Bay Area School Gets Korean Language Class, With Help From Korean Government

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 San Francisco - A Bay Area high school is launching a Korean-language program this fall, with a little help from the South Korean government.

The Korean-language program -- only the second such program in Northern California, after San Francisco’s Lowell High School -- is set to start this fall at San Ramon’s Dougherty Valley High School, reports the Korea Daily.

Only 60 U.S. public schools, from elementary to high school, currently offer Korean as a second language, and two-thirds of them are concentrated in Southern California, home to one of the largest Korean communities outside of Korea.

The Korean Education Center in San Francisco (KECSF) and the San Ramon Valley Unified School District’s educational officials recently confirmed details of their plans for two Korean language classes at Dougherty Valley High.

“As South Korea becomes an increasingly globalized society, the government has made it a mission to reach out to various communities around the world to strengthen awareness of Korea’s language and customs, and to foster greater intercultural understanding through such exchanges,” said Sang Shin Han, vice president of the Korean Education Center in Los Angeles

The center draws funding from the South Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

Sinok Kim, director of the Korean consulate’s education department in San Francisco, said the Korean government has offered a set-up grant of $25,000 to $30,000 to schools willing to host a Korean-language program, depending on the size of the class. The government will then provide a maintenance grant of $6,000 the following year. The Korean ministry is also providing 18-day scholarships to students who want to study Korean in South Korea.