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Current Issues & Future Prospect of the Department of Korean Studies

The erstwhile linguistic orientation of the Department of Korean Studies at RUB was complemented by a more cultural studies-oriented focus on literature, history and intellectual history since 1999. The diversity in teaching and research available at Bochum has, on the one hand, helped to draw more students and graduates and, on the other hand, fostered various research cooperations within and beyond the university. Student numbers have now risen to a degree that a numerus clausus (a restriction of student numbers in accordance with teaching capacities) has been introduced in 2007.

In cooperation with the Korean Studies Institute (Institut für Koreastudien) at Freie Universität Berlin, the Department of Korean Studies at RUB conducts the five-year (from 2009) research project entitled "Circulation of Knowledge and the Dynamics of Transformation", which is generously supported by the Academy of Korean Studies (» more).

Furthermore, the department is actively involved in the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities "Dynamics in the History of Religions between Asia and Europe". Due to these collaboration networks, the department is able to offer a broad range of graduate courses and seminars on Korean history, literature, religions, thought, contemporary culture, and society and politics. A discernible accent lies on Korea’s manifold historical and contemporary ties with other East Asian regions, as well as on the implications of Korea's rich cultural heritage for present-day phenomena.

Chances for Graduates

A degree in Korean Studies opens up a wide range of chances on the job market. As economic globalization has proved to be definitely not synonymous with a diminishing or blurring of cultural differences, intercultural competencies as well as proficiency in foreign languages are increasingly sought after by employers of every kind.

Besides mastering modern Korean, M.A. graduates of Korean Studies usually own at least passive knowledge of a second East Asian language and in addition are well trained in understanding, summarizing and producing textual materials in various languages. Thus, they are ideally prepared for a great variety of tasks in business, diplomacy, media and other areas. They are of course also apt to find employment in fields of occupation common to graduates of the humanities like museums, academic and cultural institutions, libraries, publishing houses, etc.

The Korean Studies programs at Ruhr-University Bochum aim at preparing graduates for this open job market by stressing interdisciplinary methodology and the ability to understand and explain Korean subject matters within an East Asian frame of reference.

Concerning future employment chances, Bochum's double-major B.A. programs offer certain advantages. When choosing a second major next to Korean Studies, career aims should be taken into consideration. In a purely academic framework, useful impulses result especially from philological and historical subjects (including Chinese and Japanese Studies). Our student counseling service will be happy to offer advice.

First-hand experiences by alumni of RUB Korean Studies you can find here:
Interview by Juergen Muehl (2002-2009)

Academic Counseling

Departmental academic adviserChair
Dr. Martin Gehlmann Prof. Dr. Marion Eggert
Tel: +49 (0) 234 32-22919
Room: 2/08, Universitaetsstr. 134
Tel: +49 (0) 234 32-25572
Room: 2/07, Universitaetsstr. 134
Office hours: by agreementOffice hours: by agreement