In August 2020, my study abroad career officially came to an end.
Almost since going to school, the topic of “water” for international students in Korea and Japan has always been a hot topic in colleges and universities.
Not surprisingly, international students in East Asia have suffered similar discrimination: parallel imports, gilding, and wealth. In everyone’s eyes, these hot words have a lot to do with the students studying in East Asia.
However, are Korean universities really bad?
Han “stay” the threshold is low?
In the latest “QS World University” rankings, Seoul University, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Korea University, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Yonsei University, and Sungkyunkwan University have ranked in the top 100; they are also in the top The 100 Chinese universities include Tsinghua University, Peking University, Fudan University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Zhejiang University and the University of Science and Technology of China.
Why do people think that Korean universities are terrible? Because the entry threshold is much lower than that of European and American countries.
The application threshold for art majors in South Korea is low, and it is often not necessary to pass a language test or a low-level language test to prepare application materials. This has led many people to think that choosing to study in South Korea and giving up the postgraduate entrance examination in China is a shortcut. Especially during the epidemic, many Korean colleges and universities have changed their written examinations to online interviews or document reviews in order to avoid contact. This will make everyone feel that the threshold for studying in Korea is getting lower and lower, but it is not.
First of all, in order to ensure basic daily communication and life, the biggest obstacle of Korean must be solved. Art majors seem to have relaxed the basic conditions, but even if you pass the application, you will face many problems if you don’t take the initiative to learn the language. For example, communication is not possible in class, homework after class cannot be completed, and even basic meals and housing cannot be solved on their own. A low threshold is a good thing, but if you don’t take the initiative to improve your abilities, survival becomes the biggest problem.
Author’s script assignment. Generally there are two versions in Chinese and Korean, Korean for professors and Chinese for yourself
In order to ensure basic daily communication and life, the biggest obstacle to Korean must be resolved.
Furthermore, you must ensure that your performance in China has been maintained at a moderate to high level, so that your GPA does not appear to be too bad. On this basis, you must learn a new language, and you must not stop during the entire university period. This intensity is not easy to persist. Down.
Many universities in South Korea emphasize professionalism and technology, and many universities that are not on the QS rankings can reach the leading level in academic and technical fields in a certain professional field. Every year, many international students will give up the universities on the QS list for their passion and dreams, for their professionalism and technology in a certain field.
Graduation requirements are “high”
Let me talk about the basic graduation requirements of Korean universities.
The language level test for international undergraduate students needs to reach level 4 and above (level 6 full level). Students of English-related majors also need an English level test certificate, and some prestigious schools need to reach level 5 to graduate. Graduate students need to reach full-level status.
Credits must meet a fixed standard, and professional courses, elective courses, and education courses are indispensable. Each major has different requirements for credits. It is necessary to maintain an intermediate level in each subject in a foreign language environment in order to get a relatively good grade at the time of graduation.
Korean colleges and universities are very strict in reviewing graduation thesis and graduation works. Grammatical and technical errors are common problems for Chinese international students. The master’s thesis requires more than 80 pages of text, doctoral students more than 200 pages, and two or more SCI papers can meet the graduation standard.
The low entry threshold does not mean that Korean colleges and universities are very watery. Many people only see its admission system that is infinitely tolerant to Chinese students, but they cannot imagine how much effort a Chinese student has to make to achieve the graduation standard of an ordinary Korean student.
Without the support of good family conditions, you need to use all your spare time to serve dishes, pour water, and say “thank you” in countless convenience stores and restaurants, and work harder so that you can live in a foreign country without such a bad life. .
This is just what an ordinary Chinese student needs to do in order to successfully graduate in South Korea.
But in general, the “price ratio” of studying in South Korea will be much higher than that of going to European and American countries, and the happiness will also be much higher. Most schools will issue scholarships to strong Chinese students, and the annual tuition reduction or exemption is also closely related to their academic performance.
Author’s school library
The author’s class routine
What is college life in Korea like?
First of all, many Korean professors are very particular about “Team Work” in their lectures, and there will be presentations almost every two weeks. Most of our schoolwork requires group discussions and data collection with Korean classmates, and finally release in the form of lectures.
Most professors also understand that it is not easy for international students to live in a foreign country. As long as the international students complete their studies on time, they usually do not miss classes or be late, nor do they have to worry about missed courses.
There is no class hierarchy in the class, and the concept of committee members and “class guides” almost does not exist. In such an environment, students’ minds are greatly liberated, and they can look at the world beyond cognition from a different perspective.
The school’s extracurricular life is also very rich. Korean universities attach great importance to club activities and school celebration culture, and often organize some international exchanges and group trips.
South Korea’s transportation is very convenient, with buses and subways everywhere. University dormitories are basically not available for international students. Generally, universities provide dormitories. Single apartments and private houses near the university are a good choice. Most of the working places are convenience stores and restaurants near the school. The hourly wages are higher and it is easier to commute to and from get off work. Korean food restaurants can be found everywhere, fast and delicious; international students who are qualified can choose to cook by themselves.
Regrets of graduates under the epidemic
I have been asked by countless people why I want to study in South Korea. In fact, the reason I went to South Korea at first was very simple, because I was a Korean major at the undergraduate level, and at least it made me not that unfamiliar with South Korea.
On the first day I went abroad, I suffered a crit. I found that, apart from the basic “hello”, “thank you” and “goodbye”, the locals can hardly understand what you are saying. Everything was cut and re-trained, and basic life almost became a problem.
After finally adapting to life abroad, in early 2020, the raging epidemic brought everything back to the original point.
In order to graduate smoothly, I chose to return to school after a hurried year at home. What I waited for was news of postponed start of school or even postponement of graduation. Not surprisingly, like me, friends from various Korean colleges and universities around me are trapped in their respective schools or in China, facing various problems such as visa expiration, failure to graduate, and failure to log in to foreign online courses.
The professors all started “herding sheep style” lectures. Many courses that require practical operations cannot be carried out smoothly. Everyone can only complete the work through the screen; the courses that require presentation of works have become the way to conclude the course with thesis. This has become the biggest regret of our graduates from Korea.
In 2021, many Korean colleges and universities have opened online study qualification reviews and interview applications. So many people use this pretext to once again prove that the “water” of South Korean colleges and universities has created a new world.
But that said, behind the seemingly low threshold of Korean universities, Chinese students need to make no less personal effort than those in Europe and the United States, and even need to double their efforts to reach the high threshold of graduation conditions. Only those who have experienced it can realize the hardship.
The threshold level does not determine the “water” or “non-water” of Korean colleges and universities. Instead of opening your mouth, it is better to experience it firsthand.