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Group shot on the stairs
Korean Language Flagship Center students, faculty, staff with directors of the Center for Korean Studies and the Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center

This spring, the Korean Language Flagship Center (KLFC) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa secured $1.3 million to advance Korean language education. On May 1, the Defense Language National Language Education Office announced Flagship programs awarded a four-year grant. KLFC is the sole Korean language Flagship program bestowed the competitive grant and is one of just 19 language Flagship programs nationwide.

Group of people
Sollal (Korean New Year) celebration in February 2024

Among a plethora of opportunities KLFC extends to students is a one-year Capstone program in Korea. This July, five UH Mānoa students will participate in the Korean Flagship Overseas Program at Korea University in Seoul. Christine Mau and Keziah Yoo received the prestigious Boren Scholarship which will help fund their study abroad experience. The coveted award provides funds for undergraduate students embarking on international study in regions critical to U.S. interests. Both students follow a long line of Boren scholars from UH Mānoa.

Mackenzie Migdal, a dual major in political science and Korean at UH Mānoa completed KLFC’s program in 2023.

Center for Korean Studies
Center for Korean Studies

“I’m proud of who I have become. Learning different languages expands our linguistic abilities and broadens our cultural horizons, fostering empathy and understanding. Languages connect us to the world, and I’m thankful to the Korean Language Flagship for teaching me this,” said Migdal who graduated last summer.

Matthew Eteuati, currently immersed in the Korean Flagship Overseas Program, hopes to work for the federal government, where he can utilize Korean language skills to forge new connections and develop contracts that are mutually beneficial to multiple parties.

“The results achieved through international cooperation, regardless of the field, are exponentially larger than alone,” Eteuati said. “A superior proficiency in Korean language will allow me to bridge the two countries politically and industrially.”

More on KLFC

Since its inception in 2002, the KLFC has been a beacon of excellence in language education, aiming to cultivate specialists with superior-level proficiency in Korean. Through immersive language learning environments, tutoring programs and a one-year Capstone program in Korea. The center has nurtured a generation of professionals and scholars deeply connected to Korean language and culture.

The KLFC accepts applications year-round. Those interested in dual undergraduate degrees, Korean proficiency improvement, an overseas program and internship in Korea, or professional career opportunities are strongly encouraged to apply. Flagship applications can be submitted to the UH Mānoa Korean Language Flagship Center website.

KLFC is housed in the UH Mānoa College of Arts, Languages & Letters.

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