First and foremost, in this post I’ll write about my own experience. This doesn’t mean that you’ll encounter exactly the same situations. Also, things like tuition fees change constantly, so make sure to regularly check Ewha’s website!
A little bit of background information: I’ve been taking Korean classes at Ewha since March 2015 (= spring season). One season (or as they call it, semester, but technically a semester takes much longer, so don’t get confused!) lasts 10 weeks and there are four sessions a year. As I said before, you’ll find more detailed information on Ewha’s website.
Every season starts with a placement test to determine your level (level 1 to level 6). This test basically includes grammar, reading and writing exercises and an oral exam (don’t worry, you don’t have to take the test; in that case you’ll automatically be put into level 1).
A few days after the placement test, that is on the first day of school, you’ll find out the results and which class you’re in (there are a few classes per each level). After a very informative opening ceremony, the actual Korean classes finally begin!
I got put into Level 2 and now that it’s over, I can definitely say that I learned A LOT! During the 4 hours of class per day from Monday to Friday, there’s tons of time to learn new grammar points and how to talk about this and that, to ask questions etc. The teachers (I’ve only had two so far so I obviously can’t say much about the others) do a great job explaining everything. The classes are well organized, but I guess this also has something to do with how nicely structured the books are.
If you don’t plan on actually coming to Korea, but you want to study Korean on your own, I recommend buying the Ewha books.They include lots of grammar points as well as texts on various topics, vocabulary sections on almost every page and a CD with numerous audio files. Every book even has a matching workbook!
On to the not so fun parts: the exam periods. I’m using the plural because there are mid-term exams and finals. Yes, in just 10 weeks, they will test your Korean skills twice! It’s quite a pain in the butt, but you could see it as an occasion to review everything you’ve learned thoroughly. During two exam days in each period, there’s a writing, listening, grammar, reading and an oral exam. You need to get at least 70/100 combined or else you’ll fail the program. Or, if you get 60 or lower in one of the tests, you’ll fail automatically.
In fact, you’ll also fail your course if you’re absent 10 or more days in total (unless you have e.g. a medical certificate). If you’re late 3 times, it will get counted as 1 day of absence, so make sure to be on time.
Besides, the Ewha language course isn’t called “intensive program” for nothing. After class, you ought to study what you learned on that day or otherwise you’ll end up completely stressed during exams (well, you probably will be anyway). And don’t forget to do your homework, since it counts towards your final score as well.
There’s another not so fun part; that is the tuition fee. At the moment, one session costs 1540000 won, which in my opinion isn’t cheap at all (unfortunately, most language institutes in Korea have tuition fees this high).
As an Ewha language student, you have access to Ewha’s countless facilities, such as the cafeterias and the main library. You’ll find basically anything on campus, be it restaurants, convenience stores or ATMs. Heck, there’s even a vintage shop (picture below).
Today (15th May 2015) was the last day of the spring course. For some, it was the last day at the language institute (e.g. the Level 6 students, who were wearing Hanboks, Korean traditional clothes, because they’re graduating). As for me, I’m glad to say that next semester, I’ll continue studying at Ewha. If you’re looking for the right language institute to enroll in, look no further! Ewha’s language institute is the place to be!
Till next time,