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Being an International Student in Korea – Part 2

May 1, 2014

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Leigh here! We covered on-campus dorms pretty thoroughly in the video, but we only touched upon the off campus ones, called goshiwon (고시원, sometimes sneakily called goshitel 고시텔 or living-tel 리빙텔). These puppies are generally tiny, with just enough room for a bed, a desk, and if you’re lucky, a television. Of course, you’ll have to be careful using that television, because goshiwon are notorious for their paper thin walls and general dinginess. If you find a good one though, they can be quite liveable.

In addition to dorm-style housing are home stays, called hasuk or hasukjip 하숙/하숙집. These are usually run by nice Korean ladies, who cook a homemade breakfast and dinner for you. There might be some house rules, like “stay outta my kitchen!” or “come home before 2am!” but all my classmates who did home stays had good experiences. Unlike other home stay programmes, a hasuk has lots of other students living in the same house, so it’s a great way to meet other people and practice your Korean. Plus, unlike dorm living, home stays have all the comforts of a home. Take advantage of that living room, son!

Regardless of whether you go with a home stay or a dorm, you’ll be asking the same questions. Good places have clean kitchen facilities, ones that include free rice, ramen, eggs, and kimchi. There should be cooking utensils and pots for you to use. There should be more than one washing machine available, at least one per floor. Most dorms have fixed times when you cannot use the washing machine, which, if there’s only one available, might mean waking up at 5am to get the jump on your neighbours. There should be a separate area to hang up your laundry afterwards. If it’s outside, make sure it’s covered, so your laundry won’t get soaked.

Don’t be afraid to haggle your room price down, either. Ask if your place has has ondol (온돌 floor heating) and central air conditioning. If it doesn’t, ask for a discount. If you get a room without a window, ask for a discount. If your room is next to the noisy office, the main door, or the bathroom, ask for a discount. If there isn’t a room with a private bathroom available, ask for a discount. If there isn’t wifi, ask for a discount. If there is deposit money and you can afford it, offer to pay a bigger deposit in exchange for (wait for it) a discount. If you plan on staying there long term, you guessed it, ask for a discount. Practice making those puppy eyes and whining “but I’m a student…” in your cutest voice.

And if that still isn’t giving you enough savings, you can be strategic about where you live to try and save some cash. Student housing is generally considered the cheapest of the cheap, but believe it or not, some areas of Seoul cost less than others. I’m going to break it down for you by subway line.

AVOID: Line 1, Line 5, Line 3

Subway lines 1 and 5 are huge subway commuter lines to other satellite cities, so big transfer stations like Sindorim and Kkachisan are a bit more upscale (read: expensive). Line 1 cuts through Yongsan-gu, which is up there with Gangnam as one of the most bougie areas of Seoul. And line 3 connects the old city centre Jong-ro with Gangnam, which means I’ll only ever be able to afford a place on line 3 in my daydreams. I could be wrong about this. Anyone out there find affordable housing in the above mentioned areas? Let us know! Spread the knowledge!

Line 2

Line 2 is your lifeline. Places like Sinchon (near Yonsei, Ewha, and Sogang Universities) and Hongdae (near Honggik Uni) have lots of student housing options. But those are some of the most happening areas of Seoul, and all the places I looked at were a bit older, smaller, and more expensive as a result. The area around Seoul National Univeristy on the other hand, is only popular with SNU students, and thus offers tons of super cheap goshiwon and one rooms (studio apartments). I had several friends live near Sillim station too. I’m not 100% on this, but it seems in Sillim you’ll find more one rooms than dorms.

Line 7

Line 7 is another big commuter line, and has lots of cheap housing. If you’re a ladyfolk, Sungsil Women’s University has some women-only goshiwon that are decent. I also recommend looking near Daerim station in Guro-gu. Daerim is kind of unpopular with Koreans. It isn’t a dangerous area or anything. There are just more offices than houses in Daerim, and there’s a huge Chinese population (score! authentic Chinese restaurants!), so for the same price of a place near, say, Hyewha station on line 4, you can get a much bigger room in Daerim. It’s not on line 7, but Wangsimi station on line 2 I hear is in the same boat.

Not on a subway!

