The AUIS Institute for Korean Studies in the Middle East | The American University of Iraq Sulaimani

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The AUIS Institute for Korean Studies in the Middle East

Wednesday, November 15, 2023 - 15:30

Institute for Korean Studies in the Middle East

The AUIS Institute for Korean Studies in the Middle East (IKSM - 중동의대표적한국학연구소 in Korean) is funded through a three-year grant from the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS-2023-INC-2230005), and pursues a threefold goal:

    • To conduct research and facilitate the dissemination of knowledge on Korea within academic settings in Iraq.
    • To coordinate the Korea-related classes (Korean language, history, culture, society, politics, and international relations) that will be taught at AUIS.
    • To promote and expand knowledge and appreciation for Korea in the Middle East at large, and in the Iraq-Kurdistan region in particular.
As a specialized research institute in the social sciences, IKSM aims to explore modernity and its ramifications throughout Korean society from an academic perspective, conducting intensive research on contemporary Korea with significant implications for East Asia at large. The Institute started its operations in the Fall 2023 semester, to foster a number of activities, including:
    • Undergraduate courses on Korean history, society, politics, culture and international relations: the first course in this group - Introduction to Korean Studies (IR 201) - started in September 2023 as  part of the IR degree program. Through the AKS grant, the Institute for Korean Studies also sponsors two full scholarships for current and future AUIS students who intend to major in IR.
    • Academic Seminars and workshops.
    • Events to promote a wider understanding of Korean culture, history, and society with the assistance of the South Korean Consulate in Erbil.    
  • Academic Exchanges with relevant institutions at home and abroad; students enrolled in the Korean courses at AUIS have the chance to be selected for a fully funded trip to Seoul, to deepen their knowledge of Korea.
The establishment of the IKSM marks a groundbreaking addition to the educational opportunities currently available through AUIS in the Iraq-Kurdistan region and the middle east at large, for students interested in the International Relations of East Asia, and Korean affairs in particular. The Institute and its activities represent a stepping stone to important developments in the newly formed International Relations major, which is heavily focused on emerging relations between East Asia and the Middle East.  IKSM seeks to build a bridge between these two regions by means of cultural exchanges and joint research; given the strategic importance of Iraq, and the dynamic rise of Korea as a global power, the potential of future academic collaborations between AUIS and East Asian partners cannot be overlooked. The AKS grant awarded to AUIS is the first of its kind to be approved for a Higher Education Institution in the region. Through  IKSM, AUIS intends to dramatically increase the offer of both Undergraduate and Master’s degree programs, language courses in the next few years, as well as the opportunity to spend a semester or a full academic year in Korea for Iraqi and Kurdish students.