Are Korean Language Classes Expensive?

By OptiLingo • 7 minute read

korean classes cost a lot of won

Learning Korean can open you up to a world of benefits and experience. But like everything else, it comes with a price tag. That’s why it’s important to know how much your Korean classes will affect your budget before you get started. Here’s what you need to know to avoid bill shock after your language lessons.

How Much Do Korean Language Classes Cost?

You’re going to hate this answer: It depends. There are a lot of factors at play here. The way you study and how long it takes you to learn the language are the two biggest variables you need to consider when trying to nail down a price for your language courses. To put your mind at ease, you’ll need to figure out how much time you’ll have to spend to achieve your Korean language goals AND which methods you’re going to use.

Warning: There are a lot of Korean language programs out there. But just because it’s expensive or free doesn’t mean it’s worth it. You need to really weigh the pros and cons of each language platform and your learning style. But more on that later…

How Much Time Does It Take to Learn Korean?

Reaching fluency in a new language generally takes a lot of time. According to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), Korean is a Category V language in terms of difficulty. This means that English native speakers would take much longer with learning this language. FSI estimates 2200 hours or 88 weeks to reach Korean language fluency.

This, of course, is a rough estimate.

The time it takes for you to learn a language depends on how intensive your studies are, and what language learning methods you use. False starts, ineffective methods, and dated-educational programs will cost you more time (and money). So, you’ll want to do your research beforehand. That way, you’ll be prepared to streamline your language learning journey. 

korean classes need budgeting

Different Ways to Learn Korean

It’s important you find a language learning method that works for you. How you study matters when it comes to finding effective teaching. Pick the wrong program or method and you’ll burn through money while making only minimal progress towards your language learning goals. Here are a few of the methods out there for you to choose from: 

Hiring a Private Korean Tutor

You can hire a private tutor to study Korean. The advantage of having a tutor is getting personalized help. Your Korean classes would be tailored to your needs. And your instructor can tell you where you could improve, explain concepts better, and guide your pronunciation. However, these lessons would fetch the highest price. Having the attention and expertise of a single person is a valuable resource…

You can usually find a private Korean tutor for $15 – $40 an hour on most private tutor sites. And you’d want to aim for meeting with your tutor at least 2 – 3 times a week (5 if you’re in a huge hurry to reach fluency). That cost can add up quickly. Seeing a tutor for $20 an hour, 3 days a week will cost you $240 a month.

Enrolling in Korean Classes at a Language Institute

You could also enroll in Korean classes with a language institute. This option is cheaper than hiring a private tutor, but the cost of the teacher and the classroom is still significant. There are positives and negatives to whole-class instruction. Learning with other people can be motivating and fun. However, if you’re a fast learner, your classmates may slow you down.

Korean classes at language institutes cost around $130 – over $400. For more exact rates, here are some examples of Korean language schools and their fees:

The Cost of Learning Korean With an App

The cheapest option is learning Korean on your own. Assembling your own materials and keeping track of your progress. Although the only cost of this would be the textbooks, you won’t receive guidance. You won’t know where to improve, or how you can achieve the fastest result. It’s also a time-intensive effort, as you’d have to create your own lesson plans. Fortunately, there are cheap online resources available to help you with pronunciation and vocabulary.

Apps can range from “free” to $30 a month or more. Some apps like Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur will charge you a single price for courses. But always be sure to go through the full trial to see if the app helps you. Also, keep in mind that no free app is actually free. They use your data and subject you to intrusive ads.

How Much Does It Cost to Learn Korean at University?

Many students would consider taking Korean language classes at University for reliable education. However, this would be the biggest financial investment of all. Whether you decide to study Korean in the US or South Korea, it’ll definitely eat into your savings or increase your student loans. 

South Korean University fees are estimated to be approximately $5,800 every semester. 15 to 20 hours of Korean classes over a 10-week course. Each of these courses would typically be around 1,800,000 won, or $1,500. Considering that FSI estimates 2200 hours for Korean fluency, that would mean $16,500 for the average Korean language education at University.

Keep in mind that this is the least effective way to learn a language. If you want to study Korean and earn a degree in it, then you should take Korean at university. Absolutely. But if you just want to speak a language, you’re wasting a lot of your time and money. Most college courses treat languages like subjects to study. They quiz you on grammar, vocabulary, and basic speech, but often fail to give you the opportunity to explore the language and make mistakes freely. And that’s crucial to reaching fluency.

korean classes cost a lot

The Value of Speaking Korean

If learning Korean requires such a big financial investment, why would anyone do it? Because it’s worth it for the return. Bilingual employees are more valued. They would have more job opportunities and higher expected pay. There are also countless personal benefits. These advantages include increased cultural perspective, higher cognitive abilities, and greater memory. Bilingualism has also been linked to Alzheimer’s prevention. Plus, Korean is pretty cool!

Despite the high price tag, learning Korean is a worthwhile investment with HUGE benefits and payoffs that can improve your life. Still, if you’re worried about the cost. Then don’t be. You don’t need thousands of dollars to reach fluency.

You just need the right methods…

Learn Korean Successfully on a Budget

How can you reap the benefits without paying exorbitant fees? There is a way to budget your Korean classes and still receive the best foreign language education: with scientifically proven language learning theories. And that’s exactly what OptiLingo offers. 

OptiLingo classes start from less than $5 per month. They feature effective language learning methods that get you speaking like a local. High-frequency phrases will guide you to fluency faster than you thought possible. And you get to know how real Korean speak. You can complete OptiLingo’s language classes on your own time, anywhere in the world.

See how effective OptiLingo is when you try your free lesson today!