Studying Korean in Tokyo: Seoul Academy - Vikingess Voyages

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Studying Korean in Tokyo: Seoul Academy

As you probably know, Japanese and Korean are quite similar languages. If you know one of them, it is not too hard to master the other if you only have the time to sit down and study. I already know Japanese to a certain level (passed N1 a couple of years ago, but you know, there's always room for improvement), and this helps me a lot when studying Korean.
My Korean textbook
Right now I'm on my last school vacation, and I figured out that I might as well try to spend the time wisely by taking courses to improve my Korean skills. Although I spent a year as an exchange student at Kyung Hee University in Korea I didn't really have the chance to study the language that much exempt from a three week intensive Korean course I took at Yonsei University last year. This time the intensive course didn't work out with my schedule, but I didn't give up on taking classes in Korean. After some research I discovered a school called Seoul Academy situated in Takadanobaba (高田馬場) that offered various courses at a reasonable price.
I was surprised to find that the Seoul Academy actually was situated on the 11th floor in what used to be a totally normal apartment. At first I was running around the front part of the building looking for the school in the area where all the offices are, so it took a little while before I discovered the entrance.

The entrance to Seoul Academy
I ended up taking one of their 短期集中コース (Short-term focus course). The price was 35.000 yen, and included classes two days a week from 12:00-14:50 (including a 10 minutes break) plus the book we used in class. I was really surprised when my teacher told me I could choose myself whether I preferred group classes or private classes, as I though I would automatically be placed in a group. He told me the price didn't differ, so of course I chose to have private lessons. Lucky!
The reception at Seoul Academy
Our classroom
I had two different teachers on the different days, and because I was the only one in class I got to practice my Korean a lot.! I think that it is advisable to already have a certain level of Japanese before taking the class though, because that is the language you use when your Korean is insufficient. But it is possible that Seoul Academy also has teachers that are fluent in English.
Introduction of the teachers at Seoul Academy
Map to the school
Although the course is over I'm considering taking classes there again once I come back to Japan in the end of March. I'm worried that I'll be too busy since I start working in April, but if not I'll definitely take their courses and try to improve my Korean further.

PS: A little while back I made a PDF with rules for how to translate Japanese words into Korean based on the Chinese characters. This makes it a lot easier to remember Korean words if you already know Japanese (or the other way around of course). Please have a look here if you're interested.
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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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