At Dongguk’s “Marriage and Family” course, students have to date three classmates for a month each by the end of the semester. They first submit to their professor their chosen dates via email, before they are coupled and sent off to go on dates together as part of their assignment, according to Koreaboo.
Professor Jun Mi-kyung said the class has been received well by students, particularly female students who clearly express what and who they want as for partners.
“Of course, some partners actually developed into real couples, but after a year, the majority of them seem to have separated,” the professor said, as quoted by Evoice.
“This is natural, as most college relationships end in break-ups rather than marriage. Maturing through relationships and break-ups are the primary objective of this course.”
Another university that offers such courses is Kyung Hee University, with its course titled “Love and Marriage” taught by Professor Jang Jang Jae-sook, who founded Dongguk’s course above.
Dating in real life is as important as learning it in theory, according to Jang, which explains why the curriculum lets students choose partners among classmates before going on “dating missions”.
“The course does not teach students that a happy relationship should end in marriage, as today’s students consider both dating and marriage to be optional.”
“The aim of the course is to develop students’ ability to choose what kind of person is right for them, so they can make healthy relationships,” Jang explained, adding that it is imperative given the frequent incidents of child abuse and dating violence today.
— Paul Coleman (@Paul_ADFIntl) September 26, 2017
The courses are said to be borne out of the rise of a “sampo” generation in South Korea, where young people are shunning the traditional ideas of courtship, marriage and having children.
And even for those interested in dating and stating a family, they lack knowledge on such subjects, according to Jun.
“This is because students do not have the chance to look into their behaviours, so this is the main objective of the course. For instance, we speculate scenarios such as what you would do if you were jealous: to tell their feelings, pretend that they are not jealous, or to restrain their feelings. We share the results together and discuss how to overcome such conflicts.”