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Yonsei Univerisyt or Sogang Univeristy? or...?

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in23h
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Yonsei Univerisyt or Sogang Univeristy? or...?

Postby in23h » April 15th, 2008 2:54 am

Hi all,
I'm planning on moving to Seoul to learn the language and experience what it's like there. I visited Seoul and Chuncheon back in February for 2 weeks with my cousin and loved it. :)

I wanted to attend Yonsei University at first, but then read a few forum posts somewhere (i forget the website now) where someone mentioned that Sogang was better at teaching conversational Korean and Yonsei focussed more on grammar/methods/rules. So now i'm torn between the two. I've been learning the language from the lessons here and also with a couple of Seoul National University books i picked up in Korea.

Does anyone have any advice/opinions about these universities or any others that may be better for Korean Language Programs? Or are they all good to attend?

Thanks for any help you can give :)

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Postby austinfd » April 15th, 2008 7:30 am

That's exactly the sentiment of almost everyone I've met.

I'm currently taking a class at Ehwa, (Sogang said they didn't have enough students at my level) Ehwa also has a decent reputation for teaching speaking...and we do a fair amount of talking in class, but other students I've met there still swear by Sogang.

As far as I know only Yonsei, Ehwa, and Sogang are the only schools that offer evening classes. Most universities offer intensive 20hr/wk classes that usually run in the morning.
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Postby javiskefka » April 23rd, 2008 10:13 pm

Here's a list that I put together a while ago when I was thinking of coming back to Korea for more language study: http://wiki.galbijim.com/List_of_Korean_language_institutes. The numbers after each name link to the program's home page.

My impression is that Sogang is well-suited for people living in Korea who don't need Korean proficiency for their work and might only have time for one or two terms. This is because the focus on conversation gets people quickly up to speed in carrying out their daily lives in Korea.

If you have time for a full-time program, though, I would say that Yonsei will give you a more solid foundation for more advanced proficiency.

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Postby Enkiae » April 24th, 2008 12:32 pm

From what I heard, Yonsei's language courses is more for the foreign exchange students who eventually want to go to University in Korean. So they focus more on reading scholarly textbooks and writing essays ect. It's very intensive. My friend (foreign exchange student) said they were learning something like 200 words a day. :shock:

Austin, do tell us how those language classes are going! I'm looking for some places to possibly enroll in.

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Postby hyunwoo » April 24th, 2008 6:27 pm

If you're going for a full-time Korean language course, Korea University has a good reputation for good courses, too :-) I have a lot of Korean who took the course there they were all very satisfied :-)

http://www.korea.edu/inter/inter_04_01.php

This is where you can look up the info! :-)

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Postby javiskefka » April 29th, 2008 7:08 am

Enkiae wrote:From what I heard, Yonsei's language courses is more for the foreign exchange students who eventually want to go to University in Korean. So they focus more on reading scholarly textbooks and writing essays ect. It's very intensive. My friend (foreign exchange student) said they were learning something like 200 words a day. :shock:


That doesn't reflect the experiences that I had while studying at Yonsei. Any full time language program is going to be intensive, but I don't think it's even possible to learn 200 words per day over an extended period of time. In the intermediate courses that I took there, the methodology was mainly lecture, one-one conversation, presentations, and reading and writing short pieces. I can only guess that your friend was in the very upper levels, and may have just simply not fitting well into one of the levels because of speaking way better than writing or some other imbalance compared to students who had come up all the way from the bottom of the program with no prior knowledge.

I wonder what the opinion of 미현 씨, the 고대 professor who has joined the staff of the podcast would be on this subject...

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Yonsei

Postby sherislick » May 2nd, 2008 3:15 am

I also attended Yonsei and dropped out after 5 weeks. I hated every second of it. In my opinion, Yonsei has found the most boring, inefficient method to teach a foreign language. Talk about taking the fun out of learning. After attending there, I was so scarred that I refused to speak or study any Korean for months. (That is saying a lot because I live in Korea and have Korean friends.) I felt so stupid after studying at Yonsei that I could no longer shout "저기요" in a restaurant for fear of being totally inept.

Before attending Yonsei, I studied from the Sogang University books with a private tutor one hour a week. It was slow going, but I really enjoyed it, and found that what I learned I was able to apply quickly to my everyday life.

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Postby javiskefka » May 2nd, 2008 4:50 am

I'm sorry that you had such a tough time! I guess that since you're here, you haven't given up on learning Korean, so that's good. I hope that you find a method that works well for you. When you're with your Korean friends, don't let them get all the free language practice. They're your friends, so you shouldn't be embarrassed to make mistakes in front of them as you might be with strangers. Get all the practice that you can while you're in an environment of Korean immersion. I studied Korean in the class room for two years before I ever set foot in Korea, and at the time I felt that I had plateaued and really saw a slow down in my progress. It was the daily necessity of speaking Korean that motivated me to really push myself to learn new words and observe how Korean was really spoken by native speakers and try to imitate that. I can still apply this to my learning even outside of Korea.

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Re: Yonsei

Postby mariefrenette » May 2nd, 2008 8:52 am

"Sherislick",

I have a fear about this situation happening as well. I think it comes from the fact that I am so self motivated about Korean, after studying for a year independently (and sometimes with a tutor) I am afraid to give the control over to other people. But at the same time, if I want to really progress, I have to do that I think. I need someone to correct me about everything, instead of just smiling and nodding and thinking "oh she's so cute".

