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Useful tips

How to Reset Your KIIP Passwords

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Have you ever found yourself getting frustrated with logging in to the KIIP website?

Creating that account was hard enough. But then, you find yourself locked out from your accounts for whatever reason. Here are some hacks that you can try. 


Reset your SOCINET account


It would perhaps comfort you to know that you are not the only one who has forgotten a username or password. Even if you had tried to follow the pop up windows on how to do that, it just doesn’t work all the time. 

Let me tell you one that worked for me. You solve this in two ways. First, call 1345 and they can send you a copy of the request form. Or continue reading below. You will need a computer, printer and a fax for this one though. 

  1. Click on the form below to get a copy of the form for password reset request. Fill it up with your details. This will include your ARC number, address and phone number when you first signed up for the program. You might also need to attach an image of your ACR card. In case of a change on your contact number, please indicate both old and new because they will send the notification via text. 

  2. Once properly filled up, send it via fax to the number indicated. 

  3. Then, wait for the notification thru your mobile number. This will just take a day on a good date. 

  4. You can now use that new password to log in to your SOCINET account. 

If you don’t have access to a printer-fax machine, there should be a public library in your town with digital access for you to be able to print out the form. You will need a library user account (a.k.a. library card) but if you don’t have one yet, here’s another post to help you get one. 

Unfortunately, fax service is not a regular part of the digital library services.

Bigger school and office supply stores are also a good place to find fax services. It only cost about 600 won. 

Don’t forget looking into an internet cafe as well. Those game rooms also known as “pc bangs” will probably have both, along with a good internet speed.

Reset your kiiptest.org password account


Now, let’s say that you are ready to take a test. But are we ever really ready for such? And to make it worse, you also forgot your password.

Before anything else, it’s best to open the kiiptest.org website through the socinet.go.kr.  Just tick the box and click “apply” at the lower right as shown below.


It should open the kiiptest.org  website on a new tab like this below with your socinet.go.kr  username.

If that doesn’t work, no worries. Take note of the (02) 264- 38791 (extension #1) from the previous socinet page.

“안녕하세요. 비밀번호를 재설정하고 싶습니다.”


Just call them and give your Korean language speaking skills a try. There should be someone on their end in case either of you figure out that your Korean skills will need an English speaker instead.   

They will ask you for certain details to confirm your identity in order to give a new password. The whole reset process done over the phone will not take that long. Getting someone on the line might be harder though if you call during the peak days and hours. It’s better to have your log in accounts in order before the specific sign up period for classes and tests. Slots are known to disappear fast on those dates. 

There are about 2,849 slots available for the pre-test as of this writing. And 1,608 slots are set for the final test, round 3 of this year as shown below. Most of the testing sites are currently outside the Seoul Metropolitan area because of COVID.

They will then ask you some personal details based on the information you had submitted when you signed up. This is, of course, to double check your identity. 

After confirmation, you will be informed of a new password that you can try right after the call. 

Quick notes and tips:

  1. Use Internet Explorer. That is a must practically for every Korean government online system.

  2. The account user name for both socinet and kiiptest are the same. The passwords can be different particularly if you choose to change them after the reset. 

  3. Get those log in details all set up beforehand. Signing up for classes or tests can sometimes be a test itself.

Doing the Korea Immigration and Integration Program in Korea is not easy.  A little bit of patience and politeness will help. There are times when we’ll feel frustrated or stressed but just take a deep breath and calmly try these hacks.

Travel to Jeju with Cheonan’s Jeju Mijak (제주 미작) Cafe

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One of the long weekend holiday, Seollal (설날), has just ended.

How did you spend it?  Or how would you like to spend a long weekend then?



Most would choose to rest while on a vacation, might be abroad or within the country. What place comes into your mind when travelling just around Korea? I think, this is the most well-loved destination of most tourist or even locals to spend their holiday.

Right, that’s~~~

But here comes the time of pandemic where travelling especially to well-known places to tourists and even locals is discouraged. Just like my family, you might have opted to stay home.


So, if you missed Jeju so much, let me introduce a place that gives you this vibe.


제주 미작
Jeju Mijak

This newly opened cafe (January 27, 2021) brings Jeju vibe closer to us without even boarding a plane or being aboard in a ferry. It is located in Shinbandong area (신방동) away from the busy streets of Cheonan with a long stream and even a long area to take a stroll.


What things about Jeju do you want to see?

