We introduced korean language with our training programmes in Asian Studies Group just three years ago after long experience on teaching japanese and chinese.
I was pretty curious about Korea when I got opportunity to join a consulting board in behalf of american multinational company with branches in Italy and Austria, that has been involved on some troubles about management system and business culture with korean partners.
It was really useful at that time my knowledge / experience about Japan and China ‘cause I found a lot of connections in korean Jaybol-corporate system for exemple (that i needed to explain to groups of students / managers of the company) with japanese keiretsu system up to the end of bubble economy as I considered really important the social function of confucianism in China, in particular when it started to characterize most of corporate’s dynamics due its influence about social relations (group’s dynamics, decision making etc)
So when we decided to introduce Korea in Asian Studies Group it was for me like a “new love” that absolutely I wanted to discover and promote. The result was really impressive. We collected inquiries and requests to join our didactic programmes from dozens of different cities in Italy. That’s why we introduce also online classes with korean teachers because we couldn’t start with in-class activities everywhere in such short time.
After only one year we started to promote study travels in Seoul because everybody among our students shows us big intereste about going there and make their study more concrete and intensive, and actually we’ve already sent some groups of italian students in Korea.
Now we’re facing with new dimension of discovering Korea. There’s for sure a big portion of Korea-lovers that are more into pop culture (like pop music, drama, movies) and they represent a good target to introduce how Korean language is, as they always confirm with passion and happiness our study travel’s solution with great participation; but honestly the big challange for us (as Studies Centre and Consulting Firm) is represented by well framed target of university students and professionals whom are more into international certifications of korean language (TOPIK) and job placements in Korea.
There are also some italians whom already got personal professional experiences there with mixed results (somebody s enthusiastic, somebody else more embarassed for some businesses managed probably on bad way with korean partners that probably are not Key Opinion Leaders in their field or position).
As we started to build a service that could offer a concrete tool to prepare TOPIK and to join internship or master / bachelor courses in Korea we faced with too much disparate levels and programs (sometimes withouth specific didactic aim or any well organized course for bachelor or master provided in our country).
At the same time when I tried to introduce some B2b solutions to Chambers of Commerce in Italy in cooperation with organization in Korea (KOTRA is pretty interested and dynamic recently about promotion and introduction of opportunities of investments in Korea) I got again the perception that Korea as destination for business and international relations still needs social awarness about its identity and national profile etc.
As I introduced to Consul Koh recently during the meeting I joined at Korean Consulate in Milan, now it’s really time to explain to european students and young professional what does Korea represent as destination for study, specialization, working opportunities and cross cultural integration and how we need them for mutual business and concrete joint-programmes for bilateral relations.
We’re really happy to offer some occasions of discussion, learning and cultural promotion in Asian Studies Group in Milan durin del Korea Culture Week from 23 of september. We’re going to provide some open – lessons of korean language, we’ll introduce our students and we’ll tal about study experiences in Korea and we’l be glad to introduce bachelor or specialization’s opportunities as offered by universities in Korea. We really like also to start official preparation’s course for TOPIK sessions in Italy as lot of our members asked us in Rome and Milan.
Probably not so many people remember that but some month ago the has been signed a new agreement for comemrcial bilateral relations between Europe and Korea – It represents really a new dymension for international cooperation and for business ventures between EU and Korea. But I absolutely think that institutional dynamics must be reinforced by social awarness. To boost korean culture and language could have a really important function about that.