Alex Stuckey, BA EALC now Working as Head Native English Teacher at Dongducheon Foreign Language High School in South Korea
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During my time at KU, EALC influenced my career path heavily as I was not sure what I wanted to do after graduating. As time went on, one of my Korean professors persuaded me to take part in the TESOL practicum during the summer of 2018. I received support from many of my professors and was lucky enough to participate in the program. That experience really allowed me to see what teaching in Korea could be like and it was then that I had decided to pursue a career in teaching overseas. Since graduating from KU I have been working in South Korea as an English teacher for two years. Currently, I am the head Native English Teacher at a Foreign Language High School here in the Gyeonggi province.
I chose to study EALC because I have a personal attachment to Korean culture since my mother is from Korea. Growing up I was raised as an American, with some cultural influence in my home but I never learned the language. While at KU I took the opportunity to study East Asian culture and Korean language in order to better understand my family's roots. The most notable experience from my time at KU was the TESOL practicum that the university offers to its students. During that time I was able to get a realistic sense of what teaching in Korea might be like and if it was something I could see as a career path to take after graduating. After returning from the program, I knew that teaching was something that I wanted to pursue.
While studying at KU the support that I received from my Korean professors was so incredibly helpful not only while I was there but afterward as well. They helped me to achieve so much and I cannot be more thankful for the dedication that they have for their students.
Alicia Marksberry, BA EALC Korean concentration (2016-2020) and BS Journalism News and Information (2018-2021) now working as a Communications Coordinator at KU Libraries
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Tell us about your experiences since leaving KU
After graduating from KU, I took a half of a gap year and travelled to South Korea the fall of 2021. I was not able to study abroad in Korea during my time at KU, so I went for three months alone without attending a university or program. I stayed in a dorm/hostel in Seoul and explored the city.
In February 2022 I became the communications coordinator for KU Libraries. Although I am not using my EALC major in this position, I remain interested in Korea and EALC. My hope is to return to Korea or travel to Japan after the pandemic.
Tell us about your time studying in EALC
My focus in the EALC department was Korean. My Korean language and culture classes were the highlights of my time as a student. Professor Lee and Professor Yun are fantastic instructors and made the classes extremely enjoyable and educational.
I made some very close friends through the Korean language program at KU. We had a lot of fun playing games in class and studying together. I also had a lot of fun visiting the Korean language table every week. It was a fantastic time to practice Korean and play with friends. The Korean program at KU was very educational, supportive, and welcoming.
I also of course vastly improved my Korean language skills. When I visited Korea, people were very surprised to hear that everything I learned came from the classroom. I told them it was because I had a wonderful Korean language professor.
I also really enjoyed my Korean culture classes. I learned so much from Professor Yun, especially in her colonial Korea class and her Korean anthropology course. The readings were so impactful, and I was able to learn so much about Korea.
I also really enjoyed a Korean art and culture course I took with Professor Stiller. Although I know nothing about art history, this course was accessible, and I learned so much. I especially enjoyed that Professor Stiller included modern North Korean art. I also enjoyed my modern Japanese fiction and film course with Professor Mizumura. It truly expanded my horizons and I lead me to start reading more Japanese novels on my own time.
If you have any interest in EALC, I strongly recommend joining the program. The professors are extremely supportive, welcoming, and knowledgeable. The language classes are rigorous, but so rewarding. You will have a fantastic time and will learn so much from the diverse and unique EALC classes offered in the department. In my opinion, it is truly one of the best EALC programs in the county. Majoring or minoring in EALC at KU will open so many doors and expand your world view.
Austin Schroeder, B.A. (2014) in Supply Chain Management and Minor in East Asian Languages & Culture: Chinese, now works as Strategic Supply Chain Manager at GARMIN Ltd.
