Do I go for Japan or (South) Korea?

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    So I'm 17 and i'm about to go to uni in a couple years. I'm interested in taking a degree in 'Asia Pacific Studies' due to my interests in Asia. Along side this I have the choice of learning Korean or Japanese (where I will take the route to study abroad for a year in one of these countries and can get a joint honours in that language) I know for certain I would like to live in both of these countries in the future however I'm completely stuck which one to pick at this current time.

    I've studied Japanese for a year and have the basics, and quite a bit of Kanji covered. I've been VERY interested in Japan since I was little (the food, language, culture, the country itself etc.) however the past year and a half I've been increasing interested in Korea. In particular the entertainment industry (music, film, dramas), culture, fashion and all of that which I feel is very important as I *kinda* prefer Korea's entertainment over Japan. I'm not sure whether to drop learning Japanese and start on Korean and take that further at uni or continue with Japanese and do that at uni instead, and start Korean later on in life.

    To make matters even more confusing for myself was that a few months ago I managed to save up enough money to visit BOTH countries for 2 weeks, mainly to come away understanding which I like more, yet i've been left even more confused.
    Obviously I like Japan's food, services, super kind people and culture. Yet the busy, hectic lifestyle and horrible 'stigma' attached to someone who is interested in Japanese culture for being anime obsessed (which in my opinion I don't like anything like that) Whereas Korea, I've got more Korean friends here in the UK, the entertainment industry is better *in my opinion!!!!!* yet I felt more judged by them on the trains etc, and had some experiences that left me uncomfortable.

    I know I must not compare two countries, they are vastly different and this may cause some arguments, but I'd like to get some ideas from you guys on what your opinion is and what you would go for and why? I definitely will be doing an Asia Pacific Studies degree but I'm just unsure which route to go; Japan or Korea?

    *also please don't discriminate about my opinions, they are purely my opinions which many may not agree with, that's fine.
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    this is really long i'm sorry
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    I can't talk from first hand experience unfortunately but from what I've seen Japan is an easier transition as it is more used to foreigners than Korea.
    If you haven't already I recommend watching some videos by Simon and Martina (eat your sushi/kimchi) who have lived in both countries (Korea before Japan) and they seem to be enjoying the acceptance of Japan.

    What I will say though is you will have a marvellous time either way and I'm almost certain you won't regret your decision no matter which country you pick!


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    Not much help, but do a pros and cons and keep a running tally. You are doing a good job so far. Set the right criteria as well, then it will help order your thoughts.

    There were some good posts on here about students doing Korean studies, so try and talk to students on both courses and they can give you a better idea what their experience was like on their year abroad. Might have veen in the sheffield uni section. Just use search.
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    I can't advise on your particular situation but as someone who visited both countries this summer, I'd go for Japan. I loved everything about Japan. I was not keen on South Korea. I was bored, felt less welcome as a foreigner and found the people extremely rude.

    Of course, that is purely anecdotal. *
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    I spent a few months living/studying in Japan and loved every second of it. I'd go back in a heartbeat. But like you i'm interested in the whole of East Asia, and i'm looking to study Chinese as well as Japanese next year. For reasons that I can't quite pinpoint (as you mentioned, I have very little interest in anime, manga etc.) Japanese was just the first language that gripped me. I've studied it for over 2 years now. It's an incredible country, with interesting culture and history, which certainly helps.

    Seeing as Asian Pacific Studies focuses on all countries in that region, you should see it as a positive that you're interested in more than one of them. You'll no doubt have a period of time where you'll study both countries before having decide which you'd like to specialise in, so I wouldn't concern yourself with it until then. If you knew now you'd be going for Japan/Korean Studies right?
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    Love the south in brackets
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    (Original post by Cll_ws)
    I spent a few months living/studying in Japan and loved every second of it. I'd go back in a heartbeat. But like you i'm interested in the whole of East Asia, and i'm looking to study Chinese as well as Japanese next year. For reasons that I can't quite pinpoint (as you mentioned, I have very little interest in anime, manga etc.) Japanese was just the first language that gripped me. I've studied it for over 2 years now. It's an incredible country, with interesting culture and history, which certainly helps.

    Seeing as Asian Pacific Studies focuses on all countries in that region, you should see it as a positive that you're interested in more than one of them. You'll no doubt have a period of time where you'll study both countries before having decide which you'd like to specialise in, so I wouldn't concern yourself with it until then. If you knew now you'd be going for Japan/Korean Studies right?
    I'm envious of you!! I can imagine it was amazing, Thank you very much!! I feel like its a bad thing that i'm stuck and I guess i've never considered the positive of liking more than one country, I appreciate it a lot Goodluck with studying Chinese, that's very impressive i've never really considered studying it but I guess learning kanji is pretty much a foot in the door
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    There are some degrees that allow you to study a bit of both (e.g. I believe Oxford's degree lets you major in Japanese and minor in Korean), have you looked at that?
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    There are some degrees that allow you to study a bit of both (e.g. I believe Oxford's degree lets you major in Japanese and minor in Korean), have you looked at that?
    No I haven't actually! but how much i'd love to have the grades to get into a place like oxford I kind of have my heart set on Leeds but I guess they have on the side modules that I could do aswell as Japanese which may work out, thank you though!
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    (Original post by Abby3112)
    I can't talk from first hand experience unfortunately but from what I've seen Japan is an easier transition as it is more used to foreigners than Korea.
    If you haven't already I recommend watching some videos by Simon and Martina (eat your sushi/kimchi) who have lived in both countries (Korea before Japan) and they seem to be enjoying the acceptance of Japan.