As a rule of thumb, the closer your housing is to a subway station, the more expensive it will be. My best finds were near the back gates of universities rather than the front gates, and near bus stops rather than subway stations. It was a pain to wait for the bus in the winter cold, but I was rewarded with a comfortable room in a clean building. And I got along really well with all my neighbours. No complaints here!

The best way to find housing is to go to the area you want to live in and walk around the back alleyways. Use your eyeholes, and you’ll see signs on buildings that either say “하숙” (hasuk) or “임대” (imdae, which means “rentals”). These signs usually have a telephone number below them. Call this number. Even if you don’t speak Korean, just keep asking “방 있어요?” (bang ee-so-yo?) and they’ll figure out what you mean. I’m not a native speaker, but the following phrases definitely helped me out when I was in the market for a room:

빈 방 있나요? Do you have any free rooms?
월세 얼마예요? How much is it a month?
밥이 포함돼요? Is food included?
언제 입사하면 돼요? When can I move in?
보증금 없죠? There’s no deposit, right?
화장실을 보여 주시겠어요? Can you show me the bathroom?
인터넷은 어떻게 돼요? Is there internet?
에어컨은요? What about air conditioning?
난방은요? What about heating?
그걸 써 주세요. Please write that down for me.
빈 방이 생기면 연락해 주세요. Please contact me if a room opens up.

Anyhow, if you liked this vid, make sure you click on this pretty button below right here for more of our fancy pants TL;DRs, and to get free student housing, wherever you are in the world! Also, it’s Martina’s Birthday today! She’s still asleep as I click on the publish button. Now to make her birthday breakfast and then wake her up. Huzzah!

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Being an International Student in Korea – Part 2

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  1. I’m currently staying in a “one room” near the Yonsei University and I must say that it took me a lot of LUCK to find this place XD Actually, there -are- a lot of ways to find the best place for you, but of course it’s depending on how much budget you have and if you are claustrophobic or not (seriously..i’m not claustrophobic…but I looked at some goshiwons and felt like I’m gonna be after finishing my first term… >< ) but the best thing is to either let a korean help you talk to a realtor (if you have a bit more of a budget or if you are coming with a friend) because they have pretty good rooms, or just take 3 days to roam around the neighborhood of your university and visit every single goshiwon/goshitel/oneroom/hasukjib which you find attractive. There are 2-3 websites in english where people would put on offers of vacant rooms (like airbnb or goshipages), but I would really just use those to have some ideas on where to look for, because I would never trust those pictures XD *wideanglelensescough*
    I don't know if it's just me though, but I think staying off campus can even be cheaper (and more convenient) than staying in a dorm?

    6 years ago
  2. hi leigh ! and GUYSS ~!!
    im now already accepted at SNU LEI for this fall term
    im now desperately searching for a oneroom near snu with good price …
    is anyone here know any place to check or any info to share ? i would really appreciate that !! >w<
    anyway !have a great day !
    thanyou before^^

    6 years ago
  3. When I was in Chung Ang University last year for my summer program, I stayed in their dorm too but there wasn’t any restrictions on food or meeting area. There was a curfew but it wasn’t a problem for me cause I sleep early. :P We had a common room for meet ups and there’s computers to for you to use too. I had a roommate, 2 persons to a room. We had an attached bathroom. Overall, I would say the dorm is reaaaaallllyyyy nice… I really liked it there. :3

    6 years ago
    • That is a clone of my room at Korea University CJ Int. house except the chair!

      6 years ago
      • Yep that’s right. For foreigners the curfew isn’t enforced but need to swipe to get in and if you forgot/lose your card (between 10pm-7am), the sleeping ajjushi guard won’t be impressed with letting you in. Sound curfew at 10pm is enforced plus there’s room inspections(once a semester with three days notice, plenty of time to relocated the prohibited vodka!) Kitchens are cool too but competitive during peak times plus a free gym with bad opening hours. OMG there’s a mountain to climb to get up to the dorms! If i was going back to KU, i would live at snother place but it’s not too bad, just expensive and the nickname isCJail.

        6 years ago
  4. These dorms sound soooo much better than the ones I stayed at in China. In China, I lived in a legit Chinese dorm. Four people in a room and a desk below the bed, that was it. Also, the bathrooms were unclean and the cleaning ladies never did their job so we had an outbreak of the swine flue.
    The second time was better, but we did have curfew. If you came in too late they would lock the gate. And then you were instructed to yell for the guard to come open the gate for you.
    I am going to Yonsei this summer and I am more worried about the type of bathrooms they have in their dorms. I am also worried about how updated their kitchen and washer is. If someone could tell me that that would be great. I will be living at the Global House.

