안녕하세요! Hello everyone! I was able to talk conversationally in Korean for a year and it helped me on my freelancing career as I’ve mentioned here. Thus, I’ve listed five of many places where you could learn Korean language in Manila.
1. University of the Philippines – Extramural Classes
I was fortunate that in my university before, we get to choose our foreign language elective. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t my intention to study Korean but due to the lack of slots of Chinese class (which I really wanted to take), I booked the Korean class and, no regrets! Aside from courses offered to students, they offer courses to outsiders as well.
University of the Philippines Diliman Linguistics Department offers classes from Korean 1- Korean 7. Most of their classes are held on Saturdays so it would be good for those who are employees and students that have no time on the weekdays. One cycle is done for around 2 months. You can reserve a slot online but you need to pay it onsite. Other Asian Languages are also available. The downside of this, based on my experience (I took Japanese and Chinese for extramural classes), would be it’s once a week, thus, if you don’t have time to study and it is not really your priority, the retention of information might be difficult. My Korean classes were effective because it was done everyday.
For more details, please visit their Facebook website here.
2. UP Arirang TKT (Talk Korean Today)
If UP Linguistics has extramural classes which is paid, UP Arirang offers free Korean classes. However, that would be for Basic Korean only. UP Arirang is a community of students in UP Diliman who experienced a lot of Korean culture, has an extensive knowledge in the language, and has a good friendship and connection with Korean students and universities. Proud to say, I am an alumnus of this organization.
They also conduct their language classes every Saturday and again, it’s free. The students who had exchange programs in Korea are the ones conducting the classes thus even though they are not teachers yet, they’ve experienced Korean culture already. There are limited slots for this so be sure to keep updated by liking their Facebook page.
3. Korean Cultural Center
I didn’t have any class in here, but I’ve been participating in their activities. One of the reason (and most of the others) why I haven’t had the chance to experience Korean lessons is because it’s a blockbuster when the online registration starts (I can compare it with Cebu Pacific’s Piso Fare). I remembered checking their website before the registration time and I told myself to check it after some hours but to my surprise… all the slots were gone.
There might be a reason why it’s a blockbuster. Of course, it would be great to experience Korean lessons from the official cultural center. Unlike UP, they are specialized in Korean thus they offer Korean culture experiences as well, such as cooking, traditional dance, KPOP, Taekwondo, and a lot more. I also remembered that they do offer weekday classes as well, thus if your weekend schedules are for family and friends, you may book your course here. Korean Cultural Center is Located at Mancor Building, 32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City.
4. Learn Korean PH
Once again, I don’t have any experience with this institution but my friends do. The classes are done Saturdays as well and upon checking their website, it’s not your common language class. The classes are held in the church.
The teachers are Korean volunteers and one of their mission is to teach Korean without or less profit. I am not so sure on the costs related to studying there but my friends told me it is minimal. There are also a lot of students in each class and if you’re the ones who aren’t into big groups, this one is not for you. However, if you’re into fun-loving and inspiring kind of class, this one would suit you well. They have engaging activities too aside from the typical classroom setup. It is located in Renaissance Building, Ortigas. If you would like to know more about their classes, visit their Facebook Page here.
5. King Sejong Institute
King Sejong Institute is an international institute with branches all over the world. In the Philippines, it has its branches in Cainta, Pasay, Quezon City, Cebu City, and in the Korean Cultural Center. If you made a good performance in class, you can even have a chance to visit Korea and experience the culture for free. Again, I was glad to be part of the scholars in the 2014 batch of Korean learners who were sent in Korea during the fall season. You can see our experiences here on Minji’s site.
So who is King Sejong? To those of you that do not know, Korean was using Hanja (Chinese characters) before and King Sejong was the one who created Hangeul in order for everyone to be literate, not only the scholars. I knew King Sejong Institute because my former professor in UP, Ms. Youngmee Kim, is the director of the Quezon branch. Aside from the normal classes, those who are in need of intense Korean classes (for spouse visa and for working visa) usually enrolls here. For more information on the whole King Sejong Institute, visit their website here.
Do you know any other places that offer good Korean classes? If so, let me know by posting a comment here. Or, would you prefer doing self-study? If so, check out these online resources I use for studying. Happy learning!