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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 InChul Kim, 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 522 universities and institutions in 84 countries. Among 640 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 17,074 undergraduate students/ 4,166 graduate students in total.



HUFS is recognized as the best institution for foreign language education and internationalization in Korea:

  • Under the leadership of Dr. InChul Kim, 10h President of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies from 2014 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 522 universities and institutions in 84 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 including US & Canadian Studies
  • The Graduate School of International and Area Studies invites government officials from developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America every year for master’s degree programs.
  • The 7+1 Visiting Student Program is designed to enhance the global mindset of HUFS students by studying abroad for at least1 out of 8 semesters
  • FLEX Center: Home to the FLEX test (Foreign Language Examination) developed by HUFS and jointly administered by the KoreaChamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Center for Interpretation and Translation (CIT): Korea’s top institution, specializing in professional interpretation and translation services
  • HUFS Alumni are not only visible as one of the largest groups among Korean diplomats, but also rank highly: - in terms of graduates working at the National Intelligence Service (NIS) - in number of alumni serving as Grade 1 or higher government officials - among universities producing CEOs of Korea's top 100 companies - among universities that produce journalists

1952~1959

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

1960~1979

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

1969
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

1980~1989

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

1990~1999

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

2000~2014

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

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