* When asked about ways of spending leisure life, some people may have the answers to this question, while for others, it might be the first time for them to think about their leisure. Reporters from the Ewha Media Center comprising the Ewha Voice, the Ewha Weekly, and the Ewha University Broadcasting System conducted serial reporting under the theme of “University students’ leisure,” and researched about the status and characteristics of Korean university students’ leisure life, along with how they consider leisure. Moreover, to uncover the difference between students in foreign countries and those in Korea and find its implications, the Ewha Media Center visited Germany, as the country is known for its full support for leisure, experts say. In this edition, the Ewha Voice reported on the overall analysis of Korean undergraduates’ leisure in-depth. Stories about Germany will be featured on the next issue.
To grasp the current situation of Korean university students’ leisure life, the Ewha Media Center conducted a survey of 511 university students from Ewha, Dongguk University, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Hanyang University, Hanyang Women’s University, Hongik University, Konkuk University, Kyung Hee Universtiy, Sejong University, Sogang University, Sungkyunkwan University, and Yonsei University based on the survey questionnaire produced by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in 2010.
According to the survey results, university students’ total average leisure time turned out to be 3.34 hours per day, which failed to reach the national average leisure time of four hours shown on the research. To the question “What type of leisure did you enjoy the most this year?” answers showed that university students took part in “Hobby and Entertainment activities” the most. Approximately 131 students (29.9 percent) out of 454 replied that they enjoyed activities including surfing the Internet, shopping and dinning out, or reading, followed by 90 students (19.8 percent) who took part in “Arts and Culture exhibitions,” 11 students (2.42 percent) that undertook “Tour activities,” and seven students (1.54 percent) who “Watch Sports.” The most distinguishing feature of Korean undergraduates’ leisure activities is the fact that leisure activities are mostly concentrated indoors. Experts say the highly advanced Internet technology, online culture, and smart phones of Korea affect the feature.
“In a sense, Korea’s leisure life style has developed into the most suitable way that fits Korea’s indoor-focused distinctive characteristic,” said professor Lee Chul-won (Yonsei University), a professor at the Department of Sport & Leisure Studies who holds a doctorate in Leisure and Recreation from Ohio State University.
“Since consumption is included in most of the indoor activities such as movie going, drinking, and clubbing, strong consumerism tendency appears in Korea’s leisure culture, as a result.”
To the question asking about the overall satisfaction in leisure life, 187 students (41.28 percent) out of 453 replied “Satisfied,” followed by “Average” comprising 162 students (35.76 percent), and 104 students answering (22.96 percent) “Dissatisfied.” To the reason for dissatisfaction, “Lack of time” occupied 42.4 percent and marked the greatest number while “Financial burden” ranked second at 33.33 percent.