Home » Column » Learning Korean in Korea: Yonsei University
How it all started
Wanting to find something meaningful to do during my free time in National Service, I set my mind to picking up the Korean Language. I took classes at the Singapore Korean International School on weekends, where I picked up the basics of Korean. As I completed my National Service, I felt a little lost at what to do while waiting for the academic year to start. Having a lot of time on my hands, I decided to take the plunge and head to Korea to improve on my Korean Language skills. It was the perfect way to spend my holidays! Improving my Korean while on a long holiday, what's not to love?
Choosing an Institute to enroll in for their Language Program was relatively easy for me. Having taken Korean lessons in Singapore, the textbooks which I was taught with were from Yonsei University. So to have sort of a continuation from my Korean lessons in Singapore, (and possibly save money on buying more textbooks) I chose to enroll in the Yonsei Korean Language Institute (연세대 한국어학당) under the Regular Program which lasted 10 weeks. I also chose to apply to stay in the school dormitory as it meant I wouldn't have to worry too much about searching for other suitable accommodations around the school.
ARRIVING AT YONSEI
Arriving in Korea, I honestly felt quite lost, being alone in a foreign land and with absolutely no idea of how to get to the dormitory after alighting from the Airport Bus. Not even being able to speak Korean semi-fluently, I managed to find a fellow student who was headed to the dormitory too and we took a cab to the dormitory together after trying and failing to find it on foot. Throughout the program, I stayed in SK Global House which was the newer of the two dormitories open for international students. The dormitory also comes with laundry facilities, a computer lab, a common kitchen and a gym!
Around the dormitory
So the dormitory I was staying in was actually just behind the school. It only takes 3 mins to travel from my room to the class. Also the path is completely sheltered so no worries even if it rains! Along the path to the school there are also a few cafes and restaurants where you can grab a bite, along with a GS25 Convenience store which you can stock up on basic supplies like toilet paper, washing powder etc.
PREPARING FOR SCHOOL
So for all students wanting to study Korean in Yonsei University's Korean Language Institute, they must first take a placement test. (Unless you have no knowledge of Korean and want to start from Level 1 in which case you are exempted). On the day of the test, there will first be a briefing about the various extra programs provided by the school and you will also be assigned a classroom to go to for the placement test.
So, the placement tests consists of 2 portions , the