Kyung Hee University has risen to prominence in the Korean language scene to rival the major universities after putting a large amount of funding into turning Kyung Hee into a TOPIK (Test of Proficiency in Korean) Test Centre.
- Program Schedule for Regular Program
Regular Morning (Mon – Fri / 9am – 1pm) Class is 1,700,000KRW + 60,000KRW Application Fee. This is one of the most expensive courses in Seoul.
Location and Housing
Living in Hoegi-dong / Imun-Dong near the Kyung Hee Campus is a popular option for many foreign students. The area around Hoegi Station is home to a number of universities including Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and University of Seoul. The location on the northern outskirts of Seoul means it is a little isolated and you will often find yourself travelling to the south or west to meet up with friends / have class parties. Fortunately, the Number 1 subway line is the oldest in Seoul and connects to many major hubs throughout the city.
‘Full option’ (furnished) one room studio apartments in this area will generally be around 450,000 KRW / month with 5,000,000KRW key money, although of course there are also cheaper options available. While the area is void of a nightlife district it does have a good amount of bars, cafes, and restaurants that cater to the large student population in the area. The lifestyle is comparable to that of near Seoul National University with a greater array of cheap eating and housing options but without the lively party scene available in other university areas.
Kyung Hee is renowned as the test centre for the Test of Proficiency in Korea and as such greatly focuses its teaching and curriculum to prepare students for this standardised test. It has been said that they went about poaching the best teachers from other universities such as Yonsei and Sogang, and great effort has been placed in recent years to establish Kyung Hee as a destination for Korean langauge study.
Kyung Hee without a doubt has one of the most beautiful campuses in Korea. During the spring visitors from all over Seoul go to the campus to see the cherry blossoms. The Church on campus used for ceremonies is a fine piece of architecture and gives the university a sense of grandeur and history.
The university made a strategic decision to become a TOPIK test centre and as such has attracted a massive amount of Chinese students who are preparing to enter Korean universities around Seoul but must prepare a level 4 in TOPIK before they can enrol. It is obviously a big cash cow for the university as they charge a premium for their course and the appeal to Chinese students is obvious, even English language resources are quite limited.
For non-Chinese students the environment can be a little overwhelming, but nowadays there are not many universities where this is not the trend. In its favour, the area has a uniquely laid back feel and with a beautiful campus. There is certainly a sense of pride in this amongst Kyung Hee university students.
Once again opportunities branching from Kyung Hee may be somewhat limited. The majority of casual work / tutoring opportunities are to be found at the nearby Hankuk University of Foreign Studies as this is the major university in Seoul for language learners. Being nearby to that university has it’s advantages to students who come from non-English backgrounds and native in languages which are not popular mainstream choices – such as Polish, Brazilian, Russian etc. It is likely you will find tutoring and language exchange opportunities in the area, not exclusive to Kyung Hee but close enough.
Asia Options Verdict
The focus on TOPIK certainly makes Kyung Hee an attractive option for those who require the certification, particularity those who are looking to enter a Korean university for regular lectures conducted in Korean.
This seems to position the course as more expensive, especially compared to other non-SKY universities.
For those who want to learn Korean for work opportunities then maybe Kyung Hee is not the ideal choice – TOPIK is centred around grammar and comprehension and will probably not provide ample speaking opportunities.
The beautiful campus is a plus!