    6 years ago
  5. I have a question about the fees. How expensive is being an international student in Korea? Are y’all on scholarships? I’ve been thinking about applying for the government scholarship next year, because I will be graduating and after 6 years I can’t live on my parents’ money anymore. It’s just not fair. But I still to be a student and I really want to live in Korea.
    Leigh and everyone, how do you pay for university?

    6 years ago
  6. Thank you so much Leigh for this video! I find it very helpful! :)
    I’m gonna do the “Korea as a Foreign Language Program” at Hankuk University. As far as I’ve seen the dorm regulations, it seems as bad as you’ve described: curfew, points, no cooking facilities, … Has anyone of you follow Nasties stayed there? I’d really love to know more about the university and the dorms!

    6 years ago
  7. Okay I have a TLDR-ish question for Martina: how do you get your hair so silky smooth and not frizzy and sticking up all over the place? I have tried a lot of things but no matter what I do my hair always looks dry or oily and is frizzy all over the place. Do you have any tips?

    6 years ago
    • I did watch it! I am subscribed to all three channels! XD Thanks, do you know if its possible to get those online or is there a brand online you recommend?

      6 years ago
  8. ed

    I lived in a one-room and really loved it. It was cheaper than the university dorm and I had a really big room, my own bathroom, kitchen and washing machine. You have to be lucky to find a one-room as a foreigner, as some land lords don’t want foreigners (the risk of too much sexy time or everything getting dirty or too much partying is too high). But you can be lucky and then it is a great alternative. The main disadvantage is that you will probably have no internet and you have to do everything yourself (it’s fun understanding the korean rubbish system, buying your own cleaning equipment etc). But it’s cheap and if your lucky you’ll have some nice ajummas living close to you who’ll tell you everything you need (and really don’t need) to know

    6 years ago
  9. Thank you so much for this Leigh. I’m going to Korea next year to study and this is one of the things I’m worried about.

    and btw HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARTINA! :)

    6 years ago
  10. Happy (belated) Birthday Martina!!

    6 years ago
  11. it does sound like a prison, I thought dorms here in Toronto sucked…I take that back.

    6 years ago
  12. happy burttthdai martina !!! peww pewww #confetti~
    LEIGHHH~!!!! where are you living right now and how much it cost ?
    im applying for SNU KLI for this fall session … does anyone in there ? any recomendation of good place to stay ?
    SNU PEOPLEE ~~
    i was searching room at the internet but yea , never can be really sure if not seeing the room by my own eye
    how long did u guys think i need to come before the uni started? i planned about a week or so , is that enough for searching stuff and prep? thankkyou very muchhh <3 <3

    6 years ago
  13. Does someone knows about some websites that we could find near Ewha and Hongik university? any recommendation?

    6 years ago
  14. Happy birthday Martina !!!

    6 years ago
  15. Awesome thank you so much Liegh i would probably think about a more independent place to live for me

    6 years ago
  16. Hi everyone! I’m going to be graduating next year from high school and I really want to go to Korea for university. My parents are ok with it, they just want me to do all of my research first. I’m wanting to go to Seoul National University and I am wondering about the process of applying and everything like that. If anyone is going there please let me know! I want to make some friends in advance so I won’t be lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely and have people show me around! So if anyone has any info about this or just wants to be my friend please reply, and don’t forget to stay nasty xD

    6 years ago
    • I’ve actually changed my mind in the past few days and am thinking about Yonsei University more. Also I am thinking about doing the summer program there next summer (2015) and was wondering if anyone has done it before and has any advice/tips.

      6 years ago
    • Lee

      Hi, I know I’m really late but I was wondering if you are actually going to Korea for school. I’m graduating this year as well and will be attending Konkuk University for a study abroad program.

