Free Korean Classes and Language Exchanges
After being in Korea for a while now, you’ve probably considered learning the local language. However, it can be hard to know where to start.
Listed below are several options you have to learn Korean.
What are language exchanges?
Language exchanges are informal meet-ups where native speakers of different languages get together to practice speaking skills. Most speakers have Korean or English as their first language, while others have Spanish, German, French, Japanese, or Chinese. Language exchanges are usually held in a café, restaurant or bar. Most charge no admission fee, but participants are expected to buy a drink or small snack.
Some language exchanges start off with a sit-down, one-on-one format at a bar or restaurant, and then move onto a (fully-optional) mix-and-mingle style party at a nearby club or lounge. The primary focus of these kinds of language exchanges is to encourage cross-cultural friendships, as opposed to learning a new language. If it’s the case that the language exchange will be held at a restaurant and will include free club entrance afterwards, then the cost (understandably) will be higher than one held solely at a coffee shop.
Who are language exchanges good for?
Language exchanges are good for Korean learners of all levels. They’re especially good for people who:
Who are language exchanges bad for?
Language exchange programs are bad for people who:
Free Korean Classes
An equally affordable alternative to language exchanges are free Korean language classes. Normally run by volunteer groups, students, or religious outreach communities, free Korean classes are becoming more and more popular. However, as in all things in life, most of these classes aren’t completely “free”. Depending on the program, students are usually required to purchase their own textbook or pay a small donation fee to the organization offering the services. Even so, compared to rates at private institutes or university language programs, the overall costs are very reasonable.
Language Exchange Café
Seoul Dining Out and Culture Exchange
University Language Exchange Boards:
Click on the links below to access the online boards:
Seoul Global Center (Seoul Metropolitan Government)
Hangul Kongbubang (“Korean Study Room”)
Lean on Me – Seoul English Ministry
PCL Korean Language and Culture
Sookmyung Korean Education Volunteers
Gabrielle interned as a Content Creator for Work'n'Play during her exchange trip to Chung-Ang University in 2012-2013. She graduated from Vancouver Island University in May 2014 with her BA in Global Studies. She is now a Master's student at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs in Ottawa, Canada. The things she misses most about her year in Korea are: going for makgeolli + jeon with friends, exploring Seoul's new and old hidden treasures and getting to practice Korean every day. You can connect with her on Twitter at @MsGabrielle or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.