide a friendly, welcoming environment and are committed to helping students succeed.