Courtesy visit of the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Greece, ,Mr. Jung Il Lee to the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

On October 21, 2021 the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Greece, Mr Jung Il Lee paid a courtesy visit to the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He was welcomed at the by the Rector, Professor M.-A. Dimopoulos, and members of the Department of European & International Relations and the Foreign Language Teaching Center.

The Rector briefly presented the history of the University and described the fields of study offered by its Schools and Departments. He then stressed on the fact that the NKUA has had bilateral cooperation agreements with the University of Seoul (UoS), Sogang University and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.  In fact, the MOU between the NKUA and the UoS was signed in Athens, when a delegation headed by Dr Dr. Yunhi Won, President of the UoS, visited the NKUA with the purpose of co-signing this bilateral cooperation agreement for the exchange of students, faculty and research cooperation.

Ambassador Jung Il Lee and Rector M.-A. Dimopoulos discussed the success of the "Korea Corner" inside the library of the Foreign Language Teaching Center of the NKUA, which opened for the student on May 13th, 2021. It is a small corner inside the library of the Foreign Language Teaching Center, where students are coming one step closer to the Korean culture; they can read or borrow helpful books, understanding the different characteristics and elements of the Korean grammar and vocabulary and also see little treasures such as traditional Korean masks and framed handbook miniatures.

The Rector mentioned that the university students, as well as people who are interested in foreign languages, have the chance to join classes and learn one or more from the 24 foreign languages taught there. Korean language is being taught since the academic year 2010-2011 and courses have attracted many students. 107 students have been registered to learn the Korean language for the academic year 2020-2021 and a totality of 398 persons have expressed their interest in learning the Korean 

language during the last 5 academic years at the Foreign Language Teaching Center of our University, despite the pandemic.

The Ambassador extensively presented his country's education system; he also enthusiastically encouraged possibilities of cooperation between the NKUA and Korean Higher Education Institutions.  He was particularly interested in exchange of students, researchers and faculty between the NKUA and Universities of his country, scholarships for students, but also collaboration in cultural programs of mutual interest.

In addition, it was noted that in Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, there is a "Department of Greek and Bulgarian Studies" of four years of study, which offers courses in Modern Greek language, Greek history and literature.

Rector Dimopoulos then informed him that during the last five academic years, 24 Koreans have enrolled in Greek language courses at the Modern Greek Language Teaching Center of the NKUA.

Finally, the Rector welcomed the Ambassador's support to strengthen the cooperation between the NKUA and Korean Universities and he concluded that "We strongly believe that cooperation between Higher Education Institutions is essential also for the strengthening of relations of the respective countries.