Learning the Korean language is fun and exciting. For Korean pop culture enthusiasts, it’s hitting two (or probably even more) birds with one stone.
However, like any other language, learning Korean is not easy. It takes a lot of time and a huge amount of exposure, and it requires a steady rate of practice. Self-studying is a good start, but you may end up with errors, an uneasy grasp of the basics, and a bit of mispronunciation.
So where should you take formal Korean lessons? Here are our top picks:
Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines (KCC)
As many of us probably already know, the KCC offers Korean language classes as part of its many Korean culture programs. It has established itself as a premier Korean language learning center with enough credibility as it is operating directly under two Korean government agencies—the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines. The language is taught by Korean teachers in their native language, making the institution one of the most credible.
The KCC offers five levels of Korean every term (there are three regular terms). These are:
- Basic Korean (36 hours, PHP 2,000 with textbook included)
- Elementary Korean 1 (72 hours, PHP 2,500 with textbook included)
- Elementary Korean 2 (72 hours, PHP 2,500 with textbook included)
- Intermediate Korean 1 (72 hours, PHP 3,000 with textbook included)
- Intermediate Korean 2 (72 hours, PHP 3,000 with textbook included)
The number of classes for each level may differ, but each class is limited to up to 25 students only. As seen above, the lessons do not come free! But KCC offers one of the cheapest Korean language classes in the metro, given that in private learning institutions, prices can be as expensive as PHP 8,000 for 48 hours! Classes also have different schedules, so you can choose the most suitable and convenient time for your lessons.
University of the Philippines (UP)
The premier and national university of the Philippines, UP is in the list of where you can find the best foreign language classes in the country. In fact, its Department of Linguistics has been awarded by the Commission of Higher Education with a Center of Excellence in Foreign Language Program title on December 29, 2015! So don’t worry about getting bad Korean lessons in this institution—because you definitely wouldn’t!
Korean is one of the languages taught in its regular Asian Languages Extramural Classes, an annual three-cycle program offered by the Department of Linguistics (the others being Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia, and at times, Thai). The first cycle is from January to March, the second from May to July, and the third from September to November. Classes are done every Saturday for 30 hours, three hours per day (or in other words, three hours in 10 Saturday classes per cycle).
Like KCC, the classes come with a price. A class, regardless of level, has a registration fee of PHP 3,500 which includes a textbook and a certificate. Lessons may be taught either by a Korean or a Filipino instructor, but fear not because these Filipino instructors studied in Korea and have immersed themselves in the Korean culture so they are just as good as their Korean colleagues!
Department of Linguistics, University of the Philippines
Address: Room 1325, Pavillion 1, Palma Hall, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City
Landline: 981-8500 local 2128
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Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU)
Like UP, its Katipunan neighbor, ADMU, also offers Korean lessons through the Ateneo Korean Studies Program (KSP). Lessons are done every Saturday. Its Korean Language and Culture I class is PHP 5,000 for 30 hours. The program also offers a Hallyu Korean 1: Learning Korean Through K-Pop and K-Drama, a 21-hour program that costs PHP 3,500. Although more expensive than in KCC and UP, the registration fee includes the textbook, certificate, and the ID.
Just a few reminders, though, before signing up. You’ll receive your certificate if you were able to attend 80% of the sessions. Also, all payments—partial or full—are non-refundable.
Although we would love to add more places where you can study Korean, some members of the KStreetManila team have only experienced studying from these institutions (ak.a. KStreetManila’s tried and tested)! Have you studied in a learning center other than the ones we’ve mentioned above? Feel free to comment below and share your experience with us!