Since the beginning of the "Korean Wave" in the 2010s, Korean language and the Hangeul alphabet are integral parts in the dissemination of South Korea's soft power across the world. For instances, the South Korean government provided support for the preservation of Cia-Cia language of Cia-Cia ethnic group in Bau-Bau, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia - a program that was originally initiated by Hunminjeongeum Society Foundation in 2008. This study examines the perception of students with Cia-Cia ethnic background toward South Korea. Questionnaire surveys and interviews are used to further look into their perceptions. This study, that started from a thesis, finds that the students who participated in the program have positive perceptions of South Korea. Furthermore, the demonstration of Korean culture and the use of Korean language become more apparent in the students’ daily life, creating a new social reality in the local community. Such finding suggests that international assistance has effectively become a part of South Korea's soft power expansion strategy.