An increasing number of Vietnamese are showing interest in learning and improving their Korean language skills after coming into contact with a variety of Korean dramas, music and the culture itself.
At one university in Vietnam nearly 30,000 people packed hallways and classrooms to take a Korean language proficiency exam. The number of people taking the test across the Southeast Asian country this year is five times greater than in 2006.
Korean companies in Vietnam have also been hiring more Vietnamese fluent in Korean with the hopes of not only recruiting talented individuals, but also bolstering economic ties between the two countries.
Meanwhile, in Indonesia more than 2,000 jobseekers attended the first-ever job fair hosted by Korean companies. Many visitors said they were attracted by the good reputations and higher pay of Korean firms.
With the Korean pop-culture craze hitting Southeast Asian countries harder than ever, analysts say the Korean government should come up with an effective system for teaching the language in these countries to further strengthen ties and take it to the next step of globalization.