This morning when I sat down to study Korean I had a hard time deciding on what to study first. So, I started out with a little facebook procrastination. In my defense my facebook feed is almost entirely in Korean since I don’t really use facebook for anything besides keeping in contact with Korean friends, following Korean celebs, and occasionally reading Korean news.

Today I came across a news article from about why so many young Koreans are moving to Northern Europe. Thinking “challenge accepted”, I printed out the news article (only to discover that it was almost 4 pages long) and started reading. I decided that I would use the article for vocabulary building so I teamed up with my Naver online dictionary and meticulously looked up every single word I wasn’t sure about. The final tally came out at 85 words. Sigh… Also, when I started I never imagined that I would end up spending 1.5 hours on the article, but it really turned out to be worth the effort, as I learned so many new expressions and a bit about my own and the Korean culture as well.

As a Danish girl strongly considering, hoping, and wanting to live (at least for a while) in South Korea, it was really interesting to learn about my native region from a Korean perspective. According to the article, young Koreans feel pressured by the tough competition and educational pressure and are thus attracted by the laid-back Scandinavian attitude. One young man in particular said that he was sick and tired of “뼈 빠지게 일하다” = working his… off, and said that with having to work even on weekends the week to him was “월화수목금금금”. He missed having spare time for family, friends, and hobbies. The Scandinavian way of having a 복지 제도 (welfare system) seemed appealing to him, which is why he settled in Sweden.

For those of you interested in reading the entire article for yourself you can find it here.

Now I’ll have to work a bit before I continue my studies, this time with TTMIK’s news articles which I very much hope will now seem easier in comparison to the “real” article. ^^


  1. Thanks for the tip, I will definitely read that one 🙂 All of my Korean friends say that the word they think defines Scandinavia is 여유.

    I think Scandinavia is becoming more competitive too, though; although it has not reached a level anywhere near that seen in Korea.


      • I think I will make this article the topic of my LP meeting as well.
        By the way, if you read this in 1.5 hours you have been quite quick… or my morning coffee is simply defect today. Some parts flow more easily than others for sure…


      • I agree. Some parts are quite heavy. There is a lot of specilized vobulary in here for sure. This morning I’ve made a deck of flashcards with the 50 most important words. Will be reviewing them in my lunch break. It seems that this article is really catching interest – I just saw that the Danish ambassor to Korea linked to the English version of the article on twitter 🙂


      • Aha. Reading the original version will be much more fun, though 😉

        I’m so envious of your study time 🙂 I am really struggling these days. I have two professors who teach two of my courses together and in both of them they seem to have forgotten that a day only contains 24 hours. 멘붕…


      • Agree! Yes, I feel rather priviledged these days. I’m taking advantage of a quiet spell at work following my PhD defense. Knowing that it is a matter of weeks before I’ll be super busy again, I’m really trying to make the most of my study time while I can 🙂 힘내요 ^^ I know your situation all too well…


      • I would like to spend much more time on Korean and preparing properly for my LP meetings, but that in turn makes me feel guilty for not reading up on whatever law I should be studying for my exam. I have a nasty feeling that when the legal prof says “I really recommend that you read this verdict carefully since it’s very enlightening” (a verdict that is of course not mentioned in the syllabus) it is important to know in order to do well in the exam. The 900+ pages that are already there would have been enough to keep me occupied for a while…


      • Ahh, the tough priorities of an ambitious student. I know that feeling for sure. At least the end of the semester is approaching. I hope that you’ll have more time for studying when you’re on the other side of the finals 🙂 I sometimes think of all the things we humans would be able to do if it weren’t for our daily sleep needs. Such an incredible waste of time 😉


      • Haha I knooow! and that’s the one thing that would actually be really detrimental to learning: skipping sleep. I keep telling myself 할 수 있어! 할 수 있어! I have an entire month off from work now so I will try to make the most of it and just get a lot of my readings and outlines done as soon as possible so I can have a breather when we get closer to exams.


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