The Student Room Group

Korean studies

I have already applied to university and I'm planning on studying korean. I've been accepted to SOAS, Sheffield and UCLan but i'm not sure which one to put as my firm choice. I originally wanted to go to SOAS but I've seen a lot of people saying that it's very intensive and I'm worried I won't be able to keep up with the work (I have a learning disablity & mental health issues). I was also leaning towards SOAS because I live in london. From what I've seen Sheffield & UCLan seem less intensive and I feel like they offer more support? If anyone can give me some advice I would appreciate it, thanks.
Hi there!
I have applied to Sheffield to do Japanese Studies with a foundation year. I have been to a few open days etc just to make sure it is the university for me. I'm autistic and I also suffer from anxiety but I must say that the amount of support in which Sheffield has to offer is truly great! I actually feel like the support measures in which can be put in place is enough to make you feel secure and also makes things easier. If you so wish, you can have a support plan put in place which will help you with your studies and also lets your tutor know etc if you require any help, extra time and such which I think is super helpful
@umbrellala did Korean at SOAS and can probably give some insight into the course - also have a look at some if the threads umbrellala made about e.g. the year abroad and such, as I'm sure it will be very illuminating!
Reply 3
Original post by Ebonie_Isabella
Hi there!
I have applied to Sheffield to do Japanese Studies with a foundation year. I have been to a few open days etc just to make sure it is the university for me. I'm autistic and I also suffer from anxiety but I must say that the amount of support in which Sheffield has to offer is truly great! I actually feel like the support measures in which can be put in place is enough to make you feel secure and also makes things easier. If you so wish, you can have a support plan put in place which will help you with your studies and also lets your tutor know etc if you require any help, extra time and such which I think is super helpful

This helps a lot thank you
Reply 4
Original post by artful_lounger
@umbrellala did Korean at SOAS and can probably give some insight into the course - also have a look at some if the threads umbrellala made about e.g. the year abroad and such, as I'm sure it will be very illuminating!


I did read a few of the threads and thats why I'm a little comcerned itll be too intensive & I won't get proper support
Original post by amaialuv
I did read a few of the threads and thats why I'm a little comcerned itll be too intensive & I won't get proper support


Hiya! If you have any specific concerns, please do feel free to either leave a comment on one of my threads or even better send me a private message. I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can!

Just in case you've missed one, here are my most relevant threads for you:
- Applying to study Korean (includes a specific post weighing up SOAS and Sheffield)
- Korean at SOAS: The First Year

My initial thoughts on SOAS being too intensive/lacking support is that, yes, it is intensive but there's also good support. Friends of mine who had learning disabilities and mental health issues were fairly well supported, and when I had a MH crisis in my final year they were absolutely brilliant.

The one thing you might want to consider, though, is how you'll manage those things in Korea -- that's where I saw more people struggle, which will be the same regardless of which UK uni you choose. Several of my friends had to fight really hard to get their disabilities/MH recognised in Korea, and struggled even more to have strategies put in place to help them, so you have to go over there with a really strong resolve and a plan in place. It's worth noting that for one friend in particular, her SOAS professor was absolutely instrumental in communicating with the Korean lecturers and helping her get the adjustments she needed. So while they're strict and expect a lot, I've heard lots of great things about the support at SOAS.

Quick reminder that my first year at SOAS was almost 5 years ago now (that makes me feel old...) so if you want a more up-to-date perspective I'd speak to @sena_357 -- they're currently in their first year so they'd be brilliant to speak with!
Reply 6
Original post by umbrellala
Hiya! If you have any specific concerns, please do feel free to either leave a comment on one of my threads or even better send me a private message. I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can!

Just in case you've missed one, here are my most relevant threads for you:
- Applying to study Korean (includes a specific post weighing up SOAS and Sheffield)
- Korean at SOAS: The First Year

My initial thoughts on SOAS being too intensive/lacking support is that, yes, it is intensive but there's also good support. Friends of mine who had learning disabilities and mental health issues were fairly well supported, and when I had a MH crisis in my final year they were absolutely brilliant.

