Today I just wanted to share about my 7 months experience in Seoul, or more particularly my Korean language study experience at Lexis Korea to begin with. :)
I arrived in South Korea in May 2016 with little to no knowledge of the Korean language. I could only recognise the Hangul alphabets and that was about it.
Today, I can converse, listen and understand, read, and write in Korean, albeit neither perfect nor on a professional level, but enough to be able to survive in Seoul.
- 1 week of Foundation classes ✓
- 4 weeks of Beginner classes ✓
- 8 weeks of Elementary classes ✓
- 12 weeks of Pre-Intermediate classes ✓
- 5 weeks of Intermediate classes ✓
Going right back to the start - why Lexis Korea, you may ask. There are so many Korean language course providers in Seoul, including well-known universities, but here's why I chose Lexis Korea:
- The main reason being its flexibility - unlike most other providers where there is a fixed number of weeks and fixed start/end dates, Lexis Korea enables their students to commence on any given Monday, for any given weeks. This worked really well for me as I am unsure of my schedule at that point in time.
- The other factor being its prime location; with the campus located right in the heart of Gangnam and surrounded by lots of restaurants and shopping! Lexis Korea is only a 3 minutes walk from Gangnam Station Exit 5, which also leads you to a world of underground shopping. Talk about convenience! ;)
- The mix of international students! Lexis Korea welcomes students from 30+ different countries every year and I know that'll enable me to meet new friends from a very diversified group of students.
- The variety of school activities, excursions and cultural experiences - my plan was to live in Seoul only for a short period of time, so I wanted to be able to explore as much as I could during my short stay, and Lexis Korea offered one of the best variety of activities.
Within a short period of time, most students are able to communicate with the teachers and other local Koreans in (our somewhat broken) Korean. Plus, what I thought was most helpful is the practicality of the classes; most of what we learn in class, we are able to apply in our daily life.
Just to give you a gist into my progression, this is how far I got in terms of my ability to write and speak in Korean after 15 weeks of classes.
Below I delve deeper into what I enjoyed most about my Korean language study experience at Lexis Korea.
I really liked the fact that Lexis Korea runs a weekly syllabus and that the theme is different every week. We learn about a wide range of themes and like I mentioned earlier, it's not just lessons and tests, we also do practical exercises and sometimes the teachers help make it that little bit more interesting by adding interactive activities into the mix. These are amongst the fun stuff that we get to do in classes, just to list a few:
When we learnt about "accidents" and had to memorise like a hundred new words, our amazing teacher made it super fun for us to practise both our writing and conversational skills by playing reporter/anchor in class!
On top of classes, Lexis Korea also offers a variety of daily activities for their students - this is optional but recommended for those who would like to learn and experience more of Korea and its culture.
To me, what really makes Lexis Korea stand out are not just the fun classes and activities, but the amazing teachers and staff members. Their enthusiasm is top class - it is because of the teachers; their bright and vibrant personality, paired with their passion for their job is the reason why our classes and activities are so interactive and even more fun than they already are!!
And I think I'll wrap up my post for now. I initially thought of writing about everything in the one post but it's getting really long so I will break it down into a few posts. Another post will follow shortly where I will share about my work experience in Seoul as an intern, and then finally, my thoughts on life in general and what my experience was like living in Seoul. :)