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Korean (“Hangugeo” in South Korea and “Joseonmal” in North Korea) is the official language on the Korean peninsula. As the 13th most spoken language in the world, Korean boasts over 80 million speakers worldwide. 

Korean is renowned for its easy phonetic script, Hangeul, which consists of 24 letters (14 consonants and 10 vowels) written in syllabic units. Hangeul is relatively easy to grasp, and Korean has become one of the most studied languages in the world.

In recent years, interest in learning Korean has rapidly increased, along with the spread of Korean music, movies, TV dramas, food, and even cosmetics.


South Korea, acknowledged as one of the world’s most innovative countries, is currently Australia’s fourth largest trading partner and a key ally. The study of Korean gives students opportunities to explore a very different culture and prepare for their future as global citizens. The ANU Korean language program balances learning to communicate in spoken and written Korean with developing the ability to access the rich cultural resources available in Korean literature, film, and society. Facility in the Korean language can give students an in-depth historical and sociocultural understanding of issues facing Korea and its responses to the world. It furthermore equips students for a global job market and provides them with communication skills that can build strong intercultural relationships.

Study options

The study of Korean at ANU is available as a major or a minor. The Major in Korean Language consists of eight consecutive courses that build from beginner to advanced. The Korean Language Minor requires the completion of four courses. The School of Culture, History & Language also offers an Advanced Minor suitable for heritage or advanced intermediate learners of Korean. This minor consists of four courses in upper-level Korean, with a focus on developing advanced language skills that include the ability to critically discuss current affairs related to North and South Korea. In addition, students at ANU can pursue their Korean language studies in one of our study abroad options. From the flagship Year in Asia program to semester abroad and short course programs, students can study Korean at major universities in Seoul such as Ewha Womans University, Hongik University, College of Fine Arts and Design, Korea University, Seoul National University, and Sogang University, among others.

Undergraduate courses Korean 1Korean 2Korean 3Korean 4Korean 5 and Korean 6, as well as and two Advanced Korean (KORE3015 and KORE3018) offerings.

See ANU Programs and Courses for study options.

For more information on exchange programs and in-country language opportunities, visit the ANU global programs or enquire