A Brief History

Since its founding in 1954, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) has played a significant role in reconstructing Korea after the Korean War by producing numerous CEOs and outstanding diplomats, who are competitive enough to strive forward in the global stage. Now under the leadership of President Jeong-Woon Park, HUFS is currently teaching 45 foreign languages, and stands as the number one global university in Korea. Combining studies in the humanities, law, social sciences, business, and computer science, students naturally grow as global leaders, equipped with both professional knowledge and language proficiency.

HUFS has various programs that meet the ambitions of young people. Through the 7+1 Study Abroad Program, HUFS supports students to study at least one of eight semesters in a foreign country. HUFS is shaping ‘beyond-language’ programs, such as overseas internship programs at KOTRA (Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency) and Korean Embassies all around the world. HUFS is also the first university to organize a dual master’s degree program with the UN mandated University for Peace (UPEACE).

HUFS is accelerating its movement in recent years in order to move forward to a world-class university. With its emphasis on a global mindset, it has made exchange agreements with 543 universities and institutions in 93 countries. Among 697 faculty members, international professors make up 30% of the total. Truly, what HUFS is looking at is not only competition with local universities, but competitiveness in the whole world.
HUFS has been producing talented individuals who could further Korea’s modernization and promote world peace. HUFS has three campuses located in Seoul, Global(Yong-in), and Song-do (under construction, near Incheon International Airport). The two campuses accommodate 17,346 undergraduate students/ 2,574 graduate students in total.

HUFS is recognized as the best institution for foreign language education and internationalization in Korea:
- Under the leadership of Dr. Jeong-Woon Park, 12th President of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies from 2022 to present
- Ranked 3rd in the world in language education
- Ranked first in Korea among other universities in terms of Internationalization indicators
- MOUs signed with 543 universities and institutions in 93 countries
- Operates dual master’s degree programs with UPEACE (The UN mandated-University for Peace)
- HUFS Graduate Schools offer master's degrees in 85 programs and doctoral degrees in 68 programs
- The Graduate School of International and Area Studies invites government officials from developing countries in Asia, Africa, US & Canadian and Latin America every year for master’s degree programs.


Korea’s only institution of foreign languages

December 30, 1952
Establishment of Dongwon Educational Foundation (Dr. Kim Heung-bae, Chairperson)
January 18, 1954
Establishment of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
April 20, 1954
HUFS opens in the interim schoolspace at Yeongbo Building at Jongno 2-ga, with departments of English, French, Chinese, German, and Russian
April 1, 1955
Dept. of Spanish established
September 1, 1957
Relocation to the new building in Imundong, Dongdaemungu, Seoul 1958 133 students become the first graduates of HUFS


Around the world expands Korea’s global reach

April 1~6, 1961
Dept. of Japanese and the Graduate School established March 1963 Dept. of Italian established
December 16, 1963
Dept. of Malay-Indonesian, Dept. of Political Science and Diplomacy, and Dept. of International Trade established
January 7, 1965
Dept. of Arabic and Dept. of International Administration established
December 1, 1966
Dept. of Portuguese, Dept. of Thai, and Dept. of Vietnamese established
December 6, 1967
Dept. of International Economics and Dept. of International Law established
research institutes including the Institute of Economics and Business Administration, the Language Research Institute, the Institute of Chinese Studies, and the East European and Balkan Institute established
December 31, 1970
Dept. of Dutch established December 31, 1971 Dept. of Hindi established
January 28, 1972
Graduate School of InternationalTrade established
December 26, 1972
Dept. of Turkish established
February 1, 1974
Dept. of Swedish (ScandinavianLanguages) and Dept. of Korean Education established
September 1, 1974
Foreign Language Training andTesting Center established
December 27, 1975
Dept. of Persian established
March 2, 1978
Dept. of Communication and Information established
September 1, 1979
Graduate School of Interpretation and Translation established
September 22, 1979
Yongin Campus established.Dept. of English, Dept. of French, Dept. of German,Dept. of Russian, Dept. of Spanish, and Dept. ofArabic established


