Super absent, super late, super busy? In any case I haven’t been on top of the blogging recently and that fact has actually made me really sad. Other things that also made me sad this month: finishing at Yonsei.
June 13th was my last day at the KLI, and I managed to end it on a high with all exams passed, good friends made, chocolates from my teacher as a ‘thank you’ for editing some quite questionable English grammar on a medical paper, and a thoroughly mixed bag of feelings.
I can still recall the days leading up to placement (and almost crying in the interview part of it) as if they happened last week, not 10 months ago. It’s weird to think how far I’ve come since then – it might not be as far as some, but still, it’s an achievement for me and that’s all that matters.
I think the thing I’m most relieved to see the back of is compulsory hours. Mandatory attendance isn’t really a thing in the higher education system in the UK (though obviously going to your lectures is preferred), and when all your days start at 9am and you’re not a particularly spritely person in the morning… yeah. No perfect attendance for me, but it wasn’t drastically awful.
Everything else though, I think I’m actually really going to miss. I’ve said before that Yonsei is intensive, even though you’re only in class for 4 hours a day, you’re expected to do a lot of self study on top of your classwork and homework. The teaching style isn’t exactly favoured by the west either, and even though I felt a lot of the time like I was playing catch-up, when I got it – when I understood, it felt like such an achievement and really lifted my spirits. I do think though, that it is very hard to become a fluent speaker just from Yonsei, seeing as it’s really hard to meet actual Koreans since the KLI is so far removed from the actual university. And since Yonsei focuses so much on grammar than any other element of learning Korean, it can be really hard to work out how to use the vocabulary like a Korean, since the only Koreans you come into contact with are your teachers. So I do think that could be improved. I’m actually hoping to come back to Korea next summer to study at Sogang, so maybe I’ll be able to compare how a ‘speaking’ orientated program works against one one of grammar.
Yonsei really pushed me out of my comfort zones too, which I greatly appreciate. I’ve met some of the best friends I could’ve wished for this year (and said goodbye to some pretty toxic ones, but that’s another story entirely), both in class and outside of it. I’ve had some hilarious study sessions, super fun times in class and there was once a couple of weeks ago when I was going through some pretty intense family stuff, where my class actually made me cry because they were so lovely and caring. I honestly don’t understand how people can call Yonsei isolating, or too large?
I feel like if I continue I’ll just start repeating myself over and over, but in all honesty, if you’re in two minds about whether to go to Yonsei or not (if the cost of the school isn’t an issue for you), I’d say do it.