How to Sogang: New Student Orientation and the First Day of Class

Here’s where you get the lowdown and possibly meet future classmates.

When?

  • New Student Orientation is the day before the first day of the session. It’s for everyone who is taking any KLEC course for the first time (so level 1-6, KGP200, KGP150, etc.)
  • As for where and when, if you log in to your “my page” on the Sogang website, the times and location will pop up automatically once you log in the day before. If you are still unsure, you can email Sogang.
  • There are three different orientations divided into three languages: English, Japanese, and Chinese. Each is held at a different time.
  • Show up early. You’ll figure this out soon, but South Korea is not one of those countries that lives in an “ish” time. They are extremely prompt—moreso than what I’m even use to in the US. Remember: On time is late, and early is on time.
  • The orientation I was at lasted about 30 minutes. We were allowed to leave immediately following it ending.
  • It’s not mandatory to attend, but it is helpful.

Where?

  • Again, it will tell you when you log in to your “my page” on the Sogang site. Be sure to check for yourself because it might be different year to year, but for me, it was in room 101 in Kim Daegon Hall.
    • Kim Daegon hall is easily found on the campus map and is one building away from Arrupe Hall.
    • When you enter, you are on floor 3. So to get to room 101, I had to go down two floors.
  • There will be a crowd of foreigners, so you’ll know you’re in the right place. Take a stack of stapled papers. This is a print-out of the powerpoint presentation that will be given during orientation.
  • Then go sit down when everyone is let into the classroom. Again, try to be there early so you’re not walking in when the lecturer has started the presentation.

What?

  • There are additional paid and unpaid classes that you can take while you’re at Sogang in addition to the Korean class. Your homeroom teacher will tell you about them during the second week of school.
    • The ones offered to my class were a Kpop Club and a Korean pronunciation class. (These classes were also offered when I took level 2.)
    • Both classes were free and were only for those in the language program.
      • The pronunciation class was one day a week for an hour and it is divided between levels. (For level 2, this class was twice a week for an hour and required you to fill out a form to sign up for it.)
      • The kpop club was two days a week for an hour each. This was a club for all the levels mixed, but was still exclusive to only those in the KLEC. They learned Kpop dances, and be prepared: this club will perform the dances they learned at graduation.
    • They were offered starting the second week of school and ran until about two weeks before finals week. (For the second level, the pronunciation class ended before midterms.)
  • Your homeroom teacher is your speaking teacher.
  • They gave out the exam schedule.
    • There are two exams: midterms and the final. And the midterm and the final have four tests: one for speaking, one for writing, and one combined one for reading/listening, and the spoken interview.
    • They give out a range of dates for the tests as it depends class to class what day is test day. You will know the specific dates for your class on the first day.
    • On the day of the midterm interview, you are assigned a time. You don’t have class that day and only need to show up for the interview test.
    • On the day of the final interview, It’s the same procedure, but again they give you a range of dates—the actual day of your final is dependent on your class. However, if your final interview is early in the week (ex: Monday), you would still have to come to school the rest of the week (ex: Tues-Fri).
    • They also tell you when retest day is (the day after graduation). This is for if you don’t pass a certain exam, you are allowed to retake it on this date. They recommend making sure that you buy your return ticket home for after this date.
  • You must get a >70% on each of the four tests (writing, speaking, listening/reading, interview) tested during exams or else you will have to retake it.
  • You must attend >80% of the classes or you cannot move on to the next level—even if you have all A’s.
  • They also give you a list of important dates such as:
    • end date for changing your level
    • field trip day
    • any special lectures
    • graduation
  • They also told us about the ground rules of Sogang:
    • speak only Korean in class (You’re allowed to speak whatever language you want during the break times.)
    • turn off your phone (My teachers in level 1 let us have our phones out so we could use translation apps for quick reference, but my teachers in level 2 did not allow it.)
    • don’t cheat
    • don’t eat food during class (drinking water or coffee is okay and eating in class during the breaks is allowed)
    • ask questions after the teacher’s lecture is over (They say this is because they feel that asking questions means that you weren’t paying attention to the teacher. However, this is more for the upper-level classes that are more lecture-style. For lower-levels, wait until the part where the teacher asks you do to group/pair work to ask questions.)
    • respect individual and cultural differences in the classroom
  • They also listed some important buildings on campus:
    • The bookstore is located in Gonzaga Plaza.
    • Berchmans Woojung Hall (BW Hall) is where the student cafeteria is.
    • The library is called Loyola Library.
  • They explained that KLEC students have access to the library on campus and the computer labs. You need your student ID to get in.
  • They gave the campus wifi password. They said it would be active on the first day of class, but it wasn’t actually ready until the first full week. When it was up and running, it was faster on the upper floors than the lower floors.
  • They explained that they will make our student ID cards for us.
    • They will have them ready to pick up sometime during the second week of class/first full week.
    • You need to go to the 7th floor office and show them some sort of ID (a driver’s license works if you didn’t remember to bring your passport).
    • Your student ID picture will be the one that you uploaded on the online application to Sogang, so if you don’t like your picture or don’t have one, you should change it as soon as possible.
    • At the end of every term, you need to have your ID’s validity extended.
  • Visa:
    • You need to make sure that you keep your visa up to date.
    • If you want to extend your visa’s validity such as for D-4 visas, go to the KLEC office on the 7th floor of Arrupe Hall for forms that you will need to take to immigration.
  • Tuberculosis Examination:
    • If you are from China, Sri Lanka, Russia, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Nepal, Indonesia, Pakistan, Mongolia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, or Malaysia, you are required to get a tuberculosis examination.
    • The closest health center is in Mapo-gu about 200m from Mapo District Office station’s exit 1 on line 6. Bus 271, 7011, and 7013 also go there.
    • The health center on campus is open from 9am-12pm, 1pm-6pm on weekdays.