Dol Hareubang (돌 하르방 )

Hallasan (한라산) or maybe the Seongsan Ilchulbong (성산일출봉Sunrise Peak 

Hallabong (한라봉)


*ICONS by Yeojeong Lee

These are just afew of Jeju’s icon and you’ll definitely get to see it in this cafe too😆

the Cafe |outdoor|

Round tables and built-in benches are in placed if you opt to stay outside. Parking space is wide and is available at the back of the cafe.

the Cafe |indoor|

A wide area with few dividers.

Tables and chairs along the wide glass window.

Another “cabin” on the far opposite of the main entrance door. And another couple of tables and chairs enclosed by the Doldam, called to this wall made of volcanic rocks which is an icon of Jeju too.

the Cafe |Menu, food & beverage|

Plus point on the use of UV Sterilizer for the utensils there, just perfect on this period! By the way, it might take a while for your order to be served, but you’ll be amazed of how they prepared it especially the plating. 💞 So while waiting for it, you can look around and step outside for some photoshoot feeling like you’re in Jeju. As for me, the prices are just worth it because of the good taste and big serving that can be shared for 2-3 people.

the Cafe |What we Had|

There will be another long weekend ahead but you don’t need to wait for it to be able to take a trip down Jeju. Or if you feel sad or blue because you are extra careful not to go on a trip during a long weekend or holiday break, then, this Jeju Mijak got you covered.

Name: Jeju Mijak | 제주미작 (for Navigation)

Address: 충청남도 천안시 동남구 신흥1길 58 (신방동 150-10)

150-39 Sinbang-dong, Dongnam-gu, Cheonan-si, Chungcheongnam-do

Contact #: 041-571-7572

Operating Hours: 10AM – 10PM (Everyday)

Korean Side Dishes Store and More

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How to find “homemade” Korean food that only needs minimal cooking

Korea is all about convenience. Whether you are a single person or a busy mom juggling a lot of life commitment, we all need to eat. But not everyone has the talent nor the time to get delicious food on the table everyday. Thus, restaurants and food delivery are the answers for such needs. 

Then, COVID came. Less people head out to restaurants, while some have gotten tired of the typical food deliveries in their localities. This post will share another way to get your “home-cooked” Korean dishes on your table.

Korean banchan or side dishes make up the typical Korean meal. Stir fried anchovy and nuts, salted squid, seasoned dried raddish, sesame leaf, and beef in soy sauce (장조림) are just a few dishes on this long list of side dishes. These, along with a main dish which is usually a stew, can be time consuming to prepare regularly. It might be a challenge to do so if you keep a busy lifestyle. 

Fortunately, you can buy these side dishes by itself. You can find these in traditional supermarkets and some grocery stores. And then, there’s the “banchan stores” or 반찬 가게. These are stores exclusively selling banchans. They are usually located in busy areas. 

But a Korean meal will also have some soup or stew to go with these side dishes. And these are usually served warm and cooking it at home is still preferred for most Koreans. This is where Cookchen  (국친)  offers a solution. 

Cookchen, a home-grown company in Cheonan, started with finding a solution to bring home-cooked food accessible to busy people. *Whether you are a single person or a working mom, this can be an option that can make life easier. This company launched a few years ago and now has branches in Cheonan, Cheongju, Asan and Seoul.

At first glance, this looks like a typical banchan (side dish) store to a non-Korean eyes. Yes, they do have the dish dishes. But the main dishes like stew, soups, etc. are also available to order as meal kits. You can easily cook up a dish of your choice all prepared for you. *No need to go to the market, chop vegetables, and have leftovers which might just go unused if you don’t know your way in the kitchen. 

You can choose among the different Korean meat-based dishes, soups, stews, and stir fries. It would then be prepared for you: cleaned, sliced, packed and ready to cook, not just reheat. So you still get your freshly-cooked stew or soup without much fuss. 

A serving would usually serve 2-3 people but there is also an option for a bigger serving, 4-5 people. Prices range from 6,500 ₩ for the basic doenjang chigue to 24,800 ₩ for the generous serving of a dish under the special sets menu. There’s plenty of choices to fill up your weekly menu.

There are alternative options to food delivery from restaurants, convenience-store lunch boxes, and reheatable food from the grocery store. And no, this has nothing to do with having kind Korean-in-laws giving you those. Lucky for those who got one though. We hope that this post has given you an idea where to find Korean meals that you can easily cook at home with less fuss. 


Just use the keyword 반찬 가게 in your Korean-based map and you’ll definitely find one or two. If you’re keen to try Cookchen, using 국친 keyword will give you locations within Cheonan as well. 

New KIIP Textbooks for 2021

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Here are some reasons why the new books are worth having if you are studying for KIIP (Korean Immigration and Integration Program.) What makes these books different from the old ones? We try to break down the differences, updates and improvements done in the new KIIP textbooks.

