Window to Seoul

Real life in the land of K-dramas


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First impressions of the SNU language program

Somehow, I’m already into my third week of classes at the Language Education Institute of Seoul National University. While the first couple of weeks are still fresh in my mind, I thought I’d give a rundown on what I think of the program so far, and how it compares to my experience at Ewha Womans University’s language institute last summer.

The SNU main gate.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am currently taking Level 5. There are 6 levels in the regular program, plus an additional “advanced academic class” (연구반) beyond Level 6. The placement test was on Wednesday the week before classes started. It mainly consisted of short 2-3 line dialogues, where we had to fill in logical-sounding responses with certain required grammar patterns. The test got more difficult the further we went, and on the latter pages there were also short answer and mini-essay questions, again with required grammar or vocabulary. We got 1.5 hrs to take the test. Continue reading

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A Small Introduction

So, I’ve been a little slower than I had intended in getting this blog started. It’s hard to believe I’ve been in Seoul for two weeks already, but a lot has happened in that time. I’ll be dividing up the last couple of weeks into a series of posts that will hopefully be more digestible than the massive ramble that might result otherwise. This post will just be a (relatively) quick introduction to where I am and what I’ve been up to.

A spectacular sunset greeted us as the plane landed at Incheon Airport.

As a student at Seoul National University’s Language Education Institute, I was lucky enough to get a room in one of SNU’s off-campus dormitories, which are essentially university-managed apartment buildings. The rooms in the off-campus dormitories are all singles. I’m in the dormitory called Yewon, which is located very conveniently in Daehak-dong (~10 minutes from the SNU main campus). The streets around the dormitory building are packed with an incredible number of restaurants, bars, grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, PC rooms, etc. – literally more than I can count. Every material thing you could possibly need is within a five minute walk, tops. Plus, most shops stay open very late. My first night here, fresh off the plane, the streets were still full of people at midnight, at which time I was able to buy everything from orange juice to a pillow from neighborhood stores. Continue reading