First Day of Class

  • Dress code: Casual. There is absolutely no pressure to dress up.
  • Where to go: They will have your level assignment as well as your classroom number posted on the 4th floor of Arrupe Hall. Again, if you walk to Arrupe Hall from the main entrance to Sogang, you’re already on the 4th floor.
  • Textbooks: They will have your text books there for you to buy. It depends probably from year to year and also what level, but you will probably be spending around 50,000W. I don’t think they were set up to let you pay with a card.
  • When to get there: There are a lot of students trying to buy books and trying to use the elevator, so I would recommend getting there around 30 minutes early.
  • Your first teacher will give you the official syllabus. It breaks down what the teachers you will cover each day.
  • Daily schedule: The breaks during class include a ten minute break between subject blocks and then a 20 minute break in the middle where they say you should grab a quick bite to eat, but I really don’t see how that’s possible in that time. Many student bring snacks of kimbap rolls, onigiri, or other things from convenience stores to eat during the break to tide them over until lunch.
  • You will have different teachers for different subjects, but you will not need to move classrooms. Your teachers will rotate into your classroom.
  • You teacher will also explain to you which of your books you need to bring to class everyday and which ones you can keep at home. You’ll use the ‘A’ books for up until midterms and then the ‘B’ books for after midterms.

If you have a D-4 visa, next you need to get your Alien Registration Card! If not, maybe you can check out how to get a SIM/wifi egg.

How to Sogang: The Application Process
How to Sogang: Visa
How to Sogang: Flights and Housing
How to Sogang: Packing and Predeparture
How to Sogang: The Airport
How to Sogang: Getting to Campus and the Placement Test

How to Sogang: How to Get Your Alien Registration Card (ARC)

How to Sogang: Getting a SIM/Wifi Egg
How to Sogang: The Seoul Subway System
How to Sogang: The Seoul Bus System
How to Sogang: How to Get the Most Out of Sogang
How to Sogang: Level 1 Summary
How to Sogang: Level 2 Summary
How to Sogang: Level 3 Summary
How to Sogang: Graduation
How to Sogang: Retests
Sogang University Korean Language Program

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