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What was it like to learn Korean? – Student Interview

21 Oct, 2021 KDIS News Center 972

The Hangeul alphabet, containing a unique heritage collection of world culture, is one of the most important assets in which there is a real sense of national pride. The national holiday on October 9th, called the Korean Alphabet Day, is an indication of just how much this high level of culture means to the population. It is dedicated to celebrating the originality of the Korean letters, a tribute to which is paid by the entire international community. Still on this theme, we would like to interview our student about learning Hangeul and the Korean language.


Greetings, Rahul! Could you please tell us about yourself? Why did you decide to come to Korea?

Good day, everyone! I am Rahul Singh Bais. I come from India. I have been living in Korea for more than one year now. I am a graduate of Development Policy and Philosophy from the University of Delhi. Then I worked at a local NGO for a brief time. While working, I applied for a Korean government scholarship and, fortunately for me, got it. Last year, I studied the Korean language and literature at Sunmoon University for 12 months. Currently, I am enrolled on a Master’s in Public Policy at KDI School. I decided to come to Korea to explore a new culture and language, and to learn from the rapid economic development that Korea has achieved in recent years.


Was this your first choice of graduate school? Why KDIS? What attracted you to KDIS?

The Korean Government Scholarship has an evolving application process. So, I can only really comment on the rules and regulations which were in place last year. Generally, you have the choice of three universities via the Embassy Track and also one other via the University Track. As I applied via the latter, KDI School was my one and only first choice. I chose KDI School because of its highly qualified professors, dynamic courses and outstanding teaching methodology. I was also attracted to the vibrant student community with students from different countries around the world.


How did you spend the previous year? Could you tell us more about your experience?

Last year was one of the best years of my life. I explored a new language, a whole new culture and made new friends. During my language training, I visited many important historical cities in Korea. I also participated in some conferences on Peace Building and Development with local governments and NGOs. The major highlight of last year was that I could speak and understand basic Korean. Learning Korean can improve the ease with which you live in Korea and can help when interacting with locals. Conversations with locals is a great way to help better understand Korean culture.


Have you encountered any difficulties in learning Korean? If so, please share more about it. Do you plan to study the Korean language further?

Previously, I’d never studied any language full-time, so it was a new experience for me with some sweet and bitter memories. Learning Korean was difficult in the beginning, but the teachers at Sunmoon University are very hardworking and patient. This led to me eventually learning Korean. One of the major issues I had with learning it was memorization. Later, this was resolved when I implemented some tips from my university teachers. I plan to study Korean next semester at KDI School to retain the level of language and fluency that I reached last year.


Thank you very much for the interview! What would you like to say to our readers?

To your readers, I would like to give one tip for learning Korean which helped me as well as other Korean Language students. Learning a language is a complex task that requires a greater amount of focus. This focus is difficult to achieve if you don’t have an interest in the language in the first place. I can recommend to people wanting to learn Korean that watching Korean movies and dramas is an excellent way to generate interest in the language. Finally, I wish all our readers and students good health and to stay safe during the pandemic.