Language Study Grants

The new Center for Critical Korean Studies will award summer fellowships to assist meritorious students in learning advanced Korean language and literature. Students who have completed at least a second year of Korean language or equivalent skills and would like to advance your studies at a Korean institution during the summer are eligible to apply.

The application for summer fellowships in 2017 is currently closed. 

If you have any further questions, please contact the Center at

2016-2017 Recipients
Vanessa Catherine Baker, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures
Elizabeth Hanna Clark, Department of Anthropology
Tian Li, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures


Elizabeth Hanna Clark

Memories from over 20 years ago at my first day at New York Broadway 한국 학교 came flooding back to me as I stepped into my classroom at Ewha University this summer. I hadn’t been in a formal Korean language classroom since I was eight years old, when as child my mom would take a bus across Manhattan everyday Saturday morning to go to Korean school. As a child I resented my mom for making me spend my Friday nights doing hangul writing practice and my entire Saturday sitting in a classroom while all my non-Korean friends were out having fun. I remember looking at her scornfully as she pasted sticky notes on furniture all over the house indicating the Korean word for the object: 장문, 의자, 탁자… My father and older brother didn’t speak Korean, so why did I have to? Like so many U.S. born Korean Americans, however, as an adult I have come to deeply regret not taking my mother’s insistence that I learn Korean more seriously. This regret stems partially from the fact that I am doing my dissertation with undocumented Korean American activists, a project that requires fluency in Korean in order to engage in deep ethnographic work with undocumented Korean Americans who feel more comfortable speaking about sensitive issues like their immigration status in their native language. But my regret also emerges from the fact that my halmoni and oldest imo passed away before I could ever have a real conversation with them about more than just what I wanted to eat, or what I did that day.

The CCKS language fellowship allowed me to take an intensive language course at Ewha University this summer. For one month I had class four hours a day, five days a week, plus homework that required me to study for another four hours a day before or after class. Class time was complemented by fieldtrips around Seoul that allowed us to practice what we had learned outside of the classroom. A rigorous three-hour final exam in reading, writing, speaking and listening also forced me to engage in consistent, determined study. It was a tiring month, but one that forced me to concentrate exclusively on language acquisition, and allowed me to recall much of what I had forgotten in the twenty years that had passed since my last time in a Korean language classroom. I visited my family in Cheongju before and after the month at Ewha and they were amazed at how much my Korean had improved. I am incredibly grateful to CCKS for allowing me the opportunity to take this important step in my Korean language journey. Not only am I more confident as I go about my dissertation work in Koreatown, L.A. and Flushing, N.Y., but I am also able to communicate with my mother and my family back in Korea in profound ways that were not accessible to me beforehand.

Tian Li

I am profoundly thankful to CCKS’ aid and consideration towards my effort to improve my Korean language and deepen my understanding of Korean culture. The CCKS summer language program fellowship enabled me to attend the advanced-level Korean language program at Yonsei University in South Korea, where I was awarded the Most Distinguished Student.

The language study program facilitated me to better read academic materials and literature in Korean, thus benefiting my dissertation writing. Also, this language learning experience prepared me to be more capable at teaching Korean language in the United States, thus promoting a more profound cultural exchange so that I can carry forward the charm and the essence of the Korean culture transnationally. The summer language program at Yonsei University not only provided language learning but also exposed me to various cultural experiences, such as Korean food cooking class, traditional Korean ceramic class, and a memorable trip to the DMZ.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to CCKS for allowing me to have this wonderful experience.