KIIP is a program provided by the Ministry of Justice through the Korea Immigration Service. 

The program aims to support foreigners acquire basic knowledge and information (Korean language and culture) so that they can become self-reliant members of Korean society. – Korean Immigration Service website

It was initially geared for married immigrants in its early phase with local multicultural government offices helping to sign up the students.  Most students were immigrant women married to Koreans and a few foreign workers thrown in the mix. Completing the program and passing the tests would provide additional points when applying for certain visas. After a few years, it has slowly evolved into a more diversified source of information for culture and social integration in Korea. 

The previous set of books had been used in the program for a while. It’s about time to have a new and updated set for 2021. 

Levels 0-4 cover Korean language skills including vocabulary, reading, listening, speaking and grammar. It also has additional cultural text for each chapter. 

Level 5 deals heavily on society, economy, politics etc. This level is further divided into two, 일반 or general and 심화 or intensified. Each would depend on one’s immigration goals, permanent residency or naturalization accordingly. 

Let’s first go over some points on how the previous and new books compare. For this, we will look at Levels 3-5 books. Level 3 and 4 are the intermediate level that covers culture, reading, listening, pronunciation, writing and grammar. Level 5, on the other hand, is devoid of any grammar and pronunciation lessons. This goes for both old and new books. 

Physical Description



front cover

Shows photos of Korean national treasures like palace, samulnori, mask 

Lower Levels: Illustrated puzzle showing people in various activities

Level 5: Illustrated Korean architectural structures


20 x 19 cm

28 x 21.5cm


This, of course, is an important thing in every book. Since it’s been a while that the previous textbooks were published, changes on the contents are expected in the new books. 



Number of Books and Audio Resource

One book per level

One CD per book

2 books per level, student book and workbook

QR Codes instead of CDs

Number of Units

Total of 20 units, including two units for review practice tests

Total of 18 units, including two units for review practice tests

Pages per unit

2 pages – vocabulary

2 pages – grammar

2 pages for speaking and listening

2 pages for reading and writing

1 page culture

1 page – vocabulary plus another one as checklist at the end of each unit

2 pages – grammar

1 page – each for speaking, listening, writing

2 pages – reading

1  page – culture

1 page – word checklist


Table of contents, course outline, answers keys and listening transcripts

Almost same but with one significant addition: INDEX pages

There’s a word checklist at the end of each regular unit. It looks better than the small vocabulary text boxes that look like footnotes in the old textbook.  

old textbook

The text are slightly larger. The pronunciation part is also better illustrated. And you can easily access the audio files needed using the QR code instead of a CD.

And last, but not the least, is the index. It is now easier to find a certain topic listed on the last pages of the book. 

Topics, vocabulary used, practicality of contents

Some topic titles were retained, while some were updated. How these were presented were also improved in terms of the choices of words used. Traditional textbook terms were slightly lesser. There is an attempt to use more current words that would most likely be used in the present Korea. But that is not all. Along with the words are the current societal issues and non-subtle photos that might hint at signs of the changes that are happening in Korea. It was interesting to spot such while browsing the new books.

Other side of the coin: 

If you want to have a lot more details and text about Korea, keep holding on to the old textbooks. It is still a trove of information just for itself. It’s like Korean social studies textbook that Korean kids study at school for years condensed into 5-6 books for an adult non-Korean to learn.   


Why are these books different from the old ones? 

  1. updated contents and vocabulary

  2. easy on the eyes with bigger texts and more pictures

  3. less plastic use with QR code vs. CD for the audio resources 

  4. additional workbook for more practice

It comes with a workbook that I think will be helpful for the proverbial test-prep culture in Korea. 

What’s my recommendation? It’s a no-brainer. 

Get the new set, of course. If you are just starting, these will be the ones to be used starting 2021. You really have no choice especially if you are aiming to study and take the test. 

If you are already on the system and already have the old books, the workbook can be helpful to review on. If you are on level 3-4 that covers intermediate grammar, the workbook can also help if you already have the old books. You can get these books at bookstores, offline and online.

Good luck to whatever goals you have for learning Korean and about Korea through KIIP. 

Cheonan Call Van

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Cheonan Call Van Service

Have you ever heard of the cheonan call van?  I’d like to recommend the cheonan call van service. What’s a call van? A call van is like a private car you call to get you  from a place in cheonan to any city and vice versa.

