- Program Schedule (Please confirm directly with the university, as the website listing may be dated)
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
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!
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 fees range from 430,000-950,000 KRW a month with utilities included, depending on whether the room is for males/females, and number of roomates. 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.
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 placed on reading and writing.
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.
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.