The Institute of Russian Studies at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies was established as the Institute of the Soviet Union and East European Issues on January 13, 1972 in Seoul. In those days, the international community was dominated by cold war ideology, which made any communication or exchange between the Republic of Korea and the Communist bloc virtually impossible. The IRS was the first research center that began collecting and examining periodicals from the Soviet Union, North Korea, and other socialist states. Being the only Soviet Union and East European Issues research institute in Korea, the IRS was able to obtain an unrivaled position in this field. In a country where little research was being conducted on socialism, the IRS exerted a strong influence on the direction of these studies, leading the discourse on communism. From the early 1990s the IRS began to narrow its research subjects to Russia and the CIS region. Concentrated studies on the economies, politics, societies and cultures of the CIS region and Russia became the focus of the Institute. In 1993, the Institute officially changed its name to the Institute of Russian Studies, and in July of 1999, due to space constraints, the IRS relocated to Hankuk University’s Global Campus in Yongin.

The IRS regularly invites distinguished scholars from Russia and other parts of the world to give special talks.
Invited speakers come from diverse academic fields, including politics, economics, and literature.

Summer school

Looking at the diversified methodologies applied to overseas foreign language education or English education in Korea, it seems imperative for Russian language instructors in Korea to prepare programs which enable students to actively speak Russian instead of passively learning and understanding the language. Under this project, the Russian language camp program will be Implemented during summer vacations. Camp participants will be required to use only Russian around the clock. We will develop the most effective program suitable for Korean learners of the Russian language through collaboration with Russian programs for foreigners adopted in Russia and the Russian language school programs of Middlebury College in the U.S. Aside from Russian language education, subjects related to the cultures of Russia and CIS countries will be open to promote the understanding of the languages and cultures of relevant regions. Through these experiences, students will be able to comprehensively understand those regions without visiting them personally. more