    What I will say though is you will have a marvellous time either way and I'm almost certain you won't regret your decision no matter which country you pick!
    Thank you! yes!!! I'm already subscribed to them they're so lovelyy omg but thank you!!
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    (Original post by thaliawaters)
    No I haven't actually! but how much i'd love to have the grades to get into a place like oxford I kind of have my heart set on Leeds but I guess they have on the side modules that I could do aswell as Japanese which may work out, thank you though!
    Yeah not necessarily saying you need to apply to Oxford, just to be aware that you don't necessarily need to do a single honours in Japanese. Also, of course, there's nothing to say that you can't study one in your own time.
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    (Original post by Airfairy)
    I can't advise on your particular situation but as someone who visited both countries this summer, I'd go for Japan. I loved everything about Japan. I was not keen on South Korea. I was bored, felt less welcome as a foreigner and found the people extremely rude.

    Of course, that is purely anecdotal. *
    I agree with you there, I felt more accepted in a way in Japan and they were more willing to open a conversation with you if you looked completely lost which happened a lot. Thank u tho!
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    (Original post by thaliawaters)
    So I'm 17 and i'm about to go to uni in a couple years. I'm interested in taking a degree in 'Asia Pacific Studies' due to my interests in Asia. Along side this I have the choice of learning Korean or Japanese (where I will take the route to study abroad for a year in one of these countries and can get a joint honours in that language) I know for certain I would like to live in both of these countries in the future however I'm completely stuck which one to pick at this current time.

    I've studied Japanese for a year and have the basics, and quite a bit of Kanji covered. I've been VERY interested in Japan since I was little (the food, language, culture, the country itself etc.) however the past year and a half I've been increasing interested in Korea. In particular the entertainment industry (music, film, dramas), culture, fashion and all of that which I feel is very important as I *kinda* prefer Korea's entertainment over Japan. I'm not sure whether to drop learning Japanese and start on Korean and take that further at uni or continue with Japanese and do that at uni instead, and start Korean later on in life.

    To make matters even more confusing for myself was that a few months ago I managed to save up enough money to visit BOTH countries for 2 weeks, mainly to come away understanding which I like more, yet i've been left even more confused.
    Obviously I like Japan's food, services, super kind people and culture. Yet the busy, hectic lifestyle and horrible 'stigma' attached to someone who is interested in Japanese culture for being anime obsessed (which in my opinion I don't like anything like that) Whereas Korea, I've got more Korean friends here in the UK, the entertainment industry is better *in my opinion!!!!!* yet I felt more judged by them on the trains etc, and had some experiences that left me uncomfortable.

    I know I must not compare two countries, they are vastly different and this may cause some arguments, but I'd like to get some ideas from you guys on what your opinion is and what you would go for and why? I definitely will be doing an Asia Pacific Studies degree but I'm just unsure which route to go; Japan or Korea?

    *also please don't discriminate about my opinions, they are purely my opinions which many may not agree with, that's fine.
    Have you thought about Taiwan/China and studying Chinese?
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    I don't think you should randomly pick Korean without first teaching yourself the basics. There are lots of free courses online, make use of them and see if you actually enjoy learning the language in and of itself. An interest in Korea's pop culture / entertainment isn't, in my opinion, enough to sustain language learning throughout a university degree. You need to enjoy the language too.
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    (Original post by thaliawaters)
    So I'm 17 and i'm about to go to uni in a couple years. I'm interested in taking a degree in 'Asia Pacific Studies' due to my interests in Asia. Along side this I have the choice of learning Korean or Japanese (where I will take the route to study abroad for a year in one of these countries and can get a joint honours in that language) I know for certain I would like to live in both of these countries in the future however I'm completely stuck which one to pick at this current time.

    I've studied Japanese for a year and have the basics, and quite a bit of Kanji covered. I've been VERY interested in Japan since I was little (the food, language, culture, the country itself etc.) however the past year and a half I've been increasing interested in Korea. In particular the entertainment industry (music, film, dramas), culture, fashion and all of that which I feel is very important as I *kinda* prefer Korea's entertainment over Japan. I'm not sure whether to drop learning Japanese and start on Korean and take that further at uni or continue with Japanese and do that at uni instead, and start Korean later on in life.

