Studying Korean language

Usually, I am talking about travel and fun in Korea, but today I wanna talk with you about the Korean language.

In 2009, I was in the 4th year at university, I got an offer to go to Korea for 3 weeks and study Korean language. The program was free, I needed to buy just a flight ticket.  My parents said ‘Yes!’ And I always wanted to study the Korean language. Of course, it is possible to learn the language in 3 weeks but still…

So, I joined that program with my sister and friend. We prepared all documents and were exciting about the upcoming trip. The courses were proceeding at Hanyang University (한양대학교). We were staying at the university dormitory. The rooms were full-equipped: 2 beds, tables, wardrobes, shelves, small fridge, and bathroom.

The university campus was kinda large. It took us around 10-15 mins by university shuttle bus (which is free) or 20-30 mins walking to get to the building where we had our language classes.

About Hanyang University

Hanyang University was established in 1939. According to statistics of 2017, the University is ranked 5th among all universities in South Korea. There are 2 campuses of the university: Seoul campus and Ansan campus. There are 15 faculties and 60 departments in Seoul campus, and about 40 different majors in Ansan, or as it is also called ERICA, campus. More than 30,000 students studies at Hanyang University.

University has its own hospital. Actually, almost every university in Korea has its’ hospital. Hanyang university hospital has an international department, where you can find English, Chinese and Russian coordinators. Therefore, many foreign patients are coming here.

The main building of Seoul campus

Language courses

Each university in Korea has Korean language courses. And tuition fee is pretty similar. Usually, 1 semester, which duration is about 2 months, costs approximately 1,500 USD. Duration of 1 class is about 4 hours. The course programme differs from uni to uni. For instance, at Hanyang University once a week students have a culture day. All students of Korean language courses are going somewhere (parks, museums etc).

Who are the buddies?

University assigns a buddy to each foreign students. Buddies are local students who help foreign students to adjust to Korea faster, easier and better. Buddies help with homework, show the city and tell about Korean culture and history.

Unfortunately, not all universities have buddies. I didn’t have a buddy at Hanguk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS). By the way, I was lucky enough to attend language courses at that university as a part of my Bachelor program. But that is another story.

Seoul campus of HUFS

Pros and Cons

I studied the Korean language in Hanyang University and HUFS. So what is a difference between these 2 universities?

First of all, Buddy programme in Hanyang University is very useful. I learned a lot about Korea from my buddy. It’s not just a chance to practice the language, it is an opportunity to learn more about country’s culture and history. Although at that time my level of Korean was equal, except few words that I learned during the courses, I didn’t face any problems when I was speaking with my buddy. We were mixing Korean and English and added body language.

HUFS provides a good ‘speaking’ program. Every semester students have to do a presentation in Korean. During the presentation it’s important to use a grammar that student studied during the semester. In addition, during the classes teachers try to talk to students. Students who reach an advanced level start to do the debates and discussions.

Korean traditional village that we visited as a part of Language programm

Once a semester we had outdoor activities in HUFS. At Hanyang University we had such activities every Wednesday.

 

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