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Languages at UW-Madison



Korea has a long history and rich cultural traditions, which makes it a fascinating place to study. Korea has played a vital role in East Asian history in interaction with China and Japan, such that a better understanding of Korea is necessary for a complete understanding of East Asia. Today, South Korea is among the top 10 trading partners of the United States, and North Korea is considered to be among the top national security concerns. Korean is the official language of both South and North Korea, which have a total combined population of around 73 million (50 million in the South and 23 million in the North). Korean is also spoken in large ethnic Korean communities in China, Japan, the USA and Central Asia.

Since the late 1990s, there has been growing interest around in the world in Korean popular culture, the so-called “Hallyu,” or Korean Wave. Going beyond love of television-dramas, movies, and K-Pop, the Korean Wave reflects a desire to fully appreciate Korean popular culture and life style through popular media. To some degree, Korean life style and culture are becoming part of our own culture. By learning Korean, we expand our awareness of a vibrant culture that is both modern and traditional.

Majors & Certificates 

Rachel Weiss,

Byung-jin Lim,

Language Conversation Table 

Wednesday, 4:00 - 5:00 pm 
Room 206, Van Hise Hall 
Contact Jaerin Ahn, 

Study Abroad 

You can study Korea in South Korea. Contact International Academic Programs for more information. Additional opportunities are available through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Student Organizations 

East Asian Cultural Exchange; browse the Wisconsin Involvement Network for more information.


Consider an internship where you can use Korean, either in the US or abroad. An internship in any field can complement your language study and can provide valuable professional experience.

Summer Study Options 

The new, 5-week summer UW-Madison STARTALK Korean Language & Culture Academy is a non-residential program for high school students interested in exploring Korean language and culture. Through engaging, interactive learning activities, students will learn to communicate in Korean while exploring Korean cultural practices and traditions. No prior knowledge or experience with Korean is required or expected! Due to funding from STARTALK, the program will be offered at no cost to participants.

Non-credit Classes 

Affordable non-credit language classes offered on campus in the evenings, on the weekends and in the summer. Learn more