HUFS began a new era as a full-scale university

October 2, 1980
Upgraded to a university
October 2, 1980
Establishment of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences approved. Dept. of Philosophy, Dept. of Mathematics, Dept. of Physics, and Dept. of Chemistry established(Yongin) Dept. of Chinese, Dept. of Japanese, Dept. of Portuguese,Dept. of International Trade, and Dept. of Economics established
November 3, 1980
Graduate School of Educationestablished
March 1, 1981
Dr. Kim Dong-seon inaugurated as 1stpresident
October 20, 1981
(Yongin) Dept. of Malay-Indonesianestablished
October 5, 1982
(Yongin) Dept. of Thai, Dept. of Italian, and Dept. of Swahili established. (Seoul) Dept. of Computer Science established
October 29, 1983
Graduate School of ManagementInformation Systems established
March 1, 1984
Dr. Hwang Byeong-tae inaugurated as 2nd president
June 21, 1986
Ms. Lee Sook-gyeong inaugurated as 2nd chairperson
November 6, 1986
Dept. of Polish and Dept. of Romanian established
October 23, 1987
Dept. of Linguistics, Dept. of Czech, Dept. of Hungarian, and Dept. of Yugoslavian established
February 5, 1988
Dr. Park Pil-soo inaugurated as 3rd president
October 29, 1988
(Yongin) Dept. of Environmental Science and Engineering and Dept. of Microbiology established


Producing specialized talents

April 14, 1990
Dr. Lee Gang-hyuk inaugurated as 4th president
April 14, 1994
Dr. Ahn Byong-man inaugurated as 5th president.
November 14, 1996
HUFS dubbed Best University for Training International Experts
December 3, 1996
Graduate School of International and Area Studies established
November 11, 199
7 HUFS selected as an Outstanding University in Globalized Education
March 9, 1998
HUFS selected as an Outstanding University in the Comprehensive University Evaluation
August 24, 1998
Dr. Cho Gyu-cheol inaugurated as6th president
September 10, 1999
Dept. of Spanish chosen as aBK21 Core Area Project Team


Taking great strides to become a prestigious global university at the lead of Korea’s globalization

January 18, 2000
Dr. Byun Hyung-yoon inaugurated as the 3rd chairperson
March 30, 2001
(Seoul) Ground-breaking ceremony of new main building
January 28, 2002
Dr. Hong Il-shik inaugurated as 4th chairperson
August 24, 2002
Dr. Ahn Byong-man inaugurated as 7th president
January 16, 2004
Dr. Baek Wan-gi inaugurated as 5th chairperson
February 17, 2004
(Seoul) Ground-breaking ceremony held at the Student Hall for first-ever dormitory and opening ceremony held for the new main building
April 16, 2004
Dr. Han Seung-heon inaugurated as 6th chairperson
September 7, 2004
i-HUFS established
October 29, 2004 ~ March 28, 2005
Lee Nam-joo inaugurated as 7th chairperson
June 22, 2005
HUFS selected as an outstanding university in capital-area university specialization in the capital area under the "project to establish an educational system to foster people to make inroads into the BRICs" countries of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development
February 17, 2006
HUFS selected as the best university in the 2005 Comprehensive University Evaluation
March 1, 2006
Dr. Park Chul inaugurated as 8th president
May 23, 2006
Annual CIUTI General Assembly held at HUFS
July 21, 2006
HUFS selected as an outstanding university in capital-area university specialization by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development. Cooperation agreement signed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
January 2007
Agreement signed to establish a third campus in Songdo in the Incheon Free Economic Zone
January 2, 2007
BRICs International Forum Hall and Video Lecture Hall opened
January 9, 2007
Agreement signed with the city of Incheon to establish a center for interpretation and translation (tentative name) in Songdo
March 2007
First Internship Students dispatched to overseas offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
September 27, 2007
Ranked 10th in overall and 2nd in globalization in Joongang Daily University Ranking Evaluation
December 11, 2007
Ranked 3rd among full scale Korean universities on the National Customer Satisfaction Index (NCSI)
March , 2008
Dr. Park Chul inaugurated as 8th president
UPEACE master’s degree program initiated
1st KOTRA Internship Students dispatched
March 1, 2010
Dr. Park Chul inaugurated as 9th president
March 1, 2014
Dr. Kim InChul inaugurated as 10th president
March 1, 2018
Dr. Kim InChul inaugurated as 11th president
March 1, 2022
Dr. Jeong-Woon Park inaugurated as 12th president