Fulbright Korea’s U.S. Education Center (link to Korean home page) ( Link to English home page) is part of a global network of more than 400 “EducationUSA” advising centers supported by the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Our activities in Korea place us at the cutting edge of the information revolution as it re-shapes academic advising. Consider the following.
- South Korea has the most advanced and extensive digital networks in the world, both fixed (fiber optic) and mobile. Such innovations as broadband internet, social networking and 3G mobile communication arrived in Korea years before they came to the U.S. , Europe and other parts of the world.
- Korea continues to send far more students to the U.S. on a per capita basis than any country in the world, and continues to rank near the top in absolute numbers.
All organizations in Korea are adapting to this rapidly changing media environment. For example, the U.S. Embassy has launched a very popular internet cafe (Cafe USA) on Daum, one of Korea’s leading portals. The current ambassador to Korea, Kathleen Stephens, a former Peace Corps volunteer here, authors a very popular blog which is published simultaneously in both Korean and English. The Embassy public affairs office operates an information center blog and posts information to the web about the Embassy’s American Corners.
In relation to all of these efforts, the Fulbright Commission’s U.S. Education Center plays a unique role. Fulbright Korea became involved with “student counseling” back in the 1960s, and its efforts expanded in parallel with the growing numbers of Korean students going to the U.S. for study abroad. The purchase of the Fulbright Building, which was dedicated in January of 2000, augmented our ability to provide web-based advising and information services in the Korean language, to prospective Korean students and their parents, and in English, to U.S. colleges, universities and other educational organizations seeking to recruit Korean students.
- We encourage U.S. colleges, universities, and other educational organizations to “Partner with Fulbright Korea in Cyberspace,” by using our services to enhance their exchange activities with Korea. As a binational commission, we have unequaled credibility in the Korean education sector.
- We offer high quality localization services to translate materials into Korean and adapt them to Korean user preferences.
- We maintain a technical support staff, alongside our educational advisers to support a growing array of web services. We operate from the Fulbright Building in Mapo, which is owned by the Korean American Educational Commission. This blog exists to support activities of the U.S. Education Center. Jim Larson maintains a related blog on Korea’s Information Society which frequently touches on education issues.
In April of this year we are pleased to be hosting a U.S. State-Department sponsored workshop on “Social, Mobile and Visual Media” with the theme of “Advising in the Digital Age.” Fifteen advisors from other EducationUSA centers around the Asia region will join staff from the U.S. State Department and our Fulbright web team in Seoul to explore cutting-edge issues that are transforming the nature of advising in the digital age. More on this topic in later posts.