Call vans are more efficient and convenient than public transportation.  The fare is very cheap.  It’s less expensive than the taxi because there’s no counter. The price is already fixed and it’s usually less than what one could have payed for the taxi. It’s also possible to negotiate with the driver beforehand depending on the luggage size/quantity/weight and travel distance. It’s quick.  One phone call will get you wherever you want to go quickly and accurately.  It’s safe. All drivers are registered and take care of 100% telephone reservations. So it’s easy to track in the event of an accident and all records remain. The call van drivers are very kind and friendly. It’s available 24hours a day, you  can call them at anytime they’ll run to you.

When can you use the call van?

You can take the call van when you are off to the aiport at dawn, To move to a one room,  when you have a lot of luggages: Taxis often refuse people to ride if they have a lot of luggage, but with the call vans you can ride 100% without problem. When you are moving with a group (friends or family) or when moving pets you can call a call van. Alsso, when you are going urgently in the hospital/or leaving the hospital or somewhere else you need to get ASAP. You can just use the cheonan call van services anytime you need it, it depends on you.

Chenan call van service is just one call away. You say where you are and you tell them your destination. But the only thing that can be a problem is that you have go to say it in korean. It’s very easy. You just have to say ” yeoboseyeo yeokineun … (the place you are) imnida. (the destination) kayo.” then they’ll run to you.

cheonan call van phone number:






Fruit Gift Baskets for All Occasions

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Premium fruit basket gifts. Holiday season means gifts. Whether it’s for a new year or a simple get-well gift, one can hardly go wrong with fruits. It also seems like a popular gift for a new birth or job promotion among locals. But come to think of it, fruits are quite an all-around gift especially if you wish for good health for the receiver. Boxed fruits are pretty common but a box of different fruits in one will surely be a special gift. 

Fruit Baskets and Box

La Fruta got you covered there. This franchised specialty fruit store will source out all those different fruits locally and even coming from Thailand, Chile, etc. They will put them in a nice basket or box and *deliver it as long as it is within the delivery area, that is. They have branches scattered around the peninsula. The Cheonan branch opened last year to serve Cheonan and Pyeongtaek cities. 

There are different sizes to choose from. It can be in a basket or box depending on the size or the kinds of fruits that you want. Fruit baskets have four sizes ranging from small (S) to extra large (XL). The small basket starts with about eight kinds of fruits. This might include pineapple, banana, apple, pear, melon, grapes, gold kiwi, and mandarin orange. Mango, persimmon, pomegranate, apple mango, avocado, etc. are added depending on the size, price and availability in each season. 

The box, on the other hand, starts at medium size going up to an extra large option. The biggest one will be best as a gift for in-laws or people that you might want to impress.

They also accept orders for mixed fresh fruits in cups perfect for a healthy snack. This will need to have a minimum of 20 cups per order though which will cost 27,000 KRW. 

Order, Pickup and Delivery

You can easily find La Fruta Cheonan branch in Sinbuldang. Orders can be made 20 minutes before pick up. If within the locality, delivery is also possible. Their social media accounts lafruta_cheonan in IG and boribro in Kakao Talk are available for further inquiries. 


1st Floor, TOP Plaza

Buldang-dong 1827

Seobuk-gu Cheonan City

충남 천안시

서북구 불당34길

3-15 106호 Top Plaza

How to Use the Korean Public Library App

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Are you still using a regular library card? This post will help you get started with Libropia, the library mobile application for Cheonan City public libraries. You will get an electronic library card on your phone. You won’t have to bring another card whenever you use the library. And what’s more, you can also access the other seven libraries through this app. 

What is Libropia?

Libropia is a mobile application that most Korean public libraries use. It is another way to access library services at your fingertips. You can add different libraries, not only in Cheonan, through this app. This is not really new since quite a few of Korean cities have been integrated into the app these past couple of years. 

You must have a library card from your local library, of course. Getting one is easy as long as you’ve got your proper identification cards (your Alien Registration Card) and phone number for verification. Here is another post that shows you how to do it if you don’t have it yet. 

How to get started with Libropia?

Download and sign up on the Libropia App

Once you have your library card, download the Libropia app.

This is available on both Android and iOS platforms. You may also use a QR code.

After downloading, tap “create a new Libropia account.”

Agree to terms and type in your details.

You now have the default Libropia library on your screen. To use your local library, you will need to add it in your libraries.

Add a local library

Let’s try to add Ssangyong Library for this example.

Have your physical library card on hand. It should have your name, 14-digit membership number and RFID printed on it.

You can either use the map OR the search bar by typing in the library name (쌍용).

