Soongsil University Korean Language Program

Review

Soongsil University (pronounced soong-shil) is a prominent university in Korea established way back in 1897 which offers a relatively unknown Korean language program. Originally founded by a Christian missionary from America back in 1897, the Soongsil is still considered today a private Christian university.

 

Key Links

  • Program Schedule (Please confirm directly with the university, as the website listing may be dated)

 

Affordability

Like with many other mid-tier universities in Korea that offer Korean language classes, Soongsil’s options and fees are comparatively attractive. A single term will cost 1,300,000 KRW at Soongsil, which is 400,000 KRW cheaper than the more popular Yonsei and Sogang courses. So if your budget is tight then Soongsil is worth considering.

  • Regular Course (200hrs, Mon-Fri 9am-1pm) – 1,300,000 KRW per semester
  • Application Fee: 60,000 KRW

 

Location

Located in Dongjak-gu, Soongsil is conveniently found in the neighbourhood of Sangdo between Chung-Ang University to the North and Seoul National University to the South. A 5-minute bus ride from Chung-Ang University, the university is also situated on Soongsil University Station of Seoul’s subway Line 7 which makes getting to and from uni from anywhere on Line 7 a breeze. There is no shortage of buses servicing Soongsil, making it one of the most accessible universities in Seoul. The campus is surrounded by a few cheap student restaurants, cafes, and bars all in walking distance but it does lack the genuine party scene of Sinchon/Hongdae or even nearby Sillim. However, it is only a short subway ride away from Gangnam so you won’t be missing out!

 

Housing

There are many housing options for students in the surrounding neighbourhoods of Sangdo, Cheongnim, and Heukseok. One-room rentals and officetels are popular option but would need to be acquired before the start of the semester at the risk of missing out on the best available. Goshiwons are another popular and cheap option, especially with students, but living in a room the size of a shoebox isn’t for everyone. As SNU is not far it may also be worth considering somewhere close to SNU Station on Line 2. Cheap student housing is readily available here and it is only a short bus ride to Soongsil Uni – not to mention the more plentiful bars and restaurants (Check out the review for SNU for more details). Housing in these areas is generally on the cheaper side compared to other popular areas found around universities.

The Soongsil campus dormitory building is located literally right next to the language school and is also a good option for prospective students, however get in early to give yourself a chance with the limited availability. The building itself is state of the art, separated into male and female living quarters with shared facilities including a fitness center, cafeteria, laundry room, seminar room and even a 24-hour GS25 convenience store. The room options available are quadruple, double and single and prices vary accordingly. The double rooms are the most popular option for students and offer a clean, modern, furnished room with desk and chair, bed, fridge, microwave and of course wi-fi all included.

The dormitory fee is about 400,000 KRW a month with utilities included. A great option if you are willing to give up the freedom of living by yourself. You can also save quite a lot of money on things such as transport and food by choosing this option.

Look for a place to live near Soongsil here.

 

Reputation

Soongsil is one of the lesser known Korean language course options in Seoul. The university itself among Koreans has a relatively good reputation and is renowned for its Computer Science and IT departments. The Korean lessons are focused mostly on grammar, speaking and listening, with less emphasis being places on reading and writing.

 

Atmosphere

Soongsil’s student body is more diverse than you might expect. Although the majority of students are from China, there are many students from Japan, Taiwan and Turkey, just to name a few. It is still not a popular option for native English speakers, which is likely to actually improve your Korean learning, as well as providing good opportunities to find English tutoring positions.

You will also see a few exchange students roaming the campus grounds, however you will find they usually do not speak Korean as most are in Korea for short-term exchange.

The campus is nice enough in terms of atmosphere, with some nice spots around campus to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of Seoul. Classes are fun and require your active participation, which makes for a fun and interactive learning experience.

 

Opportunities

Unfortunately, Soongsil has limited access to job opportunities. Joining student associations is not as easy as some other universities and other than campus job boards, it is difficult to find any part-time jobs or professional networking via this university. However, the lack of native English speakers on campus can open opportunities to go into private tutoring.

 

Asia Options Verdict

Soongsil doesn’t have it all, but it doesn’t pretend to. The course follows the basic outline and uses the SNU produced textbook. The area around Soongsil is fairly barebones but has lots of accommodation options, and it is not too much of an adventure into central Seoul.

While Soongsil doesn’t boast anything too special, it does supply a solid program at a bargain price, even more so if we factor in the low cost of living in the nearby areas. Soongsil one of the best options for the budget conscious.

 

What Students Say... 2 Leave your rating
Soongsil Uni Review
I took two semesters at this KLI (level 2 and level 3). Some impressions:

This school is relatively cheap, relatively unknown, but the programme is effective.

Small campus, easily navigable, lacks ambiance. Same for the surrounding area of restaurants.

The location is very good. Take the subway to 논현역 (10-15 mins) and it's a short distance to Gangnam. Close to the express bus terminal too. Access to Itaewon by bus is convenient. It's a 5 mins bus ride to 서울대입구역. In the locality there is a mountain and park which afford wonderful views of Seoul's night-time skyline.

The KLI student body is heavily Chinese (80-90%), the rest being a smattering of Japanese, Russian/East European, Vietnamese, and Central Asian students. I believe I was the only Westerner in the building.

The teachers were good; mine were quite devoted to the success of the students and were always there for me when I needed something.

The university uses its own course books. The workload was intense, lacked variety, but was effective. Every day there were two new grammar patterns and a lot of vocabulary to be learned (especially in level 3). Everything was well organised.

I agree that joining student societies was not really a thing. However, there was a buddy programme that we were encouraged to join which was great for speaking practice and associating with Koreans.

Warning: there are very few hasukjibs 하숙집 in the area. I was lucky to find one and stayed there for two semesters (~450,000 for a small room and two meals per day; 1mil deposit). Be prepared to avail of a one room, goshiwon, or school dorm. Private accommodation in the locality appeared to be available all year round.

Verdict: If your goal is to learn Korean in Seoul, I recommend this university.
September 29, 2017, 1:01 am
Location9
Affordability9.5
Classes and Materials7.5
Opportunities5
Atmosphere6
0
8
EXCELLENT SCHOOL!
Good teachers, good program. What I like about it is: 1) very few Europeans or Americans; almost all Asians which forces you to speak Korean; 2) they do not take on too much in one day as some other schools I had attended; Korean is hard enough to a Western ear but they go at a slower pace; 3) they do a good mixture of conversation, repetition, and writing. It's very "Asian" in its approach of constant repetition. The teacher also makes each student repeat and say things; 4) they give mock tests just about every 2 weeks which helps gauge how you are doing, quizzes daily; 5) for students that failed the midterm, they offer an extra review class that is one hour daily that is very helpful. They also offer a "Korean Buddy" that you can meet with weekly to practice Korean with in exchange for helping them with English. It is 4 hours a day, 10 weeks. I get the feeling they really care and really want you to succeed. It's a school of 14,000 kids. It's located just off line 7 at Soongsil station. I like the cafeteria's they offer and just the good general spirit of the school. Plus, it is $350 cheaper than most of the other schools in Seoul and I think offers a better format and structured program. If you are a serious student and want to learn the language, this is the place to go.
November 13, 2016, 10:10 am
Location9.5
Affordability10
Classes and Materials9.5
Opportunities10
Atmosphere9
0
14

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