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Taking the Social Integration Program in South Korea

Updated on August 10, 2014

Why take the Social Integration Program in South Korea?

For some foreigners who are married to a Korean national, worked in South Korea for a long time, or interested in applying for permanent residency or citizenship, taking the Social Integration Program will help make it easier in understanding both the Korean language, culture, and laws that comprised this country.

For more information, go to www.socinet.go.kr (In Korean)

So, what are the benefits for taking the Social Integration Program?

1. Exemption from taking the Korean Citizenship Written Examination and Citizenship Interview Screening

2. Shortened period for citizenship screening.

3. Can receive a maximum of 26 points when applying for the F-2-7 (Long-term residency) Point-based visa.

4. Exemption from proving Korean language ability when applying for the F-5 (Permanent residency) visa.

5. Exemption from proving Korean language ability when applying for or currently on the E-7 (Special Occupation) visa.

6. Exemption from proving Korean language ability when foreigners change to the F-2 (Long-term residency) visa.

Program Outline

The Social Integration Program is comprised of six levels, levels 0 through 5. If a person starts at level 0, the entire program would take 465 classroom hours to complete. The program is comprised of two parts, Korean language (Lvl 0~4) and understanding Korean society (Lvl 5). The Korean language portion in total is 415 hours, while the Korean society part takes 50 hours to complete. For all participants of the program, you must have an 80% attendance record for each level. Even if you pass a level test for your respected level, but have a 60% or 75% attendance record, don't be surprised if you have to retake the same level.

Level 0 (Basic Foundations of Korean Language): 15 hours

Level 1 (Beginner Korean I): 100 hours

Level 2 (Beginner Korean II): 100 hours

Level 3 (Intermediate Korean I): 100 hours

Level 4 (Intermediate Korean II): 100 hours

Level 5 (Understanding Korean Society): 50 hours

Are there any costs for people taking the program?

None. Anyone that registers to take the Social Integration Program do not have to pay anything. Regardless of what level(s) you have to take, all course books are provided free of charge from the South Korean government.

I guess if there are any outright costs you have to pay, transportation costs would be the only thing you would have to pay to get to your class from your home.

Taking the Pre-Assessment

Before you can apply for a course in the Social Integration Program, you must first take a pre-level test to see which level you will be placed at. This test is comprised of both a written exam and a speaking interview. The written portion has 48 multiple choice questions with two short answer questions, 50 questions in total. The speaking interview you will be asked to read a short passage of a story aloud provided by the test proctors and later asked some questions related to both the story and other topics the proctors want to ask. The test would take about an hour to finish: 50 minutes for the written exam and 10 minutes for the interview. As of 2014, this is the breakdown of what level you would be placed based on your pre-level test score.

Level 0: Interview score less than 3 (regardless of written test score)

Level 1: 3-20 points

Level 2: 21-40 points

Level 3: 41-60 points

Level 4: 61-80 points

Level 5: 81-100 points

Taking a Korean Language Level Test

The test is taken after you have completed each level class: Level 1 (Beginner Korean I), Level 2 (Beginner Korean II), or Level 3 (Intermediate Korean I) . Similar to the other level tests, the written test has 20 questions. The speaking interview consists of five or more questions the test proctor will ask you.

This test you need to have at least 60 out of 100 points to move on to the next level.

Korean Language Books To Help Supplement Your Korean Studies

Taking the Korea Immigration and Integration Program - Korean Language Test

The test is taken after you have completed the Level 4 (Intermediate Korean II) class. Similar to the other level tests, the written test has 30 questions: 28 multiple choice questions and two short answer questions. The speaking interview consists of five or more questions the test proctor will ask you. The test in total takes about 55 minutes: 45 minutes for the written portion and 10 minutes for the interview.

One thing about the written test, the proctors first give the two short answer questions to the participants. Each person will have only five minutes to answer each question. To get the highest score on the short answer part, it is recommended to write between 60 to 100 characters within the allotted time. Afterwards, you will have a five~ten minute interval where the proctors will briefly explain the multiple choice portion.

This test you need to have at least 60 out of 100 points to move on to Level 5.

Taking the Korea Immigration and Naturalization Aptitude Test

The test is taken after you have completed the Level 5 (Understanding Korean Society) class. Similar to the other level tests, the written test has 40 questions: 38 multiple choice questions and two short answer questions. The speaking interview consists of five or more questions the test proctor will ask you. The test in total takes about 70 minutes: 60 minutes for the written portion and 10 minutes for the interview.

This test you need to have at least 60 out of 100 points to pass the entire program.

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