Yesterday I went to Amstelveen in the early morning to take the Korean Intermediate 2 exam. For the past few months, I have been studying Korean sentences in the train but I wasn’t sure if it would be enough. At this level, the exam includes speaking, listening, writing and reading. Enough to say that I got a bit nervous and studied a lot in the past week. But good news, already one day after the exam I was told that I passed, so I’m very happy to join the next level: Korean Intermediate level 3! Looking back, I have been studying Korean for three years now, starting in Shanghai. Although, during that time studied both Chinese and Korean, which became to confusing to me. However, during the Korean classes in Shanghai, I was only non-Chinese in the class and learning Korean from a Chinese/Korean workbook. But now in Holland, I can finally learn from an English explained Korean book in Amstelveen. Every day I try to spend some time learning the language. After three years, I now am able to grasp some context from conversations and form very simple sentences in dialogue. An advantage of moving countries is that due to my fellow Dutch students that have similar culture, I get lot’s of good Korean movie-house recommendations. These days I try to watch more movies from Korea; it’s a fun way to learn the language. However, it wouldn’t be possible without a weekly rhythm. Going to class every week really helps. So for me, these Korean language institutes make this all possible. It seems that Korean government has some sort of program to promote their language and culture. In China they are free to attend, in Holland it’s just 150 euro’s for a semester. Teachers are usually in the country due to working or studying abroad. However, seeing the amount of effort they put in the lessons is amazing. I’m really grateful for the effort of the teachers. In a way, South Korea is pushing soft-power in both culture and language to a lot of countries this way. It would be interesting to think if/how Dutch people could setup a program to promote language and culture. For example… would a volunteer based Dutch language institute in Shanghai be able to persevere?