There are always things to learn and get used to at the beginning of a new school year, but if you are a foreign student who just started studying in Korea there may be bigger difficulties that stem from language barriers, cultural differences and a lack of information.
While Korean university students often depend on mobile apps to stay up to date on school information and communicate with each other, using the same apps may be difficult for non-Korean speaking students.
Still, there are a number of Korean apps offered in English that cater to the demand of the growing number of international students in Korea. Here are some apps that may be beneficial to international students’ campus life in Korea.
Everytime: With over 5.82 million users, Everytime is an app that serves as an online community for college students. From official notices by universities to casual notes made by students enrolled in each university, a wide range of information is shared on the app. The app is operated as a closed community for students enrolled at the same university and all students who have officially entered the university can sign up for the app — exchange students cannot. The app supports Korean and English and is available in both mobile app and web.
Everytime has distinct features that may be especially helpful. First is the secondhand book trade. Students take lots of classes and each of them requires different textbooks. As textbooks tend to be expensive and may never be looked at again after finishing the class, it may be more beneficial to swap them out. There is a tab within the Everytime app where students from the same college can trade books with each other, similar to other secondhand goods trading sites. Not only textbooks but fiction and other genres of books can also be traded.
The mobile app also helps student to better access information through various themed boards within the app. The boards range from a bulletin with official notices by university departments to more casual boards created by students wanting to share tips on studying or even talk about the popular new idol groups. Within each board, students can make new posts and like or comment on others’ posts.
You also can save your class timetable within the app. The exact names of classes will appear on the app for each major so you can customize your timetable. By adding friends to your friend page, you can share each other’s timetables, making it easier to schedule times to meet up.
Being able to look up and post-class reviews is another popular service on Everytime. You can skim the review page of each class to understand what the course will be like. Reviews on course tests can also be accessed after leaving reviews on classes you have taken.
The GPA calculator is another useful function. Schools may have different total GPA systems, and this standard is applied to each university’s Everytime page. Log in to the app and find out your average GPA by entering your scores.
Campuspick: Campuspick is a mobile app linked with Everytime, so users of Everytime can also use this app. It provides both Korean and English versions and can be accessed through both mobile app and website. The service offers extensive information on school clubs, extracurricular activities, contests as well as volunteering opportunities and internship programs.
Ssgsag: Ssgsag is a mobile app that provides information on job openings, internships, and extracurricular activities — with a twist. Ssgsag users swipe left or right on notices on their feed to build up their own personalized data set. This kind of service maximizes the matching rate between companies and applicants, which would eventually bump up its employment rate. Ssgsag offers both Korean and English versions and also has a website.
Watchapedia: In the age of OTT (over-the-top) services, it can sometimes be complex to find the next enjoyable program to watch. Netflix, Watcha, Disney+, Tving — the list of OTT services goes on and on. A large number of Korean university students enjoy watching movies and TV series on such streaming services. In this respect, Watchapedia is a very helpful tool.
Watchapedia is a social cataloguing mobile app and website. It gives people recommendations on what movies to watch based on their preferences. It also enables users to create their own recommendation list under various themes. The app is available in English, Korean and Japanese.
YPT: YPT, which stands for Yeolpumta, is a study timer app that objectively evaluates your study time. YPT is currently offered in both English and Korean.
The best way to study is to completely focus on the task at hand, which is exactly what YPT is made to help you do. When you turn on the app, your phone goes to a lock mode, meaning you can’t use any other functions other than this app. The app itself, though, includes several helpful study tools.
The app includes a dictionary, timer, stopwatch, calculator and white noise features. Users can also set a number of apps that can be allowed while using YPT, just in case of emergencies. However, this allowed app feature is not currently supported on iPhones.
Especially with the Covid-19 pandemic situation, YPT works as a good study buddy. People with the same goals can gather around and study together online. They can set a time goal, limit the members, and focus on one common goal. You can join study groups directly through this app or create your own.
While these mobile apps bring some relief to foreign students studying in Korea, it is good to be aware that these mobile apps don’t always offer fully translated services.
For example, in Everytime’s English version, only big categories are in English, not the actual posts. This may lead to problems when the actual content becomes unreadable.
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