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I graduated from KU in 2014 with a minor in EALC and a major in Supply Chain Management. I really enjoyed my time in the EALC program as it was something not a lot of other student were pursuing. However, it was during my college years of looking for internships that I knew my EALC experience would come be useful in my career. One of the main talking points recruiters wanted to discuss with me was my experience and knowledge from the EALC program. Since graduating I have utilized the language skills to gain trust and build relationship with my suppliers and located throughout Taiwan and China. It has truly been one of the best skills I learned while in my time at KU.
Brian Devine, EALC B.A., Korean, 2005
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"After graduating, I moved to Seoul Korea and began working as an English Teacher. Living in the society that I studied throughout my time at KU and putting my language training to use, my undergraduate EALC education has been of great importance to me for sure. During my second year of teaching in Korea I continued to teach English and also took a position training other teachers how to connect with their students and adapt to their lives living in Korean society. After three years in Seoul, I have decided to take some time for myself to learn more about Asia by traveling through it. I have backpacked through China, Japan, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and I am on my way to India and Nepal in the coming months. Before I set out on this epic journey, I submitted applications to graduate programs at USC, Seattle University and University of Washington. I hope to return to America to begin a Master's program in Urban Education this Fall with intent to eventually promote cultural awareness in public schools."
Bryce Clarke, BA in EALC (Japanese) 2010
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"I graduated from Sophia University's Graduate Program in Global Studies in 2012 with an MA in Japanese Studies. Since then I have worked for the past 3 years at Fujifilm where I translated quality control documents, manuals, and reports both into English and into Japanese and interpreted at monthly meetings (via conference call) with Europe and the US as well as interpreted during printer technician training sessions. I will be quitting at the end of September 2016 to pursue a freelance writing/translation/interpretation career. I have been able to find a range of work as a freelance translator and writer. I work for several different websites where I translate comic books and news articles and just about anything you can think of. I recently started working as a writer for a travel magazine where I will be introducing people to what to look out for/do while they are in Japan. I wrote, co-edited, and co-produced a documentary film titled Garage Rockin' Craze that will premier in Tokyo in January. It will be distributed nationwide and will get a DVD release."
Chip Miller, M.A. in East Asian Studies, Chinese, 1986
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Chip earned a PhD in marketing at the University of Washington, Seattle, 1990, and is now an international marketing professor at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa.
Dave Cornelius, EALC B.A., Japanese, 2009
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"I’m working for ForTrade International in Lawrence, a company provides US procurement services for Japanese, Singaporean and other foreign customers. My degree is incredibly pertinent to my everyday work. Employers who work with Japanese customers recognize the very deep divide between American and Japanese business customs and seek out employees who have a cultural sensitivity towards the Japanese, because those employees will better understand how to accommodate the customer's needs and will tend to be more patient with the idiosyncrasies of Japanese business culture."
Diana Buie, EALC B.A., Chinese, 2005
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"I graduated in '05 with a BA in East Asian Language and Culture with an emphasis on Chinese. I taught English and continued to study Chinese in Shenzhen, China, for a year, did some traveling around Europe, and returned to China to find work in Beijing. I worked for Ludus Tours as a translator and tour guide during the 2008 Olympics and the months leading up to it. I am now back at the KU School of Education getting my license to teach Chinese."
Emerson James, B.A. in East Asian Languages and Culture: Korean and B.S.B. in Finance
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I originally came to KU to study medicine before a joke in a class led to me flying across the ocean to spend a year in Seoul, Korea. Fast forward three years and I have attended three separate Korean universities, worked for the premier magazine publisher in Korea, am currently in China studying Chinese at a school for Korean students and have a great job lined up for when I return to the USA this summer. I say this so that I can also say that none of it would have been possible had it not been for the great faculty and resources available to students in the EALC department.
Speaking to future students, make sure to take advantage of everything the department has to offer - great teachers, great students, scholarships, study abroad and more. No one is going to just hand you opportunities, but there is an overwhelming amount of support for those students working hard to create their own. Make sure you are the students taking advantage of that support by developing relationships with professors, studying that which interests you and not giving up when everything seems too difficult. Your success will be the result of a team effort, and KU’s EALC department is more than willing to help you succeed as long as you are working hard as hard as they are.