중앙데일리

European executives to study, drink at Yonsei

Mar 19,2007
Participants of the Executive Training Program at a welcoming ceremony at Yonsei University on March 14. From left, Igor Sureau, Sergio Mello, Ewelina Kulesza, Jens Frank Hagemeyer, Krzysztof Gronowski, Wolf Schaarschmidt, Guido Fantino and Peter Rigo. Provided by Yonsei University
Nine European business managers took a leave of absence from their companies in Italy, France, Germany and Poland and came here to learn about Korean markets.
Sponsored by the European Commission, the nine managers have been participating in the Executive Training Program in which they study Korean language, culture and business environments for a year, splitting their time between Europe and Korea.
“After a three-week Korean language course in London, we all passed the beginner-level Test of Proficiency in Korean,” said Krzysztof Gronowski, a participant from Poland. “It was a very tough program.”
The participants studied Korean language and culture at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London for three weeks from January through February.
Before the language course, they studied Korean history, culture and business management at schools in Paris and Milan from November to December last year.
“The Korean market has been identified as a key market for European companies and the European Commission wants to develop the trade between the Korea and the EU,” said Carine Lebecque, executive director of the French Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Launched in Japan in 1979 and in Korea in 2002, the program has seen nearly 1,000 European executives participate, according to the chamber.
“The program saved years for me,” said Binh Adjemian, Incheon division director of Veolia Water Korea at a press conference on March 9. Mr. Adjemian participated in the program in 2004. “I think Koreans can understand English but do not want to speak in English. The Korean language skill that I learned through the program really helped me in negotiating with Korean employees.”
Starting this year, Yonsei University joined the program, and offers intensive language training and business courses for the participants from March through October.
“Studying at Yonsei University will be a great opportunity for participants to experience Korean drinking culture in the Sinchon area and to build a powerful social network among businessmen here,” said Park Yong-suhk, associate professor at Yonsei Business School.
The participants will also be given an opportunity to do three-month internships at Korean companies. “Although it will be nice to work at a subsidiary of a European company here, I really hope to do an internship at a Korean company such as Samsung SDS,” said Wolf Schaarschmidt, senior vice president of Computer-Service-Organization, from Germany.
Those interested in joining the 2007-2008 program should apply by May 15 at www.etp.org.


By Kim Soe-jung Staff Writer [soejung@joongang.co.kr]



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