Friday, 19 September 2014

Yonsei University Korean Language Institute Review

Yonsei Korean Language Institute (

The largest program in Korea with a massive foreign student body the Korean language school at Yonsei is well known within Korea and abroad.

What foreigners say: Believed to be to heavily focused on grammar, catering more to prospective university students who are doing a language bridging course and where non-serious learners go for a term just to party.

Cost: Is at the most expensive end for language courses at 1,680,000 KRW/Term (200 hour course)

Living: located in the Sinchon / Hongdae area in Eastern Seoul. famous for it's lively night life and array of interesting coffee shops, bars, restaurants and shopping. The epicenter of youth life in the city and a great place for those who want to party as much as they study and expose themselves to the infamous night life of Korea. That said while it may be fun to visit these areas occasionally, living in them isn't for everybody. That means walking home and passing bar after bar and the occasional drunk. Also means there will be occasional couples fighting or general drunk loudness nearby your officetel / hasukjip or dormitory. It also means that you will be sharing your experience with a large proportion of other foreign students (something I know some people would rather avoid). Living in this area is also on the more expensive side especially for a one room studio. Expect to get a lot less for more with average one room prices around 500,000KRW/Month with a 5,000,000KRW Key Money or More. Hauskjips and Dormitories will cost less but provide fairly small rooms with communal services (Not great if you plan on entertaining!!)

Student Body: A large foreign student body does not mean a diverse one. Classes will be dominated by Japanese and Chinese learners and then American students in the summer. Expect your class demographic to be 80% Japanese / Chinese.

Atmosphere: Great atmosphere particularly in the summer. A real party / college town feel. A lot of mingling outside and during classes. Large foreign student population means less staring and more English menus and signs. Yonsei is also one of the more prestigious universities in Korea and you can share in the honor (all be it by association!) this also means you will be able to attend the Yonsei v Korea university games!

Culture / Job Opportunities: As the largest Korean language program in Korea most companies and TV networks advertise positions and part time opportunities through Yonsei. TV networks and model agencies can be spotted on campus scouting for talent or conducting interviews from time to time.

The Sawons Rating:

       4 / 5 Sojus
An excellent option for a beginner to Korea who is on the younger side and wants to Party hard and study hard. Also a great option for someone with an interest in Japan or China  and wants to practice those languages while also learning Korean. However it is probably the most expensive for fees, accommodation and cost of living! If you're budget is tight then choose elsewhere.

User Reviews:
Please add your own reviews in the comment section addressing the following criteria

Student Body
Soju Rating.



  1. Hi, I'm Thea and I'm 25 years old. I plan to study a short course in Korea next year. I'm a beginner now. I really want to improve 4 skills, get the highest at TOPIK examination and become an interpreter. Can you please advise which school will be suitable for me with the average price? And please mention the living price included so I can consider to choose. I'm still working very hard now and till I get enough money I cannot go. Thank you so much for your blog, it's very helpful!

  2. Hello my name is Hugo and I’m doing prelimary research on which courses I should be going for in about 2 years time by then I will have finished university and will be about 22 years old. I’m Chinese and I’ve got a couple of questions. Where and how do people usually make new korean friends since everyone in the language course is a non-korean and if so, which uni would be easiest to make such friends. Secondly, how feasible is it to study an actual course in the uni (I major in economics) as I’ve heard yonsei can have their lectures taught in English. Many thanks