King Sejong Institute Rijeka officially open

20.09.2022. / news / Int. Cooperation

The opening ceremony of the King Sejong Institute Rijeka was held yesterday, September 19, 2022, at the University of Rijeka Rectorate. The King Sejong Institute is the leading Korean-language institute brand, which provides Korean language courses overseas and extends Korean culture. The Institute in Rijeka is only the second KSI in Croatia, after the one already established in Zagreb.

The ceremony was attended by numerous distinguished guests from the Republic of Korea, the Korean Embassy in Croatia, the University of Rijeka, and partner institutions:

  • H.E. Mr. Sung-Wook Hong, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Republic of Croatia,
  • Mrs. Mina Yoo, First Secretary, Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the Republic of Croatia,
  • Mrs. Junghyun Park, Third Secretary and Vice-Consul, Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the Republic of Croatia,
  • Prof. Seong Keun Yi, Ph.D., President of Sungshin Women’s University,
  • Mr. Jongkwon Jeong, Director General of Business Division, King Sejong Institute Foundation,
  • Mr. Marko Filipović, Mayor of Rijeka,
  • Mr. Goran Palčevski, Deputy Mayor of Rijeka.

Rector of the University of Rijeka, Prof. Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Ph.D., welcomed the esteemed guests with a few welcoming words: There is a long-standing and fruitful connection and partnership between the University of Rijeka and educational institutions in Korea. Back in 2008, under the leadership of former Rector, Academician Daniel Rukavina, we established cooperation with Hankuk University (South Slavic Studies), and the Taekwondo Academy of the University of Rijeka was officially opened in June 2016 in cooperation with the World Taekwondo Federation and Pohang University of Science and Technology. I had the incredible opportunity to visit Seoul in 2018 together with a distinguished delegation of 20 scientists from around the world. I will always remember that trip and the hospitality of the Korean people. The rich history and culture of Korea, the vibrant academic and business environment, and the genuine respect for teachers and education were what impressed me the most. Our collaboration with Sungshin Women’s University started in 2020 and has greatly enhanced since then. After signing the Memorandum of Understanding, we were delighted to host the former president of SWU, Prof. Bo Kyung Yang, and her colleagues. We are extremely honored that the King Sejong Institute was founded at our University and that more than 60 people so far have already registered for the course, thus indicating our fellow citizens are eager to learn the Korean language and culture.

Mayor of Rijeka, Mr. Marko Filipović, expressed his satisfaction with yet another culture making Rijeka a true port of diversity: Occasions like this one are the prime example of the fact that developing a city on the foundations of a society of knowledge is not possible without the rich tradition and quality of our University. Today, continuing to be a society of knowledge is one of the most important directions in the developmental path of Rijeka, a path which is stimulated by numerous civil initiatives and volunteer activities aimed precisely at the further development of Rijeka as a modern, open, multicultural city. This year, we are celebrating 30 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Croatia and Korea, so this is definitely the perfect moment to open the King Sejong Institute! There is no doubt that the new generation of young professionals with a diploma from KSI will leave a significant mark on the path of further development of our city.

Prof. Seong Keun Yi, Ph.D., President of Sungshin Women’s University, expressed his satisfaction with his stay in Rijeka and people in general. Although he took up the position of SWU President only 4 months ago, he heard a lot about the University of Rijeka from his good friends and colleagues, among which is the Croatian Ambassador in Korea, H.E. Damir Kušen, Ph.D.

Ambassador Sung-Wook Hong expressed his delight with the Rijeka Carnival when he visited Rijeka for the first time this year, adding: These are significant diplomatic developments. We hope that the people of Rijeka will love the Korean language and culture.

Mr. Jongkwon Jeong, Director General of Business Division, King Sejong Institute Foundation, delivered some congratulatory remarks on behalf of Ms. Lee Haiyoung, KSIF President: For many Croatians, the Korean language and culture are emerging as objects to be explored and enjoyed, rather than the objects of mere curiosity. It is pretty humbling to hear that some Croatians enjoy the Korean culture as passionately as Koreans, with a high level of proficiency in the Korean language, too. I hope that the number of students learning the Korean language and culture in Rijeka will continue to increase, hoping it will take the lead in spreading the Korean language and culture throughout Croatia.

Prof. Marta Žuvić, Ph.D., Vice-Rector for Studies, Students and QA, and the designated Director of KSI Rijeka, concluded upon receiving the official KSI panel: To love something or someone, you must first learn about it and get to know each other. Korean language course is a novelty in Rijeka, and considering the number of registrations, 60 so far, I would say it was love at first sight for the citizens of Rijeka. The institute promotes the Korean language and culture and is only the beginning of cooperation at the level of the University, local community, and industry.

The King Sejong Institute started its work in 2007, and as of June of this year, there are 244 branches in 84 countries around the world, with more than 81 thousand students. The Rijeka branch of KSI will be located on the UNIRI Campus, and the courses are set to start in the first week of October. The Institute will provide integrated and standardized information and services for learning the Korean language and offer a true experience of the diversity of Korean culture.

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