Language of Instruction: Dutch
For many centuries, the Korean peninsula formed one state, but as a result of the Cold War, in 1948, two states emerged: North-Korea and South-Korea. Despite South-Korea being cut-off from the outside world for many centuries, in the course of the last couple of decades, it has swiftly developed into an industrial giant. As for communist North-Korea, its lack of contact with the Netherlands is gradually coming to an end. World-wide, more than 70 million people speak Korean, and Korean communities are abounding.
The Bachelor’s Programme
Leiden University is unique in offering a programme in Korean language and culture. The first year of the Bachelor’s programme is mostly devoted to learning the language: in small groups, students are taught a language very different from their own, with a script that is nevertheless relatively easy to master. Despite the long-term dominion and influence of China and Japan, Korea has succeeded in maintaining its own identity remarkably well. Students are made aware of the richness of Korean culture through courses on Korean history, religions, and literature, to name just a few examples. In the third year, students specialise in the field of study closer to their heart. Moreover, owing to an agreement between Leiden University and the Yonsei University in Seoul, as well as to other contacts, students can follow part of their Bachelor's or Master’s programme in Korea.
See for more information the department website (in Dutch) or the timetables (partly in English)
Following the basic programme, the Korea Studies programme can be combined with one of the 'practical studies' or PraktijkStudies (International Management & Culture, European Union Studies, Journalism and the New Media, Book and Publishing or the Educational minor) or with other options and, possibly, an internship.