Lexis Korea is one of several private Korean language providers located in the heart of Seoul’s famous Gangnam district. They have also established a second campus in Korea’s second largest city, Busan (review to come), but this review will focus on their Seoul campus.
Lexis as a company began with English language schools around Australia, but today has expanded into the Asian market. Since they are a private institute, rather than university-affiliated, Lexis Korea has a lot of flexibility when it comes to class schedule and course options, and hence is particularly popular with working professionals, short-term travellers, and those preparing for further Korean studies.
You can join the regular ‘Intensive’ programs at Lexis Korea at any time of the year and for any period of time. On top of this, they also offer more specialised courses, including private tuition. The basic prices (2019) are listed below.
- Intensive Korean Course (25 hours per week) KRW 280,000-320,000 per week (weekly cost decreases with intended length of study)
- Intensive Korean Course (15 hours per week) KRW 215,000-245,000 per week (weekly cost decreases with intended length of study)
These options come at a premium but can prove cheaper for learners who do not have the time or resources to invest in a 10-week term university program. The 15 hours per week Intensive course is great for the time-poor, with classes from 9am-12.15pm Monday to Friday. The 25 hours per week program adds a practically-oriented afternoon program which finishes at 3.30pm daily. The afternoon classes offer choices of focus areas for each student, allowing you to further your Korean in a way that is interesting to you.
Lexis’ school is located high above the bustling main street of Gangnam below where you can find a plethora of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs – although the premium location definitely commands a premium in these respects. The area is jam-packed (as in, shoulder to shoulder) every day of the week with a mix of office workers, students (attending English academies), and tourists. You can thank PSY for that. There is also plenty of local and nearby shopping with CoEx mall only a short trip away. The famous high-end street of eateries and boutiques, Garosugil, is also nearby,
Located in the heart of Gangnam, the well-known entertainment district of Seoul, living costs do come at a premium. Student accommodation in the immediate area is hard to come by and is also very costly per square meter! If you do find someplace, don’t expect to be able to afford living in what would be considered a standard sized room in the West!
Studio apartments near Gangnam station will usually demand 10,000,000 KRW key money and around 700,000 KRW monthly rent (or more). If Gangnam is too pricey to live in then there are plenty of housing options further along metro line 2. Subway stations such as Bongchon and SNU station are a short 15-20 minute subway ride and come at a much more affordable price – check another review to find out more about the area.
Lexis Korea also provides a housing service to help students find housing to fit their budget, including various types of accommodation. These include providing language tuition to a Korean family in lieu for free stay, home stay (half board and full board options), serviced apartments, guesthouses, and goshiwons.
Alternatively you can look for a place to live near Gangnam here.
The majority of former students you talk to who have studied at Lexis are happy with the program. The program is known to be well organised, has a good social atmosphere, friendly staff, convenient for short-term study stints and tends to attract more western students than other academies in Seoul. Lexis is known to focus more on conversational Korean and practical learning via its own designed textbooks, than found at university programs. However, the school does also offer academic focused course programs for those preparing TOPIK exams and entry into a Korean university. Housing is the one common complaint made by past students but to be fair it’s not always easy meeting expectations of students from other countries, and all academies deal with the same problem. Our advice is to weigh up the option of organising your own rent both in terms of cost and convenience versus booking through the academy. Asia Option has a Housing Guide for Korea with useful explanations to get you started.
Lexis is housed in a commercial building in the popular Gangnam district, home to some of Korea’s largest companies and also a hub for education academies. Lexis is run very much like an English academy so it doesn’t have the university campus atmosphere, and instead there is a more of a small family feel to it. The lack of campus atmosphere isn’t much of a concern as most students are not there for long and are keen to explore other areas of Seoul. Combine this with the office workers that will pour onto the Gangnam streets at 7pm and after hours party goers for a truly eclectic mix.
Staff and teachers are very friendly and helpful and much easier to liaise with than most big universities. In terms of student demographics, Lexis attracts predominately western students from Germany, France, Sweden, America, Canada, Australia and the UK; with 70% students from western countries and 30% from countries in Asia. The typical age of students is late teens to mid 20’s who are on study vacation or filling in time before finding work.
Students at Lexis really appreciate the excursions and cultural experiences on offer, as the school viewing these cultural activities as an important part of the learning process. Leveraging their knowledge of the English teaching industry, Lexis have cleverly combined language courses with extensive extra-curricular activities, including company visits, university tours, cultural activities, and group ‘meet ups’ (open to the public). They also provide cooking classes, classes based on popular Korean dramas, and a wide range alternative class options.
The school has a large professional/English teacher population, which can open some doors if looking for work-related opportunities.
Lexis is also unique in offering pathway courses. The school offers language classes which are recognised as a pathway program for faculties offering degree programs at both Gangkuk University and Hanyang University.
Asia Options Verdict
It is good to see that the Korean language is becoming more accessible outside of the universities’ monopoly. Korean language schools like Lexis have positioned themselves to provide the whole experience, developing travel programs, interesting classes, extra-curricular activities, pathway programs, and good support services including housing arrangements.
The level of service and their tailored approach to learning at Lexis Korea is more likely to be better than you could receive at a large university.
For the long-term learner it might not be the best choice since the course is not necessarily structured as a long-term program, but for a working professional in Korea, English teacher, or a summer student with time constraints, then it’s hard to go past Lexis Korea. Lexis provides a lot of flexibility as you can join and leave courses when you want and you have the option to pay weekly. This flexibility comes at a slightly higher cost, especially compared to long-term university programs, but they no doubt give a range of options above and beyond university programs. If you can’t make the fixed schedules of university programs work for you, Lexis is likely to have a much better option for you.