Quick Update // Classes

Hello everyone! Sorry it’s been so long since the last post, but due to life, midterms, and who I am as a person, I haven’t updated as much as I would like to.

Speaking of midterms, I’ve had many questions about classes here at Sogang (or whether I’m taking any classes at all since I only post pictures of food on Facebook). This semester I’m only taking four classes: Korean Language, Victorian Literature, Topics in Western Authors, and Modern American Drama.

My Korean class isn’t technically a Sogang class; it’s actually run through the Korean Language Education Center (KLEC) on campus, which is a separate entity. The class has been a lot of fun, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot after only two months. My 선생님 (teacher) has been so nice and helpful to us students. He’s very good at explaining things in ways we understand, and he involves a lot of games (and even a few songs) to accompany the learning material. The class is structured in a very conversational way, meaning that after learning the alphabet we immediately jumped into creating basic sentences that would be useful in everyday life. There is also as little English spoken in the classroom as possible (which for us beginners means that there’s actually still quite a bit of English because otherwise we just sit there with blank looks on our faces). Sogang has its own textbook series to use in these classes, and I plan on finishing the units in my book after the class ends. I would recommend taking a language course to anyone planning on living in Korea for a period of time, because even learning basic things like simple questions and numbers has been really useful to me.

I’ve also received the question of whether my classes are taught in English or not. Since I am nowhere near fluent in Korean, yes the rest of my classes are in English. Especially since I am an English major taking English classes. For these classes, I have two American professors and one Korean professor. They are all great and I’ve really been enjoying their classes. They are also very understanding about missing class for things such as exchange student field trips. That being said, Sogang has an attendance policy where if a student misses too many classes (I think more than 5), they automatically fail the course. It sounds scary but unless you plan on skipping a lot of classes, it’s not a big deal.

My English classes here are fairly comparative to English classes at EIU. I would say that the reading load is perhaps more intensive, but that’s just English Major Life. The biggest difference so far was midterms week. At EIU, midterms aren’t a huge deal and tend to be just another test or paper due. Here, students don’t have class during all of midterms week (like my EIU finals) and my grades were much more dependent on how I performed on my midterms. I still don’t have all of my midterm grades back, but I think they went okay? We’ll find out soon…

That’s about all of the interesting things I have to say about my classes, except for the fact that I had to watch a performance of Death of a Salesman completely in Korean. It was actually pretty interesting, but it was probably even more enjoyable for those that understood what was being said. I was probably more proud of myself than I should have been when I picked up a word or phrase I understood.

Hopefully you will see another update from me soon, but I’m not making any promises as to when that will be since we saw how well that went the first time around. Also, it’s Rachel’s birthday today! So everyone go check out her video blog of our trip here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv_UOy467CV2dPNavFUkXqg

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