I started my last semester in Yonsei University’s Korean Language Institute 

Posted on June 10, 2017


Yesterday was the beginning of the end of my stay in Korea as a Korea Foundation Korean Language Training Fellowship recipient.  

I started learning Korean language level 2 last September 2016 during the fall semester.  From there,  I progressed to level 3 in winter,  level 4 in spring 2017,  and now level 5 in summer 2017. However,  I may have completed all four seasons in Korea,  but because the scholarship is only for a maximum of one year,  I only get to complete until level 5. There are six levels in Korean language learning.  I am now at the academic level.  

I asked my teacher last semester how much I’ll be missing for not being able to study level 6. She said not much.  She said there is not much grammar in level 6, and that level 5 is good enough.  Considering how Yonsei University’s Korean language program is reputed to be the toughest among all language schools,  I suppose my level 5 will help me understand Korean books, news,  and journals…. Still with the help of the dictionary,  of course.  Haha.  

I tried doing advanced reading of next week’s lessons and the Reading comprehension  book seems difficult.  The texts are longer and there are so many words I had to look up at the dictionary.  

As I was reading my books,  I remembered how my classmates at MA Korean Studies (it was an international program and classes were taught in English) felt intimidated with the books we had to read for our classes.  What took me an hour to read and understand,  it took them double or triple the time.  Sometimes, even more. Well,  I now know how they feel.  The way they felt about learning in English is now how I feel with learning Korean.  

But I will not make this an impediment to my learning process.  I realized that while the huge block of Korean text seems intimidating at first,  I can actually understand a significant portion of it upon reading.  I just need to get started.