Korean Study Abroad

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A Guide to Learning Korean Abroad

Bibimbap your way to learning Korean, the beautiful language of fresh new K-pop beats that originated in a country covered in ancient Buddhist temples. You could take Korean language classes in countries all over the world, but your Seoul will soar as you explore this bustling country, where historic structures meet modern skyscrapers and outdoor adventures are just around the corner. To study Korean in Korea will help you learn the language faster, gain an edge in the world of business, and compete with South Korea’s thriving and dynamic economy. Get your Gangnam Style on with an intensive Korean language program!


More than 75 million people speak Korean in several countries all over the world, most notably China, the United States, Japan, and Russia. But we think you should go straight to the horse’s mouth and venture to Korea to take Korean language classes — with unusual foods (kimchi, anyone?), deeply embedded traditions, and gorgeous landscapes, you’ll be glad you did!

Learn Korean in Seoul. Nearly every Korean language program is hosted in the capital city of South Korea. In this UNESCO City of Design, you will discover a progressive culture with nationalistic pride and open minds — a winning combination for travelers looking to understand a new place. Find traditional markets in urban areas, and let your senses run wild as you explore this creative city that is truly the heart of “The Land of the Morning Calm.”

Beijing. Due west of Korea lies this cultural and industrial metropolis, which is home to several educational institutions, business headquarters, popular landmarks like the Great Wall of China, and — unsurprisingly given the content of this piece — Korean language classes! Hang out with the locals in the hutongs, befriend one of the many Korean expats who call China home, or stroll through gardens for a peaceful moment outside of your Korean language courses.

Cheonan. Studying Korean in Korea is hard to beat, and we think you might love to surround yourself with the Charyeong Mountains in this “Core City of the Nation.” As a major transportation hub, you’ll have easy access to Seoul in the north. Celebrate the Independence Movement, the coming of Buddha, and the beauty of South Korea at one of this city’s many festivals with traditional music and dances. With this city’s countless museums, galleries, and temples, you’ll have ample opportunities to practice Korean with the locals.

Korean Language Programs

When choosing Korean language programs, make sure it’s designed to meet your needs as a student. If you’re interested in becoming fluent in Korean, it will be extremely beneficial to sign up for an intensive Korean language program that is six weeks or longer. Courses that address vocabulary, grammar, and writing will leave you better prepared than programs that simply cover listening and speaking.

Going to an intensive Korean language school will aid you in becoming fluent more quickly. In class, you’ll spend up to four hours speaking, reading, writing, and listening in the target language. The programs often provide top-notch media facilities with highly-educated instructors. You won’t get distracted with other courses when the emphasis is on learning the language in a short amount of time with a choice of a couple of weeks or a couple of months. Studying Korean in Korea is advised if fluency is your end-goal.

Language schools are another great avenue for Korean mastery. Some of the programs are from a month to three months with daily language classes. You’ll get plenty of free time to explore your surrounding locale, giving your credit card a workout at the numerous shopping and entertainment centers in the cities — practice what you’ve picked up in your Korean courses in the real world!

If you’re more interested in learning Korean for a longer period of time, university language classes are another option. The Korea University Korean language program is a popular choice. You’ll have the opportunity to stay an entire year, where the class will take you on cultural activities and excursions. While you’re taking classes, you could also take on an internship or job in your field that will exercise your language skills even more!

Tips for Gaining Fluency in Korean

You’re in luck with learning Korean because this language is easier to learn than its Chinese and Japanese neighbors. If you want to become fluent in Korean, you should keep a few things in mind right off the bat.

Koreans (especially the older generation) really value respect, so dust off that etiquette book and remember to mind your p’s and q’s — only here you’ll be minding your ㅍ’s and ㅋ’s. Fortunately, the Korean language itself reflects this, which can be helpful as you try to pick it up. You’ll learn that different grammatical forms and structures are used to indicate the inferior, equal, or superior status of the conversationalists depending on age and class.

The best way to learn Korean is to practice with its native speakers. Many South Koreans speak English and are eager to welcome foreigners and help them learn their native language. You can find them outside of Korea, too, as many countries have large subpopulations from the peninsula. 

A homestay will allow you to really immerse yourself in everything that it means to be living in South Korea and daily (sometimes forced) interaction with locals will ensure that you make serious language progress during your time there. Additionally, you’ll be developing lasting relationships with your Korean counterparts!

Benefits & Challenges

Many world powers have a serious interest in the Korean language for business and security concerns. It remains one of America’s most substantial trading partners in East Asia. Additionally, because South Korea’s northern neighbor was declared a nuclear threat in 2003, many countries around the world need Korean speakers to monitor the evolving situation. As a student of Korean language programs, you will gain valuable cultural knowledge and language skills that will hook you up with specialized job opportunities at home.

Learning a new language is always going to be difficult at first, especially with Korean having a different alphabet. You might be flustered at first with language barriers, but you’ll be at an advantage because you’ll need to quickly remember critical phrases to navigate the cities. Once you’ve learned the foundation, grammar will eventually will improve along the way. Just practice, practice, practice, and you’ll soon be more involved in K-dramas than you thought possible.

Do yourself a favor by taking Korean language classes. Glittering dotted cityscapes and tranquil coastlines are the best classmates; when paired with your intrinsic motivation and dedication, you’ll be besties with John Cho in no time.

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A Guide To
Learning Korean Abroad


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