Interesting University Student Cultures in Korea

Nam Seung Hyun

Situation 1

I have a serious problem here. I’ve just moved into Korea few weeks ago and started my University life in 00 University. I heard that Age is an important factor in relationships with people in the Korean society. We should use polite words like “~입니다, ~요” to older people or seniors in school. But I really don’t know what to say to seniors that are in my age. Should I use polite words because he/she is a senior or is it okay to talk friendly?

Answer: Well, it is quite a. hard question and a question that even many Korean students have a hard time to find the answer. First of all, you should use polite words when you first meet this senior. From the point however, when you become close enough with the senior and both find it more comfortable using friendly words, there is nothing weird to act and talk like you were friends in the first place.

Situation 2

I might have dinner with one of my professors tonight and maybe we could have one or two bottles of beer perhaps. Are there any proper manners when we drink in front of a professor??

  1. Do whatever you want, or the way you always drank
  2. Turn your body slightly to the opposite side of the professor and drink.
  3. Take the glass and don’t drink.

Well the answer is 2. It’s best to turn sideways when you drink in front of someone older or higher than you in terms of social status.

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