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Hi! I just saw your contribution to the study in Korea directory :). I had a couple of questions if you didn't mind; How did you manage to get evening classes instead of day classes? What was your school schedule like/did you get any free time? Do you think you were missing much by taking classes at night rather than during the day (school events, etc.)? How involved did you get (clubs, etc.)? Overall experience in Korea (people, culture, how you were treated as a foreigner, etc.) Thank you!!!!
My situation was/is a bit different from most of the others who have contributed to that reblog thread because I’m not a full-time student in Korea (that’s why I was hesitant to add to the reblog, but figured there might be a few people who are interested in evening courses). I work at an elementary public school, and for the first year or so, I had been self-studying. A few friends and I decided to invest in some actual lessons to kick our Korean into gear and enrolled together into the Yonsei evening courses.
The evening course, however, is a part-time program, meaning that the classes don’t meet every day, hence the pace is slower (It takes four semesters of the evening course to complete Level 1 and Level 2. However, after Level 2, the other levels are completed within each evening course semester, which is INSANE). Also, being a part-time course, Yonsei doesn’t sponsor visas for those enrolled in the evening program. The program, therefore, consists of mostly teachers, folks involved in the business world, and spouses married to either Koreans or people who are working long-term in Korea. Despite the part-time status, if you complete the program all the way through level 6, you’ll receive the usual graduation/completion certificate that those who complete the full-time course do.
I guess the school schedule part of your question doesn’t apply to me, but I can say that working full-time while attending the evening classes was exhausting. As for extra-curricular involvement, all the KLI resources are open and available to evening class students. If you have the time to take advantage of them. For example, there was a KLI-sponsored cultural trip out to the country side, and many of my classmates signed up for the trip. It depends on what you do for a living during your non-student hours.
Then the final part of your question: an overview will take me too long to write! If you have the time, feel free to peruse the rest of my blog (SHAMELESS PLUG) to get an idea of my experience in Korea. I am a tall, thin, tan-skinned Latina American, so read my experiences with that lens on. Obviously there are some aspects of foreigner life in Korea that are universal, but there are also aspects that can be individual based on various personal factors like race, weight, nationality, etc.
Hey! You've mentioned before that you love where you live. Mind going into more detail about your area and why you like it?
I’m always happy to rep my ‘hood! I live in a neighborhood called Bomun-dong located in Seongbuk-gu, one of the northern districts of Seoul.
Oh, Bomun-dong, how do I love you? Let me list the ways:
1) Working class, family-oriented feel that reminds me of my nieghborhood back in the States.
2) Living right on line 6, a line that might have a bit of a bad rap for being puke colored on the map, but offers easy transfer access to the more major lines. Lines 1, 2, 3, 5, and 4 (in that order) are all within a 15 minute train ride from my station.
3) Since we’re talking about public transportation, the buses that service my area are insanely extensive. I can go all the way to Hongdae without a transfer. Or Sinsa. Or the new happening area Suyu. Just one bus transfer to Apgujeong or Gangnam Station. Seriously, one of my biggest regrets is not looking into the buses sooner because I can go to most of the hot spots directly via bus.
4) A lovely stream that cuts through several other neighborhoods and ultimately connects to Cheongyecheon. I look forward to the warmer weather because walking the stream from its start at Gwanghwamun to its end at Hansung University is delightful. The end of the stream at Hansung University also boasts a wide variety of delicious-smelling eating establishments. (I’M COMING FOR YOU, 와인포차~!)
5) A beautiful, small Buddhist temple.
6) Gorgeous mountain view on those rare clear days.
7) So many university areas within walking distance. Daehak-ro is a little more than a 30 minute walk or a 10 minute bus ride away. Sungshin Women’s University is a 15 minute walk away (the shopping there isn’t as diverse as at Edae, but I’ve had waaaaay better luck shoppng there than I’ve ever had at Edae. Plus, the mandu place I go to where they sell 10 for 2,000 won is there. Plus plus, so many independent coffee shops with cute
employees atmospheres!). Korea University is walkable in around 8 minutes. I spend most of my time there since I basically live right on the border of Bomun-dong and Anam-dong. My favorite barbecue place, the best traditional tea house to study in, an amazing hole in the wall noodle place, the best 감자전 I’ve ever had in a gritty-looking 마걸리집 run by awesome ahjummas—-all in Anam-dong. Basically, Bomun-dong is perfectly situated in my opinion.
And that’s pretty much why I love where I live. 10 out of 10. Do recommend.
8) 보문시장! Bomun Market~ Fresh vegetables and fruits! A bakery!
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