Traveling around is always awesome, and is full of positive emotions and memories. But during the travel we usually face different issues related to the foreign language. And today we will talk about South Korea and Korean language.
I started study Korean language in 2009, when I received a scholarship from Korean Foundation. My first language courses was at Hanyang University. It was a short intensive programme. The scholarship covered everything, except a travel expenses. But still it was a pretty good deal. The courses durated 3 weeks.
A little bit of Korean language… Hangugo (한국어)- Korean language. Hanguk (한국)- Korea, Suffix '-o' (-어) means 'language'
During the courses we stayed in the dormitory. There were 2 students in one room. The room was pretty wide: 2 tables, 2 beds, 2 wardrobes, toilet and shower room etc. The classes were in another building. In order to get there from the dormitory we could take a subway or free shuttle bus (about 15mins), or just walk (about 30 mins). As soon as it was winter, and it was kinds cold outside, we usually took a shuttle bus.
About Hanyang University
Hanyang University was established in 1939. in 2017 it was ranked as 5th university among all universities in South Korea. There are 2 campuses: Seoul campus and Ansan Campus. Seoul campus has more than 15 faculties and 60 departments, and in Ansan campus teach more than 60 specializations. In total there are about 30,000 students in both campuses.
Many of you maybe heard about Hanyang University Hospital. That hospital is located on the territory of Seoul campus. Many foreigners visit that hospital to get a health check-up or treatment.
Korean language courses can be find almost in any university, and usually the tuition fee costs about 1,500 dollars per semester. One semester durates about 2–2,5 months, and about 4 hours per day. A study programme varies from university to university. At Hanyang University every Wednesday we had a cultural class, so we were visiting different touristic places, tried korean food, learned culture etc. All expenses for cultural classes were covered by university.
Who are Buddies?
At Hanyang University each foreign student had a Buddy, a Korean friend, who suppose to help foreigner to adopt to Korea as soon as possible. Some buddies help to do a homework, or show around the country. Unfortunately, not all universities have a buddy programme. I didn't have buddy when I was studying at Hanguk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS). And as I know, you can apply for a buddy help at EWHA University.
Pros & Cons
Let's compare language courses at HUFS and at Hanyang University.
Well, first of all I would like to say that each university has pros and cons.
Buddy programme at Hanyang University can be a good advantage, but as soon as all people are different, and having buddy doesn't mean that your buddy will be helpful or just a good person. For example, one of my friend's buddies focused only on studies, and while all other students were having fun, he forced my friend to do some extra studies, checked his homework, forced to correct the mistakes, redo something etc. Well, on one side it is good, but on another side, beside books and studies, social life is also important.
I was walking around Seoul with my buddy, and it helped me to improve my speaking skills, and to learn more about Korean culture.
HUFS has a very good speaking practice. During the studies we had presentations, different discussions and debates during the class. Also, the speaking exam on Advanced level was also conducted in debate form.
Cultural classes in Hanyang university were every Wednesday, but in HUFS it was just once per semester.