The one thing you might want to consider, though, is how you'll manage those things in Korea -- that's where I saw more people struggle, which will be the same regardless of which UK uni you choose. Several of my friends had to fight really hard to get their disabilities/MH recognised in Korea, and struggled even more to have strategies put in place to help them, so you have to go over there with a really strong resolve and a plan in place. It's worth noting that for one friend in particular, her SOAS professor was absolutely instrumental in communicating with the Korean lecturers and helping her get the adjustments she needed. So while they're strict and expect a lot, I've heard lots of great things about the support at SOAS.

Quick reminder that my first year at SOAS was almost 5 years ago now (that makes me feel old...) so if you want a more up-to-date perspective I'd speak to @sena_357 -- they're currently in their first year so they'd be brilliant to speak with!

This does make me feel a lot better about going to soas, I ended up choosing them because I really wanted to do the korean and music degree which they finally accepted me on 😭 I think I'll talk with the tutors and stuff when I start and if I dont think I can handle the year abroad I'll ask to switch to East Asian studies. Thank you for your help :smile:
(edited 10 months ago)
Hello,

I am currently studying Social Anthropology at SOAS but I have friends here who are studying Korean. From what I have heard the Korean studies course is challenging. Learning any language to proficiency is difficult and whilst the course itself does not have a Korean language pre-requisite I personally think it's really beneficial to start building a bit of a foundation before the course begins. Things like getting comfortable with the alphabet, practicing pronunciations and spelling will really come in handy later.

In terms of support, I have found that SOAS is really great for supporting its students. It's a small university which allows you to build a rapport with your academic advisor and its easy to go to them when you're struggling with something academically. additionally, SOAS has a really engaged Student advice and wellbeing team who are very accessible, responsive and proactive in getting students the support they need.

You mentioned before that you have some learning difficulties and ongoing mental health issues both these things entitle you to a Study inclusion plan (SIP) at SOAS which is a support system set up to help students who have a disability or who are neuro divergent. It functions to try and ease those barriers that might get in the way of a successful and positive university experience and SOAS really encourages students to reach out to the advice and wellbeing team as early as possible. The SIP encompasses a lot of things but includes an extension on the majority of your essay deadlines and also entitles you to various technological support (although I am not sure exactly how this functions for the language courses). I highly recommend you email [email protected] to find out more about how SOAS would be able to support you during your degree. Additionally, you might want to consider applying for a disabled students allowance if you ended up choosing SOAS. This helps to pay for any extra costs or expenses that students incur while attending their course, that arise from their disability.

Here is the link to a blog written by a student currently at SOAS studying a Law LLB who was diagnosed with a learning disability whilst studying at SOAS.

Also let me know if you have any more questions about student support at SOAS or the Korean course and I'll try my best to answer them or reach out to someone who might know the answers.

- Monica (Social Anthropology MA student at SOAS)
Reply 8
Hi! I'm currently on the BA Korean course at SOAS, now going into my second year this September.

It's pretty hard to sugar-coat the fact that the Korean course isn't the easiest and does require you to revise consistently, but that's also true of courses at the other universities - especially since the language itself is pretty different from English. But it's not impossible to keep up, and it's super rewarding. The Korean professors at SOAS are super supportive and helpful, offering office hours during the week to help you out with anything that you might be struggling with. I have a few classmates who have learning disabilities, and they've said that the professors are pretty considerate of their needs and support them whenever necessary.

There are also CSL groups for Korean that consist of 2nd, 3rd and 4th year Korean students who run sessions for 1st years just in case they need any help outside of normal class hours or to go over things they are still unsure of. I definitely enjoyed these sessions and found them super helpful.

My best suggestion is to make sure you stay on top of studying and try to integrate Korean into your daily life. It definitely will make your life sooo much easier and give you less stress. If you're still concerned about the intensity, don't let yourself worry too much - the professors definitely won't let you fail, and there are support systems in place. If you ever need a study buddy on campus or any help with Korean if you're struggling, feel free to message me, and I'd be more than happy to share my notes with you and help you out. Good luck!

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