So, I'm preparing to stop teaching after July and enroll in a course in September. My plan is Seoul National University because I want to do my masters degree there, so I figure it's a good way to check out the university and get to know people there.

Does anyone have any tips about how to go from learning independently to learning in a classroom without going crazy? hehe.

Marie


sherislick wrote:I also attended Yonsei and dropped out after 5 weeks. I hated every second of it. In my opinion, Yonsei has found the most boring, inefficient method to teach a foreign language. Talk about taking the fun out of learning. After attending there, I was so scarred that I refused to speak or study any Korean for months. (That is saying a lot because I live in Korea and have Korean friends.) I felt so stupid after studying at Yonsei that I could no longer shout "저기요" in a restaurant for fear of being totally inept.

Before attending Yonsei, I studied from the Sogang University books with a private tutor one hour a week. It was slow going, but I really enjoyed it, and found that what I learned I was able to apply quickly to my everyday life.

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Postby javiskefka » May 11th, 2008 1:48 am

I just wanted to make a note about my observations of the aesthetics of the different campuses that I have been to in Korea.

As for Ewha, I remember that it's quite hilly, and there was a big, new construction underway the last time that I saw it. It must be finished by now though. To be honest, I was usually in a bit of a hurry to pass through whenever I my way took me there, because I felt a little awkward about being on an all-women's campus.

Yonsei has both modern looking buildings as well as a few classic old structures. It also has an impressive avenue running through the middle, and it abuts a mountain park with extensive trails. The gentle, tree-lined paths create an environment perfect for contemplating the mysteries of life, and they burst with color during the autumn months.

i don't have anything substantial to say about the Sogang campus, because I only ever saw it from a bus.

A key factor for these three campuses is the proximity of the Sinchon and Edae districts. It's really a playground for students, full of restaurants, noraebang, cafes, bars, etc. In my limited opinion, it's the most vibrant and youthful area in Seoul. Of course you could say that this comes at a cost, as the remains of the night before can make early mornings there a little hairy.

Seoul National University seemed sprawling and modern to me. I was jet-lagged and taking shelter under an umbrella from the monsoon rains at the time that I saw it, though, so it didn't make a strong impression on me.

Korea University on the other hand had a very beautiful campus. Verdant lawns with joyful students lounging on blankets stretched out before me, the grass cut occasionally by entrances to an innovative underground mall. Monumental edifices dedicated to the pursuit of higher learning stood on the periphery. I had seen enough to be impressed, and I had barely seen the area near the front gate.

I hope my descriptions are helpful, or at least entertaining.

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Postby meibao » May 20th, 2008 4:29 pm

I don't intend on going to Korean to study the language program but am rather looking for some textbooks and workbooks to supplement my private Korean lessons here in Singapore.

I'm looking to learn proper grammer etc so that I can read and write Korean (at an average level). As for pronunciation, it's not a problem for me as I can always ask my teacher or friends to check my pronunciation.

Which of the 3 main ones (Yonsei, Sogang and EWHA) would you recommend? I know Sogang and EWHA's textbooks come along with workbooks but I'm not too sure about the Yonsei ones.

Any recommendations?

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Postby in23h » June 5th, 2008 6:49 am

Well, I decided on Yonsei. i've heard how Sogang is better, but have also heard Yonsei is great too. I'm more of an analytical thinker, and felt that (from what i heard) that Yonsei's style might work good for me. i guess i'll see how the first semester goes and have the option of continuing or trying Sogang or another. I'll be in the 1st semester this September. Any tips or advice i should be aware of for attending Yonsei that you wish you knew ahead of time?

I'm curious though about the time spent after the classes--in the afternoons/evenings, regarding studying. Have you been able to learn much from everyday stuff--going to places, watching tv, etc.? I'm guessing i'll be learning the basics at class and "survival" stuff after class. I have a couple friends in Seoul, plan on attending church there where i met some people and can meet others, and also hope to go to a swing dance club with one of my friends there. i'm hoping the combination of class and being emerged there will result in learning the language well :)

and one last thing, i bought a one-way ticket to Seoul, and a coworker just told me i may be turned away from entering the country if they don't see a round-trip ticket... do i need a round-trip ticket?
Thanks!

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Postby austinfd » June 5th, 2008 9:50 am

You should make two phone calls: 1. To the airline that you are flying with. They are responsible for making sure that all passengers are going to meet immigration requirements. Sometimes they require such a thing even if the government doesn't. So call them to ask what they will expect when you check in.


2. Call the Korean embassy in your country. I know many many people who flew into Seoul in a one-way ticket. I was one of them. However, I was coming in with a contract for employment and a visa with a definite expiration date. Since many many thousands of foreigners come into the country like that, there might be some special imigration arrangement. But since you are coming to study, it could be different.

What really matters is what the embassy says
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Postby ekj4tx » June 5th, 2008 8:12 pm

I purchased a one-way ticket to Seoul with United Airlines. On the morning of my departure I was told that I couldn't fly to Korea one-way on a tourist visa. They made me buy an additional ticket to Japan and assured me that I could easily get it refunded when I got to Korea (pain in the neck to get the refund). Anyhow, Korea immigration could of cared less whether or not I had a one-way, round trip or proof of anything else. So I guess it mostly depends on your airline. By the way, I did try to contact United before I purchased the one-way ticket but got fed up with trying to get through to an actual operator to provide me with an answer. Next time I'll just get a round-trip, the price is about the same anyway.

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Postby javiskefka » June 6th, 2008 2:12 am

Would the airline ticketing agent really know about the immigration requirements of every country that they fly into?


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