Korea has a long history and rich cultural traditions, which makes it a fascinating place to study. Korea has played a vital role in East Asian history in interaction with China and Japan, such that a better understanding of Korea is necessary for a complete understanding of East Asia. Today, South Korea is among the top 10 trading partners of the United States, and North Korea is considered to be among the top national security concerns. Korean is the official language of both South and North Korea, which have a total combined population of around 73 million (50 million in the South and 23 million in the North). Korean is also spoken in large ethnic Korean communities in China, Japan, the USA and Central Asia.

Since the late 1990s, there has been growing interest around in the world in Korean popular culture, the so-called “Hallyu,” or Korean Wave. Going beyond love of television-dramas, movies, and K-Pop, the Korean Wave reflects a desire to fully appreciate Korean popular culture and life style through popular media. To some degree, Korean life style and culture are becoming part of our own culture. By learning Korean, we expand our awareness of a vibrant culture that is both modern and traditional.

Majors & Certificates 

Asian Studies Major, Certificate in East Asian Studies; visit the Majors & Certificates page for more information.

Korean Flagship Program

The Korean Flagship is a rigorous program for undergraduate UW-Madison students of any major who want to reach a professional level of competence in Korean. Students admitted to the program take courses at UW-Madison during the academic year and summer, participate in out-of-class tutoring and extra-curricular programming designed to maximize their Korean language and culture learning, and study abroad for a capstone year at Korea University in Seoul, where they complete an advanced program of study and a professional internship. More information and application visit the Korean Flagship Program website.


Rachel Weiss, rweiss@wisc.edu

Language Table

Monday & Friday from 4-5 pm
1351 Van Hise Hall
Contact: Ms. Jaerin Ahn, ahn43@wisc.edu

Study Abroad 

You can study Korea in South Korea. Contact International Academic Programs for more information. Additional opportunities are available through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Student Organizations 

East Asian Cultural Exchange; browse the Wisconsin Involvement Network for more information.


Consider an internship where you can use Korean, either in the US or abroad. An internship in any field can complement your language study and can provide valuable professional experience.

Non-credit Classes

Affordable non-credit language classes offered on campus in the evenings, on the weekends and in the summer. Learn more