Adventures of 나쁜남자 and Kancheong Girl

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Studying Korean in Yonsei University ~ 在延世读韩文

Although my boyfriend understands English, I thought learning Korean will help me to understand his culture better. Furthermore, studying there will mean that I can spend more time with him, learn more about his country and iron out all of our differences. The decision was made at a time when we were having lots of disputes thus I thought it was timely.


I was considering between Sogang, Ewha and Yonsei. Yonsei was slightly more reputable and also the most expensive of all 3. I had a few considerations and one of it was timing. I initially wanted to quit my job (applied for no-pay-leave instead) to embark on this study thus I can only make it for Yonsei's course given that I have to give 3 months notice. In addition, I prefer to stay in hostel, if I am not wrong, it is easier to get an on campus housing in Yonsei (not a smart option if you intend to stay for more than a semester). Thirdly, I love Yonsei's campus. I was awed by that greenery hugged building when I first shopped at Ewha University street. I was there during autumn so the greens turned red.


So it was decided that I will be going to Yonsei and staying in International House, sharing a room with my NTU friend. They do provide pillow (made of straws and I am serious), bedsheet and blankets.

最后选择了延世并且申请住宿在International House。因为是和南大大学友人一起留学,所以申请住在同一间房。如果打算留学超过一个学期,建议找附近的民宿租房。宿舍会提供枕头(用吸管制成的),床单和毯子。

The loving boyfriend brought me comfortable blankets. There is a mini fridge in the room (you can use the big one in the pantry for storage of bigger items).


This is the pantry. There is no wifi in the rooms but only in the pantry area so people tend to skype here.


The application procedure was quite simple. You apply for the course (regular, summer or 3 week prog), apply for the hostel and then wait for them to inform you that you are successful. Regular course made more sense for me because the duration for the other 2 are too short. They sort of informed me quite late about the course acceptance and I was worried because it was quite close to the registration period for the hostel. I ended up emailing them to enquire. They assured me that I will be accepted and asked me to apply for my hostel direct.


The payment part was more tricky. Sending money from Singapore incurs lots of bank admin charges so I asked my boyfriend to help instead.

在开学之前,必须把学费汇款到韩国的指定户口。通过新加坡银行汇款的话,必须得付昂贵的银行费。所以只好找男友帮忙 ^^

If you have learnt some Korean language on your own (like me), need not worry, there will be a placement test to determine the right level for you. I got into level 2. I did some basic Korean language class in Singapore (ezSAM in far east shopping centre). Nothing beats learning in Korea. It is so much more efficient and effective to learn in Korea because you are placed in the right environment.


Studying Korean in Yonsei is a good experience for me. They really drill you into learning (or should I say memorise) the conversations. The teachers are great (at least I got good ones, total 4, throughout my semester). The lessons each day are split into 3 categories. The first category is textbook learning where you learn new verbs, grammar and phrases. The second one focuses on speaking. The third one is on activities and workbook.

在延世学韩文是一个很不错的经验。为了让学生加深对词汇的认识,他们注重于对话练习 (上课时必须把刚学会的课本对话背下来)。学校老师也非常的亲切和专业 (1个学期就碰到了4个老师)。一天的课程分为三大部分:学习新词汇和词句,阅读和发音,对话和作业。

Throughout the semester, there were lots of other activities organised (cooking class, poem writing, sing and dance performance). Because you only have 4 hours of lessons a day, you have lots of time to spend. You can take part in their student clubs (be prepared for lots of drinking) or hang out with friends (time to make international friends). If you are there for a motive (to meet Koreans), then be sure to join their student clubs or buddy programme (but they only pair up students of the same sex). You will get to see lots of idols, we had two filming of Running Man outside our school and one filming of The Heirs near the school, not to mention running into a few others elsewhere.

单单一个学期里,我就参加了好几个课外活动 (料理,写诗比赛,表演大会)。因为一天只上四小时的课,课外自由活动时间非常充足。你可以参加延世的课外活动团(必须很会喝酒)或则是认识认识一下来自不同国家的学生。如果想结识异性韩国友人,建议参加他们的学生团队。在延世也有不少机会能看到偶像。跑跑人就在学校门口举行两次摄影,继承者也在学校附近开拍过。

There were lots of students from China and Japan (majority) and they stay close to their community. So, if you are a minority, try to stick with the other minority or you can try penetrating into the other communities.


You don't need to worry about starving to death in school because the canteen serves great food (if you can manage to find a seat). It's cheap too, I think the one below costs less than S$5. There is a convenience store in the building (connected to SK global house but not international house so going out in winter can be quite a challenge). There are several other restaurants in the building as well, one of them selling doshirak (bento).

在学校用餐也很方便和经济(豆腐汤只需5千韩币以下)。学校里也有24小时的便利店连接SK Global House。学校里和小校附近友好几间餐厅可选择。

I think autumn is the best season to study in Korea because you get to see the first snow (첫눈) and the fireworks festival. When the semester ends, it will be winter and you can get ready to head to the ski-jang (ski parks) or do some ice fishing (Hwacheon Sancheono Ice Festival). Ok, I know it sounds more like having fun than studying. Oh, don't forget to watch the yon-ko jon (competition between Yonsei Uni and Korea Uni) that will be featured on TV (Mu Han Do Jon).


What you need to prepare:
Visa - I was only there for 4 months and Singaporeans get waiver for up to 3 months, I travelled to Japan for holiday prior to that deadline and re-entered Korea after about a week.
Sim card - getting a sim card with a data plan is useful
Bank Account - I didn't get one though and still survive the 4 months
International driving license - if you intend to drive, like in Jeju
Install some software on your computer to allow your phone to tether wifi from your laptop because there is no wifi in the room.
Bring some SGD, if you need to change, you can change to KRW at Myeong-dong (near SPAO) with quite good rates.
Large luggage and if you intend to bring your textbook (5 books at least) back, make sure you travel SQ (30kg baggage allowance). If you have friends coming to visit, try to get them to bring some back for you.


That's all for now, will update if I can think of anything else. Feel free to ask if you have any questions.



  1. Hi,

    I am planning to go over to Korea for languages. Im looking at enrolling in Yonsei, can I I know how do you feel about the course?

    1. Hi, what level are you at now? Have you taken any Korean language classes before? How long do you intend to study in Korea? I feel that Yonsei courses provide a well balanced focus on all aspects. However, it is not the cheapest of all. They provide scholarships and subsidies if you enrol into their regular course and perform well in the last semester. Is there a specific concern that you have?

    2. Hi, I'm not sure of my level actually. Been studying Korean for the past 1 year but has lot of long break in between due to the term. Better at reading and writing. able to understand simple conversation but speaking wise not very good. I'm more concern bout the expenses there. You mention bout scholarships and subsidies, is there a limit like max number of student who can apply for it?

    3. If your focus is on conversation, you can try out Sogang University's programme. It is also reputable and will definitely be cheaper than Yonsei. Scholarship is only available after your first semester and if your score is decent, they will sponsor your next semester study. Hope this helps.

  2. Hello Jane, is there any way I can contact you? Thank you.

    1. Hi, you can contact me at