Free Korean Classes and Language Exchanges

Category : Learning Korean / Education/Teaching / Others
Mar 24, 2015

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.

 

  • Here is a video from one of Talk to Me in Korean’s LanguageCast meetups in Hongdae, Seoul.

 

Who are language exchanges good for?

Language exchanges are good for Korean learners of all levels. They’re especially good for people who:

  • Can’t commit to a long-term language program;
  • Want a social and primarily conversational learning experience;
  • Have a slim budget; and/or
  • Have a busy or inconsistent schedule.

 

Who are language exchanges bad for?

Language exchange programs are bad for people who:

  • Want an intense, results-based study program;
  • Want to become fluent in a short period of time;
  • Feel especially awkward in social situations; and/or
  • Need a set schedule to remain motivated.

 

 

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.

 

  • Want to learn Korean at home? Check out WorknPlay’s article on Learning Korean Independently.

 

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Directory:

Language Exchanges:

 

LanguageCast

  1. Location: Various places around Busan and Seoul.
  2. Schedule: See their website for upcoming events.
  3. Fee: Free, just pay for a drink or snack at the café.
  4. Website
  5. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/languagecast

 

Language Exchange Café

  1. Location: Gangnam and Hongdae, Seoul.
  2. Schedule:
    • Sunday: 15:00 to 18:00 (Gangnam & Hongdae)
    • Wednesday: 19:00 to 22:00 (Gangnam)
  1. Fee: 10,000KRW (includes one free drink + one free refill)
  2. Website: http://www.SeoulLanguageExchange.com
  3. Facebook Pages:

:

Seoul Dining Out and Culture Exchange

  1. Location: A new restaurant in Seoul each class.
  2. Schedule: Varies
  3. Fee: You pay for your own meal; sometimes group discounts are offered.
  4. Website: http://www.meetup.com/hi-seoul/

 

 

Seoul Village

  1. Location: Seoul
  2. Schedule: Varies depending on program. Seoul Village offers language exchanges, conversation clubs, study groups, cultural activities, and volunteer opportunities. Event information is posted on their MeetUp webpage.
  3. Fee: Depends on activity
  4. Website: http://www.meetup.com/SeoulVillage/

 

 

 

 

University Language Exchange Boards:

Located in Western Seoul, both Ewha Woman’s University and Sogang University offer free online bulletin boards for language exchange partners to find each other independently.

 

Click on the links below to access the online boards:

  1. Ewha Woman’s University Language Exchange Board
  2. Sogang University Language Exchange Center (KLEC)

 

 

Free Classes:

Seoul Global Center (Seoul Metropolitan Government)

  1. Location: Seoul Global Center (Jongno, Seoul)
  2. Schedule: 12 weeks starting in February, May or September. Registration sometimes beings up to two months in advance – these classes are very popular.
  3. Donation: Free
  4. Materials Used: Textbook (must be purchased by student)
  5. Email: hsahn3003@gmail.com
  6. Phone: +82 2-2075-4180
  7. Website: http://global.seoul.go.kr/

 

 

Hangul Kongbubang (“Korean Study Room”)

  1. Location: Garwol Community Welfare Center (Yongsan, Seoul).
  2. Schedule: Drop-in basis
    • Saturday: 16:00-17:30
    • Thursday: 19:30-21:00
  1. Donation: Free
  2. Materials Used: “Wild Korean” textbook (12,000KRW)
  3. Email:
  4. Website: https://kongbubang.wordpress.com/about-us/

 

Lean on Me – Seoul English Ministry

  1. Location: Seoul Presbyterian Church (Daechi, Seoul)
  2. Schedule: Saturdays – time varies by levels.
  3. Donation: Free
  4. Materials Used: Textbook (10,000KRW)
  5. Email: shinhae85@gmail.com
  6. Phone: +82 2-558-1106 (Seoul Presbyterian Church Office)
  7. Website: http://seoulem.org/eng/index.html?gopage=/eng/sub07.html

 

PCL Korean Language and Culture

  1. Location: Chungshin Girls School (Jamsil, Seoul)
  2. Schedule:
    • Saturday: 11:00 to 13:00
  1. Donation: Optional: 10,000KRW (for food & snacks)
  2. Materials Used: Yonsei Korean textbook (15,000KRW)
  3. Email: pclkorean@gmail.com
  4. Phone: +82 10-8959-0207
  5. Website: https://sites.google.com/site/pclkorean/
    •  

 

 

Culture Complex

  1. Location: Seoul: Hyehwa, Gangnam, Konkuk, Sinchon, Bupyeong, Budong and Jongo.
  2. Schedule: Drop-in basis.
  3. Donation: No donation required, but some locations give FREE beer to foreigners!
  4. Website
  5. Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/culcom/

www.meetup.com/culcom/

 

 

 

 

Sookmyung Korean Education Volunteers

  1. Location: Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul.
  2. Schedule:
  • Saturdays: 15:00 to 17:00
  1. Donation: 1,000KRW per class
  2. Materials Used: Custom textbook made by the volunteers (2,000KRW to 3,000KRW)
  3. Website: SKEV

 

 

Tags : Language. Education.

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 gabrielle.bishop@hotmail.com.

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