      5 years ago
    • I know this was 2 months ago, but I’m thinking about doing the same thing. I’ll be a senior in high school this coming school year and have been thinking about applying to a korean university as an undergrad since my sophomore year. I’ve been looking into Korea University and KyungHee University (am a big fan of lion and tiger mascots; buckeyes just don’t cut it xD). Maybe we can figure this process out together :)

      6 years ago
  17. guise I have a question for you. I’m going to Canada this fall term as an exchange student, specifically to WLU at Waterloo, ON, what do you recommend I should be looking out for mainly and any other things you could recommend please? x3

    6 years ago
  18. I have a rather involved question for all you nasties ;)
    It is my life’s mission to somehow, someday live in South Korea for however long is reasonably possible. However, I have a couple obstacles that stand in my way. The big one is my health. I’ve been chronically ill with quite a few diseases for my whole life and have had three liver transplants (necessary because of a very rare, incurable liver disease) at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, my last one happening just under three years ago. I am 26 years-old. I have never been able to get a real job or go to school for more than to get my GED and do a year-long yoga teacher training. I am in better health than I’ve been through a lot of my life and can take care of myself and live independently. I live on SSI, food stamps and what my dad can contribute.
    I have been teaching myself Hangul along with the help of a private teacher. Previously, I had taught myself some Japanese and have been studying Asian culture myself for many years. Last fall I got to go to Japan and if I thought I was pining for Asia before then it’s nothing compared to now.
    That brings up my two main problems: health and money. The money one could probably be overcome and I would still be able to receive my SSI monthly money in S. Korea. Food stamps and other things, are, of course, out of the picture, but all things considered, I might just be able to to swing it with other resources available to me.
    The big problem: My health. I need to be have access to my medications, have a doctor I can see if needed and access to medical facilities that would be able to do at least some simple tests that Mayo might require. A relationship with a specific hospital and/or clinic would be ideal.
    Besides that, I know that I would have a lot of trouble keeping my attendance up to the expectations of some schools while also completing all my homework. I don’t know if there are good language schools that offer part-time schooling?
    If possible, I would like to continue on to a technical college to study beauty (nails, skin care, cosmetics).
    I feel very confident in my learning abilities, ease with Asian culture and city life, social skills and my ability to, given the right resources, thrive independently.
    I know that this seems like a big endeavor but I would so greatly appreciate anything you can share. You might ask why I don’t try to go to school or get a job where I live. While this is, of course, within the realm of possibility, I don’t know how much health or time I have and I want to use it as efficiently as I can. I don’t want to end up terminally ill again without having at least reached for my dream. Long story short: I don’t know how, but I need to be over there. I need to at least try.
    Thank you thank you! <3
    Becca

    6 years ago
    • Hey Becca!
      I really hope that you have found a solution by now, but since nobody seems to have answered you, I thought I might try to help (even though I don’t think there’s much I can do for you, I’m really sorry). I actually wanted to go to South Korea myself, but now I don’t think it will work out.
      This Evening Program at the Korean Language Institute would be too expensive for me, but maybe you can afford it? http://www.yskli.com/_en/proc/p2.asp

      Don’t give up!

      6 years ago
  19. Some errors must be modified. Places near Daerim station is known for bad public order. I remember hearing from one of the vice station master of subway line7 that a station agent in Daerim station(line7) got rewarded for his achievement of capturing 3,000 illegal riders a year. I can’t recommend Daerim as a good place to live in; there are so many other options you can choose.

    6 years ago
  20. Hey Leigh!

    I’m hoping maybe you would know a little about the area around Sookmyung Culinary Academy in Seoul??? I’m looking to transfer as an exchange student there within the next year or two and I’m wondering if I would be able to find not only affordable housing off campus (Because I would like to be able to bring my GF with me while I am finishing school) but also maybe find part time work for myself. And also maybe get some pointers on what I would need to do for her to be allowed to work while I am in school. If you don’t know these things yourself if you’re maybe able to direct me to someone who could possibly answer my questions it would be really awesome :D

    6 years ago
  21. Any Canadians, English, or American people attending Hongik “Hongdae” University?
    Is anyone in the Animation or Game graphics major? I’m in high school as of now and I would really like to major in these things. When I graduate high school in a year, i’ll also be graduating with an associates degree. I don’t exactly know how the foreigner transfer thing works. I’d really appreciate if someone gave me insight about the process, your own experiences, information about classes and the language barrier. I’m very passionate about drawing and even though i’m not very good at it, I want to grow and draw for the rest of my life. Please help me. Even if you’re not majoring in these things, I’d still like some insight about the classes and enrollment process. Please help me English speaking foreigners in Korea.

