Korean Proficiency – why TOPIK Level 3 is not enough

So, I’ve decided to address this issue of Korean proficiency after getting many questions over these years.

First of all, to make a differentiation, most universities in Korea have various tracks for admissions. For instance, Yonsei University has an admission directly for Underwood International College (its all-English undergraduate programme), and another regular admission for the other colleges. So in this case, for admissions to UIC, you would not need Korean proficiency.

However, for the regular admission, you would definitely need Korean proficiency. Even if some of the classes offered in say, the College of Business is conducted in English, during admission to the College of Business itself, you need to have Korean proficiency. Even if you are planning to choose only English classes (if they even offer enough classes conducted in English that you are able to complete the number of credits to graduate, which is usually quite unlikely), you would still need Korean proficiency.

Of course, there are some universities that state that for some majors, Korean proficiency is not required. Most of the time, it would be probably the English majors, or some universities that have some global business programmes or international studies/global studies programme. If so, then good (or bad, depending on how much you want to learn Korean) for you (:

However, there are some universities that accept students conditionally. So for instance, the Korean proficiency requirement is actually TOPIK Level 4, but you only obtained Level 3. Since your Korean proficiency is below that of the requirement, technically you don’t fulfill the admissions requirement. However, some universities still accept you for admission, and have you take part-time Korean language classes as you simultaneously take your other major classes for the semester.

While it sounds like a good plan for the students who really want to enter the university, I personally do not agree with such policies. Neither do I think that universities that only require TOPIK Level 3 for majors that are conducted in Korean are fully aware of the consequences on the students. I say this on a personal level, based on my own experience and the experiences of people around me, and so I hope to share our stories so to help all of you hoping to come to Korea for your studies make a more informed decision.

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Summer@UIC – Merit Scholarship available!

So back in February I made a post about Summer@UIC, a summer programme for high school students to experience life in Korea, college life in general, and the Korean culture.

Today I just received news that there will be merit scholarship provided for outstanding applicants who may not have had the resources to come for this programme! It is really great news, because this scholarship would cover the tuition fees, and so you would only have to pay for air ticket, accommodation and food.

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Yonsei UIC Summer Programme (for high school students)

Yup, that’s exactly what it is! For all you high school students out there who are confused and wondering about how studying in Korea would be like, this is a great opportunity for you to experience it yourself!

Yonsei UIC now has a 3-week summer programme that allows you to experience what life in Korea would be like!! I personally think that it’s a really good opportunity, whether you eventually decide to study at UIC or Yonsei or not. Many students ask me about how life is like in Korea, but sometimes it’s really difficult to talk about it because #1 I don’t know where to start from, there’s just too many things, #2 the experience differs for everyone and it also really depends on individual’s personal preference too. So I personally feel that the best would be for you to experience it yourself and decide if life of a student in Korea is suitable for you!!

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School Term in Korea

The school term for universities is generally separated into two halves for one academic year, the Spring Semester and the Fall Semester. There are intakes for both Spring and Fall each year, where each semester is about 4 months. Vacations are in Summer and Winter, with each vacation each spanning about 2 months.

There are also summer and winter classes, and many Korean universities offer Korean Language Courses in summer and winter for international students. So if you’re already in university and you’re keen on spending your vacation learning Korean, why not apply to summer classes to pick up the language in Korea? Universities that offer such courses include, SNU, YU, KU, Edae, Kyunghee just to name a few. Many other universities in Korea offers such courses too.

Spring semester starts in March and ends in late June. The summer vacations will then take place till late-Aug. Fall semester will begin September and end in late-December, and the winter break ends in late-February.

There are mid-term examinations that take place in the middle of the semester and finals that take place nearing the end of the semester.

There are public holidays to take note of in Korea:

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