Seorae is a little part of Seoul that has a certain Je nais sais quoi. Famed for being that little part of the capital that brings the French quarter to Korea, experience some European culture, for an afternoon at the very least.
Located about ten minutes away from the busy Express Bus Terminal, Seorae Maeul (village) has for many years been a heavily French populated area with many expats gravitating towards this South-eastern area of Seoul. The streets are quaint with a mixture of European architecture and French style boutiques and bakeries, with Korea’s very own Paris Croissant sitting proudly in the middle of the street with a specialised French bakery style menu. Restaurants with French inspired cuisine abound, and French and other foreign kids animate the streets after a school day at the Lycée Français de Séoul and signage is shared between French and Korean.
The Seorae Global Village Center (SGVC) is central to this special societal feeling, encapsulating that French feeling with services for the local community spanning Korean, French and English. The third floor premises of this cozy yet inviting center is geared toward the local mothers and children, although anybody is welcome through their doors.
The SGVC is very community focused providing morning Korean language programs for both beginners and advanced levels. A free speaking afternoon session on Fridays also encourages the groups to mix and practice the language from the week. The next program starts on September 7 2015, although the center will continue to accept registration for courses until all places are filled.
Traditionally, the center has been – and continues – to be very active within the local community, arranging volunteering programs. Currently, Wednesday afternoons are dedicated to encouraging the local expat residents to volunteer a service of the choice. The volunteers, who are mainly foreign adults, offer their language skills and their time to provide reading sessions in both English and French, play board games and participate in different arts and craft classes. Children of all ages up to nine are invited to join in the sessions which doubles up as a local playgroup for the kids once school is out at midday.
The Seorae Global Village Center is also interested in repeating its previous success of volunteering with a local school or charity and are currently in talks to arrange a new program starting this fall. Previous sessions have included bringing a group of volunteers to a hospital to read and chat to patients and keep them company. The center currently has many people who would be interested in volunteering and would love to hear from local organisations in the Banpo area to arrange their next exciting project.
Seorae also arranged many cultural events for the local community to experience anything and everything from Hanji paper craft to Korean cooking. September brings a program of Korean craft classes every Thursday to try a hand at the detailed art with participants bring home all of their creations. There will also be a Korean cooking class on Monday September 7 2015, inviting cuisine enthusiasts to make the all-time Korean favorite bibimbap. On September 18th 2015 Seorae will host a Chuseok theme day to provide an occasion to make Korean sweets and share with the local senior shelter of Bangbae.
Seorae has a strong link with the local community so it comes to no surprise that it is working closely and in conjunction with CFC (Cercle Franco-Coréen) as a community partner. Supporting each other’s events and volunteering needs allows expats – of any nationality – to get involved. If you are in the Banpo area, drop into the center, bring the kids and experience something Korean, European and global.
Class at a Glance…(all taking place at the Seorae Global Village Center)
|After Class Activity
Weds – 1pm-1.50pm
Storytelling in French
|After Class Activity
Weds – 2pm-2.50pm
Board Games in French
|After Class Activity
Weds – 3pm-3.50pm
Janggu for Kids
|After School Program
Fri – 4:00pm-4:50pm
Art for Kids
|Korean Crafts Class
Plus material Fee
|Korean Cooking Class
Monday September 7th
1:30pm to 3pm
More Info: Events are mainly free. However fees for some classes range between KRW5,000-KRW20,000 won. Check the website or Facebook page for more details.
Times: 9am-6pm (lunch break 12pm-1pm). Open Monday to Friday, except Public Holidays.
Address: 3rd floor, Jeon Building, Seorae-ro 28, Seocho-gu, Seoul
(90-12 Banpo 4-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul)
Contact Info: 02-2155-8915~6
Subway: Express Bus Terminal Station (Line 3 or 7, Exit 6).