    5 years ago
  22. To be a language student (at least where I go to) you only need to prove you have completed your education.
    It’s very easy to get in so don’t worry about it! Just apply and I’m sure there won’t be a problem!
    If you need to know more about anything just ask and I’d be glad to help!

    6 years ago
  23. Hey! I studied at Yonsei for a year and stayed at both the SK Global and I-House. There is no curfew and you can stay overnight without any forms. The rules were pretty relaxed when I was there, only thing was the floors are strictly gender separated. Visitors can go in the dorm lobbies but for the SK Global they have to have a swipe card to get passed into the actual dorm area. I-House is older and didn’t have the same type of swipe entrance though it may have changed. I really loved my time at Yonsei and the Sinchon area. I hope you enjoy!

    6 years ago
    • I’m so glad to hear this. I’m leaving in exactly four months from today and I am so nervous/excited. If I’m not mistaken, I will be housed in SK Global and I have a few questions. Did you stay in a single room or double room? If a double room, was it spacious enough for you and your roommate? Did you use the kitchen facility? Was storing food and cooking a problem?…I have more questions but I don’t want to overload you.

      5 years ago
  24. i think its totes okay , if u only want to learn the language without wanting to actually go to uni in korea afterward ,i think alot of ppl do it too ~
    if later you do so then well meet at snu this fall lololol

    6 years ago
  25. The country where I quite want to be
    Your mountains so lofty
    Your treetops so tall…

    Happy birthday Martina! <3

    6 years ago
  26. WHAT?! You mean you can’t do the Flogsta scream in Korea?! THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!

    …I should probably explain what the Flogsta scream is, huh?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vuv3y3r7UXA <— That's the scream. It's done every night at 10pm, when the silence curfew kicks in. I don't go there but my cousin does. Drives him nuts when people do this. He says it's fun on the first week of school since they have competitions on the rooftops, but after that it goes from annoying to downright terrifying. He's always afraid that someone might be screaming for real and need help.

    By the way, the tradition started in honor of a student who committed suicide back in the 70s. Lovely, huh? = n =

    Anyway, the off-campus housing in Korea seems like a much better option. I have a friend who I met online who live off campus like that, in fact! He said it's much more nice because he can actually drink and eat and not fear getting kicked out. But the walls are very thin, like Leigh said. Still, seems like the more logical option if you're willing to pull out some extra money.

    6 years ago
  27. In terms of amount of space you get for the money, goshiwons usually represent bad value. You are better off going to love motel and ask for weekly rate.

    6 years ago
  28. Do you know if they ever caught the couple who were having sex in one of the lounge? It was in the news during last summer… yes it was at Seoul City University.

    6 years ago
  29. which dorm did you stay at ewha? because I’m going to be staying at the international house and I’m worried about the strict rules, on their website it doesn’t say that they have a curfew or anything><

    6 years ago
  30. I’m studying abroad in the Fall at Yonsei University. Does anyone have any inside information on how it is to live in the dorms?

    6 years ago
    • what sort of inside info are you looking for? if you’re staying at sk, it’s not strict like what leigh talks about in the video. different genders have different floors and the opposite sex is not allowed on the others floor but you can always hang in the lobby. there is no curfew as well and all my friends party out late all the time. there is a common study room and tvroom/mini cooking area on each floor if i remember correctly. the 24hr mart linked to the dorm will be your best friend :)

      6 years ago
      • Oh coolbeans thanks, yeah I plan on saying at SK.

        6 years ago
      • Would you happen to know like how many spots are open in housing. Because my application says I’m number 200 something, is it likely that I’ll get my room?

        6 years ago
  31. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARTINA !!!

    Thank you so much for all this info !
    I will most likely be attending Ewha University for their languag program. Anyone else going to Korea in September ?
    I know absolutely no one, and it would be great to make friends before I actually leave haha. I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little scared about moving to Korea but also very excited.

    6 years ago
    • I’m going to be at Ewha in September!! Hi =)

      I understand. I’m completely terrified, but also so excited.

