TL;DR – Being an International Student in Korea

TL;DR – Being an International Student in Korea

August 19, 2019 15 By Stanley Isaacs


Whole bunch of people from all over the interweb asks~ What it’s like to be international student in Korea? Well, we have no freaking idea because we have never been students in Korea But luckily intern leigh was and she’s currently a student and here to answer all your questions. I did a 18month language program from Ehwa women’s university and most of the major universities do have those language program It’s called intensive language program there are 6 levels It is cause it’s intense there are teachers like comes up to you and like “Today we’re gonna learn about big bang and look into T.O.P’s eyes they’re intense. Um..not so much So the difference between intense and not intense courses is that It’s the time that you’re studying. Intensive course are 4hours a day most of them are 9 to about 1PM. Wait 9AM? 9AM (Dda dan) I know. It’s like being back in high school it’s horrible. And teacher’s takes attendance and make you do homework it’s horrible! I heard in Korea, even for university like normal classes, you have to be there for attendance. Oh, yeah LIke they take attendance and if you don’t show up you will fail the course. It’s so true! That in Korea, you have to show up. They take attendance everyday at the certain class then if you miss more than 3 or 4 days in a low It’s a big problem. Teacher will ask you “why you weren’t here” And you will be like “my stomach hurts” And they will be like “did you go to the hospital” “Did you have diarrhea” “What colour was it?” Non-intensive courses some of them are once a week for an hour Some of them are 3 times a day for 2 hours Also in my personal experience, when we’re talking about learning language, The more you do it, the faster you learn. So, on twitter, some people asking me how long it took me to get to my current level of Korean. I’ve been studying about 2 years now. So, after a year in an intensive 4 hours a day language course I was able to read harry potter I can understand TV. You read harry potter in Korean? I ‘TOTALLY’ read harry potter in Korean. Did you read harry potter in English first? Yes, obviously? Do you like I already know what happen in this chapter. Oh, Yeah~ All these words. It is like 볼드모트? 볼드모트 볼드, Oh right. I remember when my student’s saying ‘Voldemort’ and I’m like who it’s ‘Voldemort’. 볼드모트 And then I have to teach them there’s difference between the ‘B’ and the ‘V’ because it is complicated. But my Chinese friend told me that harry potter translate in to Chinese they actually made it. In stead of just using the sound, It’s not just a Voldemort It mean something it’s like ‘cursed name person’! Okay, you said Chinese kids in your class So, was it like mostly asian kid in your class? or there whether like white or black foreigners around? It’s mostly kids from other countries around asia. So, most of the class are actually japanese and I think that’s true almost any of these intensive language programs. And there’s also many bunch of Chinese kids and I have couple friends from Taiwan and couple friends from Macao and then a lot of classmates from like Thailand and some people from Vietnam. So it’s a good mix How about america? There’s not that many English speakers. Really? Yes~ So, could you speak English at did everyone speak English at first to each other? Or did you all not understanding each other what so ever? Oh, NO! We did not understand each other at all That’s crazy! And maybe it was just my school, I see more foreigners around Ehwa now, nowadays when I first got there there’s like one other English speaker in in tire program at level 1. And we would like we don’t even have a chance to talk to each other because we’re in difference class room. I’m pretty sure they did on purpose. Basters So, you have these classmates that you wanna hang out with and you’re going through with some all the things because you’re learning a language. But you can actually can’t talk to them. So, Korean is the only way to talk to each other. Yes~~ So, Everyone has to learn Korean together and order to be unified. Oh, Yes~ Uh.. So, I just think that remember wanting to ask my classmates to out a lunch but I didn’t know how to ask them to lunch. So, you’re trying like you would be like “우리~ 먹어!” “우리~먹어?” And they wouldn’t understand! And then, after 6 months of studying, When I got to the middle of the level 3 which we started to learning informal way to ask friend out And then I remember the specifically the class when we learn that grammar point And after words, everyone it’s going to like HEY! CAN WE GO TO THE LUNCH? HEY YOU WANNA GO TO A LUNCH? everyone is asking to each other? And then from then on, and you’re just like eating all the time with the classmates. So, you must be pretty lonely at the beginning. Oh my god, It was horrible. How long will you like SUPER lonely for? Um.. maybe 6 months? I came to Korea without knowing ANYBODY. I didn’t have any friends, I didn’t have any family. I knew nothing! I knew nothing about Korean culture. I think you mention in last TL;DR that if you eating alone sometimes it can be difficult. You don’t wanna go grill 삼겹살 by yourself. It’s super super awkward. But they don’t even let you. Yeah, If you’re single person in Korea and you want to eat like 삼겹살 a lot of places just won’t even let you. Because you can’t take up that whole table. Two people? Okay One person? No They are all be like NO, go eat some 김밥 or something. Which is exactly what I did. I ate a lot of 김밥 when I went to the this one 아주머니 and she would be like Hey you got the 김밥 everyday. And to this day, I can’t eat 김밥 anymore. Leigh she got that 김밥 everyday~ She said eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh~ And in the similar vain Leigh she was a lonely-lonely-lonely-lonely-lonely~ It’s true sometimes I hear that song playing every time when I’m bite into 김밥 So can’t you eat 김밥 anymore? I can’t It’s taste of loneliness and sadness and being alone to me. did you get a chance to go out and meet other people after class that kind of thing? Pretty much not~ It was so exhausting to being study 4 hours a day I don’t know about you guys I did not study very hard in my life compare to all the asian kids in my classes who are like Going home and studying for 6 hours! Memorizing stuff! And writing their notes And ask other teachers questions! I had no idea what I was doing And my brain was EXHAUSTED! I guess they also already know an asian language which even if it’s not the same as Korean You still have like Kan-Gi or like Chinese charter that might carry though. Yes Chinese and Japanese might already know that There’re similarity! There’re definite similarities between different languages. I wasn’t just me, pretty much every other foreigners I talk to later and I ‘m not just talking white foreigners I’m talking about other ex-pasted have lived in Seoul. We all seem to take about 4~5 hours naps after class levels 1 and 2. Wow Cause you’re SO tired! So when they say intensive program you may think ‘Oh, It’s hooray for us, how about energy after words?’ But you will not! You will be tired! You will be grumpy! No shopping, No K-pop shows But friends that I had that really were in to K-pop And really wanted to shop and did more made Korean friends They got better at Korean faster then I did because they were doing so much outside of class in Korea. But do they pass their classes? Some of them did~~~ Do they any of them failed? YES~~ Okay, See. You have to have a balance at least~ It’s true. I have one friend that was a really big ‘BOYFRIEND’ fan And she went to EVERY EVENT they have! When they have new album came out, she was the first one to get it And she walk around with staffs and give them to people. And so, whenever there was a event or a signing or fan meet-up or anything like that, she would go! And obviously she did not meet that attendance requirement in class. So… she had to change school. Whoa-Whoa~~ So, there’s anything that like really surprise you just expect from being in this program? Once the language program went away I was in higher level I could actually talk with other people from other countries I got a lot of really interesting questions about being in an American~ Such as~? Such as do you own a gun? Have you ever shot anyone? Do you ride a horse tour? Really? Yeah I had a bunch of friends that like um after I’ve known them for several months they’re kinda like you’re actually my FIRST real American. And you’re nothing like I thought Americans really like. Is that a operative one? I think so. Because they see Americans on dramas and I think everybody is like that. The same way that a lot of you guys maybe see Korean boys on dramas and they think they all that beautiful And American people aren’t kinda rude. We have same version of politeness and personal space for examples. That people from other countries do have! I feel like this is a good story. Please continue! You’re trying to hide something here. I found out that I have trouble some of my Japanese friends in particular. The closer we get, the more they want to like honk my boobs, and slap my ass and poke me and hold my hands and instruct my hair. I didn’t. I’m american so I’m kinda like don’t touch me! I get all pokie painie its. Can we go back to the boob honking parts? That part was a little bit.. Question! Oh, boy. I have a theory. Maybe your Japanese girl friends are just really really pretty boys in disguise trying to find excuses to squeeze your boobs. So, this is the Japanese drama about guys cross dressing as a girls and going into all women’s universities. I feel like this is getting more possible by the minute. If I wasn’t so hairy that’s definitely something that I would do but I don’t think I’m not good enough. Your my first american friend hahahaha~ Can I be your friend? haha haha~ Anywhodododole~ The point is that people will actually ask you questions about being American and makes you realize that even though people say when you go abroad your cultural ambassador will like “Pooh, that’s not true everybody know about everything about America I’m not a real ambassador but you really are.” So, try not be an giant jackass. Okay, So I have a question when I was teaching I have to go a lot of 회식, kind of bonding things with my teachers and stuff and we drank we ate 삼겹살. Did you had anything like that? Yeah, So, when you’re in language programs it’s various from class to class, maybe you’re close maybe you’re not, maybe you go drinking after words, maybe you don’t. But when you get to the university, you join to clubs or 동아리, then you actually have ‘Membership Training’ called ‘MT’. ‘MT’ is really kinda scary guys. Really? Yeah~ What happened? They beat you with a wooden sticks? Hahahaha It’s suppose to be kind of like a bonding experience so there’s little bit of hazing of the older members to the newer members. There’s A LOT OF heavy drinks! Did you get hazed? Very intense sometimes they make you do this group cross dressing things, or you have to learn a dance or song together. I definitely use a foreigner cards But you’re like “Oh, I’m foreign lady~ I can’t do it~ No~ what~?” Because I definitely look like I’m foreign people sometimes let me kinda get away a stuff like that And at first, I wanted to do everything like the KOREAN WAY! NO! I’m gonna be so KOREAN! I’m gonna do all the other Korean students do! EHH!! There’s so much stuff that I love to talk about including dorm life and including the cost of being international students in here. So, I’m gonna put it on the blog post. You should click here and check it out. So, that’s it for this week’s TL;DR if you have questions for next TL;DR or question for Leigh leave it on the comment section below. Or check out the questions are already ask, you can thumb them up to get them into our attention and don’t forget to subscribe and to like this video. So, Leigh what else do you want to talk about if you get the chance to talk about other thing else. Oh my god, So much! We don’t even talk about learning Korean! We haven’t talk about life ‘after you learn Korean’! We haven’t talk about universities in Korea! We haven’t talk about Korean friends! We haven’t talk about cafeteria food! We haven’t talk about finding Korean boyfriend! We haven’t talk about watching dramas! We haven’t talk about finding good music! We haven’t talk about where to do and meet people! We haven’t talk about how~~to~~~