Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Korean Language Schools in Jinju and...

So, Seoul National University SAYS it wants to be more international, if by "international" you mean "ranked higher on the Newsweek World's top 100 universities" list...

but isn't willing to put its money where its mouth is. Another case of "I want it to look like I'm doing it, and I want my status on international rankings to reflect it... but I don't actually want to change what I'm doing." More at The Korea Times. Time for a little name and shame?

Next: I got this e-mail today. Wonder if anybody'd be able to answer this cat's question:

...I am a Humanities undergrad student specializing in Korean culture in Toronto, Canada...
Maybe you could post my question up on your blog?

Basically, I would like to know if you know of any Korean language schools in Jinju?
I am interested in pursuing a graduate degree in Korea, and I posses only a very basic level of Korean language skills.
Even if there are language schools in Seoul/Busan/other cities, I would love to know.
If you have any information regarding this, any and all help would be greatly appreciated!

To start, here's the Galbijim wiki about online learning resources...

next... what are the formal, physical-building schools people can attend?


David said...

Well, most big universities have their own "Korean for foreigners" programs, including Seoul National University. Just Google it. In Seoul, the most well known are Sogang and Yonsei. Some people also like the program at SNU.

Gomushin Girl said...

In Jinju? I ran it through Naver but there's nothing . . . the nearest language schools are probably in Daegu or Busan. Virtually all the major language schools are in Seoul, and most are affiliated with universities. Yonsei is the most famous among Americans, and while it has a solid reputation, particularly for grammar and academic Korean, it also has a reputation for being a bit of a party school during the summer sessions. Sogang is best known for being the "fun" school, and for helping students achieve excellent conversational schools. Ewha is also supposed to have an excellent teaching methodology. Korea University's program is dominated by Japanese and Chinese students, so can be an excellent place if you're looking to be forced into using your skills, but a little bit isolating and difficult to keep pace if you don't have a hanja background. Nevertheless, if you're going to do graduate school here and you're NOT looking at an GSIS program, you will want to have a solid language background.
I do have to wonder though, why you would want to pursue a degree here? Even if you are concentrating in Korean culture, many Canadian universities will offer you a much more internationally respected and (in all honesty) a more rigorous program. If I were you, I would come to Seoul and spend a good year or so in an 어학당 and perhaps a year or so working at a research institute or someplace where you can use your Korean skills as you apply to graduate schools in Canada or the US.

David said...

Hi, this is David Carruth with 10 Magazine. Here's a piece that we ran a few months back on Korean classes. There are lots of free/affordable weekend classes listed here as well as more expensive (and professional) long term courses. Hope it comes in handy. Unfortunately...I'm not aware of any classes in Jinju.

Gerry Bevers said...

You can take Korean language courses at Gyeongsang National University in Jinju. They offer six levels. Here is the link:

Korean Language Course

I worked at Gyeongsang Nat'l University for two years (1999 and 2000). They treated me better than I deserved at the time because I did not have much experience doing the job I did for them. They were very open to suggestions and quite interested in attracting foreign students, which was an attitude that was not as common as it is today.

In 2000, the university started Korean language classes for exchange students from Sheffield University, which had an exchange program them. That means their Korean language program is about nine years old, but I do not know how good it is.

Gomushin Girl said...

If this person's goal is to aquire a little Korean while they work or teach or whatnot, then a casual class for a few hours a week is probably fine, particularly if they're a dedicated student. But, if as they state, the goal is to gain fluency and go to grad school here, the best course is to enroll in a language school (I'd go for Yonsei for academic/reading Korean, personally, or Korea U if I already had some hanja background through study of Chinese or Japanese) and do things that way. While some people can and do in fact learn a great deal of Korean while teaching/studying or just living in the countryside, I don't think it can properly prepare one for graduate level work either here in Korea or in the US.

Roboseyo said...

From the guy who asked:

"Hi Everyone,
I just got an e-mail from Rob, notifying me that he posted my question up on his blog. Thanks Rob!

My name is Alex, and I've been involved in Humanities/East Asian Studies for about 5 years now. My Korean is at an extremely basic level, and I am specifically interested in pursuing a Master's focusing on film and film theory.

I have been in talks with the Korea National University of Arts (한국예술종합학교) for about 3 months now, and it seems like they are willing to take me. The problem however, is that all lectures and reading materials will be in Korean (I am allowed to submit papers in English, and exams will be given to me in English).

So I have come to the conclusion that pursuing language studies is my best course of action. I chose Jinju because most of my Korean friends live/work there. As Gomushin Girl pointed out, it might be a better option to pursue a Master's at places like UBC or the University of Hawaii. Everything is still up in the air for now, I haven't made any clear, solid decisions.

However, I do believe that language training is a must. The issue then becomes whether or not I can find an appropriate scholarship to fund this training, and if I can find affordable and reputable programs.

Thanks everyone! Again, any and all help and suggestions are greatly appreciated!"