      6 years ago
      • OMG Hi !!
        That’s great news, are you going for the language program or are you transferring ?
        Hahaha Yeah, I’m just worried about the not knowing anybody in Korea … I’m gonna feel like such a loner lol

        6 years ago
        • I’m going as an exchange student for a semester =) Ideally I want to take the “academic Korean program” which is basically all Korean for a semester, sort of like the intensive program but I think they’re separate.
          But yeah, I’ll be there! So now you’ll know me! Hi, I’m Shay xD

          6 years ago
      • Em

        Have you already applied for the program? I’m planning on attending the language program starting this fall term, but the online registration just isn’t working, after successfully registering and then logging in, I get a blank page. I’ve e-mailed them, but so far haven’t gotten a response.

        6 years ago
        • I’m still in the process of doing the application just to go to Ewha (it’s a formality because I’ve already been accepted through my home institution – I’ll be on exchange), and it’s not quite done, so I’m not having problems like that just yet. If I don’t face problems with that first application, once I’m fully applied to Ewha I’ll apply to the language program.

          I’m sure you have tried these things already, but in case you didn’t think of one of them, have you tried updating your browser/another browser/another computer? I’ll let you know what happens when I try to apply! Keep me updated if you get a response? Good luck!

          6 years ago
        • Em

          Oh I see, your situation is a bit different from mine then.

          Yeah, I’ve actually tried with 3 different computers now (a total of 4 different browsers) and once with the help of a nerd friend (no insult intended)..he was just as confused as I was. I’m starting to fear it has something to do with the infamous Active X that Simon and Martina discussed earlier, or at least something similar. Oooh Korea, why you make internet so difficult.

          Anyway, thanks for the reply, I’ll let you know if I get a response email! :)

          6 years ago
  32. If you are studying abroad through a university you are attending in the states will they make you stay in a dorm or will you get the option of maybe a homestay? Also if anyone has stayed in a homestay, what are the pros and cons of it?

    6 years ago
  33. what software do you use for videos? editing as well as graphics? is it adobe after effects or flash?

    6 years ago
  34. Yaaay Happy Birthday Martina! And thanks so much Leigh for imparting your much needed wisdom upon us hopefuls!

    6 years ago
  35. Watch one episode of the Korean Drama ‘Reply 1994’ to get an idea of old school student home-stay life.

    6 years ago
  36. Happy birthday, Martina!!!

    I love the timing of this particular tldr because I am studying abroad at Yonsei in the summer and fall, first at the Yonsei International Summer School then as an exchange student in the Fall.

    I’m applying to stay in a dorm for both summer and fall, but I also want to experience a homestay. My biggest thing is I want to make friends there not just hang out with other international students (but I’m not excluding them either!). One of my friends stayed at a particular homestay and as a result, did not make many friends at school because of proximity/convenience.

    I don’t want that to happen, but if there are other students living in the homestay like Leigh wrote in the blog post, then that should be okay? My other friend also is going back to Yonsei and is getting an apartment (and I could potentially room with her). Do you guys have any advice for the best way to stay on/off campus and still meet new people and make friends?

    6 years ago
    • I studied abroad last fall at Korea University. Do not go to Korea with the mindset that you only want to make Korean friends and that being with other international students is less important!

      Here’s the thing: unless you’re already fluent in Korean, you will find it extremely difficult to make lots of Korean friends by yourself. I assume you’re taking classes in English and a Korean language course. Your language course will be all international/exchange students. Your classes taught in English will probably have Korean students (mine were actually mostly Korean), but even so, Korean students are scared to talk to you in English. Most of them can’t speak English fluently, and they’re embarrassed to mess up in front of better English speakers. Therefore, it will probably be difficult to befriend many of them. Even my international student friends who had been there for multiple semesters and speak decent Korean found it difficult to get to know them.

      You’re going to be around the international students a lot. That’s not a bad thing; it’s fun exploring a new country and culture with somebody else who doesn’t know it. One of my closest friends is another exchange student I met there; we were not even close to being fluent in Korean, but figuring out our own way in the country was fun.

      One last anecdote: There was a girl in my study abroad program who came to Korea with the intention of becoming friends with only Korean people. At first she only tried hanging out with the gyopo students in our group and she ignored everyone else. She hit on every Korean guy that talked to her, and she was generally just super obnoxious and the definition of an annoying American. The gyopos hated her and she had alienated the rest of the international students, so no one wanted to hang out with her. The only people that would hang out with her were non-native English speaking exchange students (like from Spain, Mexico, etc) who didn’t bother to listen to her most of the time. You’re probably not nearly as annoying as she was, but the sentiment is the same: if you decide that only Koreans are worthy of most of your time, you’ll find yourself alone a lot.