    To make matters even more confusing for myself was that a few months ago I managed to save up enough money to visit BOTH countries for 2 weeks, mainly to come away understanding which I like more, yet i've been left even more confused.
    Obviously I like Japan's food, services, super kind people and culture. Yet the busy, hectic lifestyle and horrible 'stigma' attached to someone who is interested in Japanese culture for being anime obsessed (which in my opinion I don't like anything like that) Whereas Korea, I've got more Korean friends here in the UK, the entertainment industry is better *in my opinion!!!!!* yet I felt more judged by them on the trains etc, and had some experiences that left me uncomfortable.

    I know I must not compare two countries, they are vastly different and this may cause some arguments, but I'd like to get some ideas from you guys on what your opinion is and what you would go for and why? I definitely will be doing an Asia Pacific Studies degree but I'm just unsure which route to go; Japan or Korea?

    *also please don't discriminate about my opinions, they are purely my opinions which many may not agree with, that's fine.

    Hi Thalia,

    I think at UCLan where this course is taught, you can actually study both languages at the same time and for your year abroad do half a year in South Korea and half a year in Japan (although you'd be studying Modern Languages if that was the case).

    I'm reapplying for Asia Pacific Studies this year but studying Korean as my main language and Chinese as my elective because I didn't study Mandarin at A Level (even though I'm fairly proficient in Mandarin already).

    But yeah, if you were taking APS, you don't officially have to decide your language until you arrive at UCLan and enrol for your course so you could decide on one for your personal statement and then if you change your mind before arriving, it's no big deal to get it changed. When I applied this time last year I chose Chinese and switched to Korean once I had a confirmation. Also, one girl this year wanted to study Korean originally and only changed her mind to Chinese on the day she enrolled (I think it was yesterday or the day before?).

    If you don't want to study both at the same time officially, you can take one language as a main pathway and do a certificate in another language (this then doesn't count towards your course but you can still get some sort of qualification to say you've done it).

    If you have other questions about APS or UCLan, let me know - I'm friends with most of the current first years and some of the second years (all of them are taking combinations from the 3 languages)
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    (Original post by Ninjasrule)
    I think at UCLan where this course is taught, you can actually study both languages at the same time and for your year abroad do half a year in South Korea and half a year in Japan
    UCLan seems to be one of only a handful of universities that allows you to combine 2 East Asian languages (SOAS and Manchester are the only other two I know of) I would like to study Japanese and Chinese myself next year, but options are pretty limited and i'm being forced to compromise with a number of my choices.

    What do you think of the course, the university, Preston...? Are you able to study one language from post-A Level level, and a second from complete beginner?

    I've had to rule out a number of universities because they don't allow you to start from anywhere but complete beginners level for East Asian languages, which is annoying.
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    (Original post by Cll_ws)
    UCLan seems to be one of only a handful of universities that allows you to combine 2 East Asian languages (SOAS and Manchester are the only other two I know of) I would like to study Japanese and Chinese myself next year, but options are pretty limited and i'm being forced to compromise with a number of my choices.

    What do you think of the course, the university, Preston...? Are you able to study one language from post-A Level level, and a second from complete beginner?

    I've had to rule out a number of universities because they don't allow you to start from anywhere but complete beginners level for East Asian languages, which is annoying.
    Hey, Japanese and Chinese you can start from post-beginner! So yeah, you can start one from post A Level and the other from beginner. Have you looked at Newcastle as well? I think they do Chinese & Japanese although I'm not sure... it might actually be either language plus Linguistics (I recommend looking at Linguistics actually, it'll really help you when you come to learn the language!).

    Anyway, back to UCLan...

    The course itself, after enrolling for your core modules, you can study pretty much anything you want if it's on offer at the uni as long as it's within reason. There was one guy a couple of years ago who tried to study one of the dentistry modules or something like that along with his language and he was accepted. Haha.

    As for Preston it's a bit like Marmite... you'll either love it or hate it. Definitely go to an open day if you can so that you get a feel for the atmosphere and so that you can talk to the subject tutors - all of them are really friendly and approachable!

    I originally hated the idea of going there because it's not a well known uni/ low in the leaderboards but after my school forced me to visit, I thought 'okay I can actually see myself coming here'. After I applied, I umm'd and ahh'd about it until I went to an event called Flying Start (only available for firmed applicants), at this event, I pretty much fell in love with the uni!

    The destinations for your year abroad probably has the widest range of any uni too! In you search for Asia Pacific Studies in Google and click on the UCLan page for it and scroll down, you can see the places that you pick from. Japan has a huge range! :O
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    I'd say Japan
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    (Original post by Ninjasrule)
    x
    Thanks for the info!

    I would definitely like to get to some open days. I'll have to look into booking a couple of weekends off work next month. I'm currently juggling both full-time work and college, the joys of being a mature student!

    So you are able to study 2 languages on the Asia Pacific Studies course? As on UCAS the course is split into 4 pathways. I've looked at both that course and the Modern Languages (Japanese and Chinese) course at UCLan.

    Linguistics is of interest to me. That and English Language are two subjects that i've been looking to combine with one language where studying Japanese and Chinese together isn't possible.
 
 
 
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