Korean Language and Culture Class for Indian Shipyard Welders
Korean Cultural Centre India has launched a comprehensive initiative to enhance the transition and integration of Indian shipyard welders entering South Korea as dispatched professionals. This pioneering effort aims to equip them with essential Korean language skills and cultural insights, ensuring a smooth settlement in their new work environment.
Foreign shipyard welding professionals from Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam have been working at Korean shipbuilding sites such as Ulsan and Geoje ever since the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Ministry of Justice revised E-7 visa issuance guidelines in April 2022. In the coming year, approximately 100 welding professionals from India, recruited by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. and Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., are set to embark on their Korean journey, marking the second instance of such employment since India’s initial contribution to Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. in April.
For reference, there are nearly 850,000 welders in India, many of whom have worked abroad, including the Middle East, making India an important manpower supplier that can make up for Korea’s shortage of welders.
Accordingly, the Korean Cultural Center India and Kangsung Global, which is conducting a manpower dispatch project targeting Korean shipbuilding companies, started Korean language and Korean culture-related classes from August 14, 2023, to September 12, 2023 to help Indian working professionals settle down in Korea. For one month, a total of 52 hours of lectures were held in two classes three times a week. The reaction of workers is also warm. The classes provide lectures on various Korean cultures, focusing on not only the Korean language necessary for work, but also food culture, work culture, and etiquette that are different from those of India, to the Indian working professionals.
Leading these courses is Harsh Sharma, a seasoned Korean language instructor with a decade of experience at the Korean Cultural Centre India. Drawing from his personal experiences of working in a Korean company, studying in Korea, and teaching the language, Sharma imparts accurate and practical insights to his students. Sharma said, ‘Quick adaptation in Korea is the goal of the class. Students follow well and are interested in Korea and ask a lot of questions. Passionate students are expected to finish the class well.’
YADAV RAJU SHANKAR, one of the students of this class, said, “I was worried about how to live and communicate in Korea, but I think I can learn Korean very easily and quickly through this class, and I feel like I’m already close to Korea. I’m happy to be a part of this class.”
Hwang Il-yong, director of the Korean Cultural Centre India, said, “We hope that the first learner-centred customized lecture for Indian professionals will greatly help them adapt to the field, and that many excellent Indian shipyard welding professionals will continue to be dispatched. We plan to continue to expand Korean language and culture classes in the future.”