      My advice: go to Korea and be friends with people you want to be friends with, and not because they’re Korean.

      6 years ago
      • I understand the mindset behind it because I know I’m personally wary about only making friends with other international students as a way of getting out of having to use my Korean. Often people go abroad and never actually learn the language or experience the culture because they manage to stay in a safe bubble of tourist areas, fellow travellers/students, and diaspora communities.

        I think you should try to strike a balance. Try to make friends with both international students and Korean students because international students are sharing a similar experience with you and you can probably relate well, but Korean students can teach you, widen your perspectives, and also just be generally good friends as well. Balance is key though. Don’t block out other international students for the sake of immersion and don’t hide from Korea in a bubble of international students.

        6 years ago
        • I definitely agree that a good balance between Korean and international friends is a good way to go. But that can be quite hard, realistically, if you don’t speak Korean and they don’t speak English well. My advice is to join student groups that cater to both regular and international students. Those will be the Korean students who want to make international friends and are more open to speaking English.

          I think the problem that some international students have is hanging out with too many other international students at once. Having a group of 4-5 or more international students with you is fun, but generally there’s one good Korean speaker in that group and then the entire group becomes self-sufficient. If you hang out with 1-2 other students at a time, and none of you speak Korean well, it forces you to interact with the public and figure stuff out.

          6 years ago
      • cad

        Is she pretty?

        6 years ago
  37. Ok I hope someone responds to this. I am not in college yet (going to be a senior next year woot woot!) and i had some questions

    1 i have not decided if i will get a minor in Korean yet, so i was wondering if i can participate in a language program and it not be my minor.

    2 i was also wondering if any of you guys knew of colleges that offered a korean minor/language program and how that went for you.
    3 I am also worried about the costs. are there any scholarships to study Korean that you know of that might pay most or all of the costs?

    Thanks!

    6 years ago
    • 1) By language program do you mean study abroad type of language intensive? If so, then I believe you can. Of course, it might be more convenient if you were to minor/major in a language to get into the study abroad program, but that’s up to the program. Also if you want to get credit for the program then you should research the program in the schools.
      2) I’m at the University of Maryland and minoring in Korean. There’s no Korean major, but the minor is not bad. There’s four semesters of Korean Language at 3 credits each and then elective courses. I am going abroad to Yonsei to fulfill my minor and certificate requirements. Again, if you want to major/minor in a language, go for it! Just look up the programs in the colleges you’re interested in. It’s all probably on their website. You can even email them if you like!
      3) There are plenty of scholarships. Some you can google, some come with the program and you can apply for them, and most you can find through school/college. The language departments and scholarship/education abroad departments should provide you with options and resources. I’m on the lookout for scholarships as well :) so school is probably the first place to look. And also ask the study abroad advisors whom can point you in the right direction. :)

      6 years ago
      • Thank you! :D

        Yes I did mean the study abroad program because really want to come to Korea. Do you know if with a minor you can be a translator? what kinds of things can you do with a korean minor?

        Sorry for all of the questions, its just that I’m really curious!

        6 years ago
        • You can’t really do much with a Korean minor. In fact, most minors (and many majors) are pretty useless in translating to real world jobs. If you want to be a translator, you’ll have to be completely fluent in Korean, something that might not happen with a minor depending on your school’s specific requirements. You’ll have to understand all the nuances of the Korean language, idioms, etc. Taking Korean literature classes would definitely be required. Finding a current Korean-to-other language translator to mentor you would probably be the best.

          Also, make sure you’re not mixing up translation with interpreting. Translation deals with written works. Interpreting deals with spoken language, like when a K-pop group comes to the US and they have a Korean and English speaker to interpret what they say into English. Kevin, Eli, and AJ interpret in English what Hoon, Soohyun, and Kiseop say in Korean.

          6 years ago
    • 1.) Hey, it depends on what college you go to. But, most of the time, you can get a major or minor in the language you want. Preferably, most bigger schools will have a bigger selection on language choices.
      2.) Ohio State University has a major and minor for not only Korean language, but also Korean culture. Also, if you had the money Hawaii is offering an intense language study for Korean. However, this is only what I heard.
      3.) Because Korean is still rare of a language to study, I am sure you can get independent scholarships and university/department scholarships that would pay.
      Also, even if you don’t go to a school that offers Korean language you can still apply for summer intensive programs, certain ones will actually pay for your whole trip expenses. These programs will let you “boost” your language level by a year in a short amount of time.

