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Yanbian University


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This topic is for discussion and reviews of Yanbian University. Accommodation, courses, on-campus facilities and activities - anything to do with Yanbian University goes in here. If there's a lot of discussion about any one particular topic we might split it into a new thread and leave a link here.

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Hi everyone,

has anyone visited Yanbian University?

I think about attending their 2 year korean course, starting this September.

I wrote them a lengthy email asking all kinds of stuff, but no reply yet.

I wonder if anyone has experiences concerning Yanbian University, or living in Yanbian at least.

Looking forward to your replies. Thanks.

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I haven't studied at, or even visited YBU. But I'm also interested in the Korean Language Program there, and I exchanged a few emails with one of the directors of the program. Here are the questions I asked and the answers I received:

April 2012

1. Were there enough students to start the program in 2010 or 2011?

yes, the program is now in its second semester.

2. Are there plans to continue the program next year?

There are plans to continue in 2012-2013.

3. Would the program at YBU be appropriate for someone with previous experience learning Korean? I took three semesters of Korean at university in the US, and I am now living in South Korea where I am teaching English.

The plans are to have a level one and level two class next time. The semester would begin around the beginning of September, 2012. I think having had three semesters you might be able to fit into the level two class. You may be a bit ahead of the others but would probably welcome that advantage as you would take some time to adjust to the local brand of Korean.

May 2012

1. Can students join the program in the Spring semester?

I believe you may do that.

2. What style of Korean is taught in the classes (Pyongyang, Seoul, or Yeonbyeon)?

all styles, but the teachers are yeonbyeon chosunjeok. So that will come out and permeate all they teach. I will say from direct experience that yeonbeon korean and hamkyoungbukdo korean are very, very similar.

3. What teaching materials are used in the program?

I think they may be using seogang materials. Not positive though.

4. Is there a rough equivalence between TOPIK levels and class levels at YBU?

Not sure what TOPIK means exactly, but the levels are most likely following the books. My guess is that you are further than the current class there. Perhaps by 2013 you will be able to fit into one of the classes. I believe that the program will continue to grow based on comments from the students and the interest of others who are planning to come in to the program.

Hope this will be of some help to those interested in the program.

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Thanks a lot.

I also wrote them a lengthy mail, and got a good answer.

So that's from June 2012.

Answers are bold.

1. Korean Language

a. The program has a focus on the Korean as spoken in North Korea. Is

there a big difference between Korean in North Korea compared to

Korean in South Korea? Also, would it be hard to adapt my Korean for

use in South Korea or for taking tests that are not aimed at North

Korean language?

A: There is difference between North Korean and South Korean in spelling, vocabulary and pronunciation,but it will not cause problem in communication. The difference is similar to the difference between British English and American English. The Korean language Program will balance the difference and make a contrastive language learning.

b. After the two year intensive program, what profiency level can I

expect? Would there be any language test levels I could aim for like

ie some level of TOPIK (한국어능력시험, 韓國語能力試驗)?

A: After the two year intensive program, the learners may expect to be an intermediate level and ready for the TOPIK 3-4.

2. Chinese language

32 weeks of the year will be course time for learning Korean.

a. In the other 20 weeks, will I be busy preparing for the course or

is there free time to learn some Mandarin?

b. If there is time, do you happen to know if there would be

possibilities to study Mandarin nearby the university during these

holidays? (like private schools or teachers and such)

A: 32 weeks are the teaching weeks of shcool year. The other 20weeks are winter and summer holiday. You are free to learn Mandarin or other languages. It is very convenient to find Madarin (if you like Japanese or Russian)program or teachers on campus.

3. Electives

The instructional time per day will be divided between 3 hours of core

Korean courses and 1 hour of elective courses.

a. Do you know already which electives will be offered?

b. Will there be an elective for Mandarin available

A: Elective courses will be offered according to the requirement of the majority of the learnders.

4. Facilities

a. What is the earliest and the latest time i could arrive and stay at

the dormitry before the course?

b. Can I stay at the dormitry during holidays?

c. Does the room have own toilet and shower?

d. Is there Internet available?

e. Are there any kitchen facilities available?

A: You had better arrive around one week before the school year(Sept.3,2012).You may stay at dormitry during holidays. The room has own toilet and shower.And the Internet is available. There is one public kitchen on each floor.

5. Experiences

Did the program take place last year?

If yes, how many people of which nationalities took part?

(aproximate) Do you expect similar from this year's course?

A: The program started from Sept. 2011 with 8 people from five countries.

6. Plan B

Will this year's course take place for sure?

If not, and if the Korean course doesn't take place, will there be a

possibility to switch to an appropriate Chinese language course at

Yanbian University?

A: This year's course will take place for sure.

7. Holidays

Can I see the dates of the holidays somewhere?

A: The following semester is from Sept. 3 to Dec. 21. And the second semester starts from the last full week of February 2013.

I also wrote a mail to one of their current students, I hope to get an answer. :)

I am still not 100% sure about going to Yanbian learning Korean.

If I go there, I also want to learn some Mandarin.

Actually Xiamen, where you are now(?), is one of the cities I looked into for learning Mandarin.

So you have been in South Korea teaching English, and now you are in Xiamen.

Can I ask about your plan?

What is your purpose for learning Korean?

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As would I. I would love to learn Korean there, and eventually integrate both my Mandarin and Korean into my everyday life. Hope someone can shed more light on the city of Yanji and Yanbian University as well.

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