I don’t think it’s physically possible for me to fit all I want to say about studying abroad in one post, and considering the fact I still have two levels and another 6 and a half (maybe more?) months to go, it would be a bit silly to try. In any case, I can attempt to write a little bit about what it’s like to actually study in a city that has a problem with the concept of sleep…
It’s no secret that South Korea has one of the most intense work ethics of any country… ever. You stay at work until your boss finishes, you stay at school until all your extra-curriculars have finished and then go to cram school. Here, it’s perfectly acceptable to meet your friends at gone-midnight for a coffee because you couldn’t when the sun was up. It makes my head spin sometimes, but then again, I come from a country that has a problem with breeding a culture that acts as though it’s deathly allergic to any form of study, and mocks those that want to.
(Yes, I’m well aware that is quite a large generalisation, but if you’ve set foot in a state school recently -that’s a school that you don’t have to pay for in England- then a vast majority of the students simply could not care less about their education.)
So what is it like to study at Yonsei’s KLI?
Well. For one thing, anyone who tells you that Yonsei is for ‘lazy people’ is, quite frankly, talking out of their arse. ^^”. I have 20 hours of mandatory class a week. As in, attendance counts towards my overall grade. If you miss 40 or more hours over the course of a level you fail automatically. It isn’t even really comparable to Sheffields’ weekly 5 hours of Korean teaching. At Yonsei, I start at 9am and finish at 1pm, rinse and repeat Monday through Friday. Weh.
Content wise, in class we cover 2-3 grammar points a day, depending on the teacher. That’s 10~15 grammar points a week.Taught entirely in Korean – with daily homework. In Sheffield, it was roughly an average of 3 or 4 a week, taught in english (with good reason but still). If you can see a pattern emerging here you’d be correct. Yonsei is far, far, far, far more intensive than anywhere I’ve studied before, and I love that. It’s the first time I’ve ever felt truly challenged by what I’m learning.
I don’t really know what else to add right now, I’ll probably think of some things after I’ve posted this, as is always the way… oh well!
If you were (or will be!) given the chance to study abroad, where would you like to study?