      6 years ago
  38. hello people in the comment section!! I’m a freshman university student in Ewha Univ. (I’m Korean) I urgently need your help. One of the classes I take is called 나눔리더십 (Sharing and Leadership) and currently we are doing a teamwork project. Our group’s theme is to gather 7 foreign exchange students and meet every thursday (after 7th period) and do exciting activies to share diverse cultural activities and food!! We haven’t choose what to do exactly because our professor wanted us to ask foreign students about what you guys want to do during our meeting. Our goal is to gather 7 foreign students(especially Ewha Students!!!) by next wensday and start our progect the day after. If you are interested in our project please send me an email. Thank you my email is [email protected]

    6 years ago
    • I wish I was already there, but I won’t be until September. If you ask the international office to send out a message to exchange students they might be willing to help! They might say no, but it would be worth a try.

      Also, as I mentioned before, I’m coming to Ewha in September. It would be nice to already know someone there =) I’m Shay!

      (If you don’t respond to this then I’m totally having my friendship publicly rejected…)

      6 years ago
    • You should check if Ewha has a program that pairs regular Korean students with international students, like 연대 and 고대 do. The program at 고대 is called KUBA, and it pairs one regular Korean student with 4-5 international students. They have events for the groups, and this will be the place to find lots of international students.

      6 years ago
  39. I actually am about to go study abroad at Yonsei and I casually went to go check out the dorm regulations. I would hate for there to actually be a certain time I have to be back to the dorm! Anyone here who went to Yonsei have any tricks, tips or even heads up that I should know before I go?!?

    6 years ago
    • Hopefully I will see you guys around! I’ll only be there for the fall semester, because that’s all my home institution would work with me on…

      6 years ago
    • Hey Christy! I’m Ariel, I’m going to Yonsei this summer for an exchange program! I’ll be staying at I-house. Will you be there for the summer? (Or any other Nasties? We should meet up!)

      6 years ago
      • I am staying at the global house! Yep I am there for summer (and fall). We should have a Yonsei summer nasty meet up for sure!

        6 years ago
    • Hey I’m going to be studying abroad at Yonsei as well! Perfect timing for this tl;dr! :)

      6 years ago
      • Oh when are you going? : > I know right! I saw it on facebook and knew right there and then that I had to watch it! I always love how helpful and informative the videos are! I really wish Leigh would make some more videos for international students!!

        6 years ago
    • Really! Ok good because I would feel slightly odd to have a curfew at my age! Any other tips for a new student?

      6 years ago
      • Hmm… Personally, I feel like I-House is more homely, mainly because everyone has to share the toilets and the kitchen with the fridges so it’s easier to mix around with people and make new friends. SK Global is more private because we have our own toilets and if you’re in a single room you have a mini-fridge in your room as well. I-House has stovetops in the lounge on every floor vs SK global lounges with just a microwave, the kitchen is only at B3. SK Global has a gym, a printing room and sufficient washing machines and dryers but well… you can walk over from I-House through the connecting corridor to use those facilities as well. Um… I’m not really sure what kind of information you want (food/transport etc) so if you need more information just drop me another comment :)

        6 years ago
        • SK

          lol brings back memories of both. I didn’t know the difference between the two so I just signed up for I-House… biggest mistake. SK was so much better~

          6 years ago
      • I’ve stayed in a Goshiwon before and I don’t particularly recommend it because it’s just too small to live in for long periods especially since the goshiwons in Sinchon aren’t that much cheaper than I-House dorms. DON’T be deceived by the pictures on Goshiwon websites because the actual rooms are way way way smaller than that haha. I had no space to put my luggage and had to leave it in my closet which was too small as well so I couldn’t close the closet door. So yup, really recommend applying for the school dorms if you can :)

        6 years ago
  40. I’ll be staying at the University of Seoul dorms this summer. Does anyone know anything about them?

    6 years ago
    • I’ll be staying at UOS for a whole year starting end of August o.o please tell me about your stay when you’re done pleaaaase and good luck it seems like an awesome place :D .

      6 years ago