  1. Tap the home button icon at the top left to find Ssangyong Library. (Your screen should have only one 리브로피아 도서관 on the list. Photo shown above already has more.)

  2. Tap the plus sign on the top right. 

3. Click on it from the list, then continue to click on 확인. 

Ssangyong Library should now show up on your library list.

Tap on it and go back to the main screen of the Libropia Library.

Link and create an electronic library card

  1. Starting at the Ssanyong Library home screen, tap on the card icon (도서관회윈증). 

  2. Key in your name and membership number from your physical library card. Tap on 인증. 

  3. After confirmation, there will be now be ✓인증 next to the Ssangyong library on the list.  You can now use the Ssangyong Library online services. 

There you have it! You just got yourself a Ssangyong Library e-card. Leave your card at home. Just show up at the library with your well-charged phone. Use this instead when you borrow and return books. You can also explore other library features like Korean ebooks, audio books, etc. There are more ways now to make use of libraries in this digital age through apps. 

2021 National Holidays

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Let’s check out the Holidays of this nation.

Here are the days to note for the 1st half of the year.

and these days from the 2nd half of the year.

Do you already have plans in mind on what to do during these holidays?

May we take time to commemorate these special days whether alone or with our families – indoors or outdoors.

And don’t forget to take the precautionary measures for our safety during this time of pandemic.

Studying Korean during Covid-19

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Recently the government has raised the social distancing level in Cheonan to level two. With all the new cases of Covid-19 and the cold winter weather, many people are staying indoors. This is a perfect time to start studying Korean again. In this article, I will show you some useful websites and some study methods for all levels of Korean learners that you can use from the comfort of your own home.

If you are a beginner in Korean and want to study with a tutor. Italki offers lots of tutors for all levels of learners. You can sign up for writing, free speaking, culture, and grammar classes. You sign up, pick a tutor that you want to use, and then start studying. All of the tutors offer a wide variety of class times. You can take from a short 30-minute class to a 90-minute class. All of the tutors have an introduction video where you can get an idea of their teaching style and personality. In my opinion, it’s one of the best ways to do distance tutoring socially.

If you are a beginner and want to do some self-studying. Talk to Me in Korean is a great website. The website has two sections: a subscription and a bookstore. The subscription section offers a variety of grammar videos with notes for learning. The book store offers tons of Ebooks to help beginner and intermediate learners. There are books on grammar, conversations, news articles, and even kpop lessons. If you are unsure of your Korean ability, there is even a free Korean test you can take.

If you are like me and want to study for cheap. Naver offers a variety of webtoons that you can read for free. The webpage separates the webtoons into different genres. There are romance, sports, high school, work, horror, and children’s webtoons. No matter your personal preference, there is a webtoon for everyone. The webtoons are all very short and take about 10 minutes to read. They are perfect for learning new vocabulary and practicing reading. Best of all, webtoons are all free!

If you are a beginner or advanced learner, there are always words that you may not know what they mean. Most of my friends use Google translate, which is good, but Naver translate is a better website. To use it, just search a word and then click the subtitle ” 어학사전” Then you will have a list of the translations and some similar words.

Cheonan City Late-night Buses

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Cheonan City has decided to operate late-night buses to enhance the convenience of public transportation during late-night hours starting December.

The city plans to introduce late-night buses that travel every hour from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. when city buses are cut off to connect with other public transportation such as subways, KTX and trains.

The introduction of late-night buses is a part of the transportation welfare services.

Late-night buses will operate on three 16-seat small buses and a total of two routes, and the city plans to deploy late-night buses first in the eastern part of the city, which has a large floating population, using big data analysis service data.

The late-night bus route will run around the terminal, Dujeong Station, Cheonan City Hall. The other one will run the western wings of Cheonan train station, Ssangyong Station, Cheonan Asan Station and Cheonan City Hall.

The late-night bus fare is the same as the regular bus fare in Cheonan, which is 800 won for children, 1,280 won for teenagers, 1,600 won for adults. With transportation cards, it will be 700 won for children, 920 won for teenagers, and 1,500 won for adults. In addition, free transfer can be made once within 45 minutes.

From July to November last year, the city discovered late-night bus routes through a big data analysis project in Cheonan City and signed a business agreement with two city bus companies on late-night bus operations, and plans to purchase small electric buses at a cost of 510 million won (195 million won in state funds and 315 million won in city funds) this month.

A city official said, “There have been complaints about the need for extended operation of city buses only by using taxis because public transportation such as subway, KTX, and trains are not connected to city buses,” adding, “We plan to plan late-night buses to realize universal transportation welfare late at night.”

“The finalized version of late-night bus route has yet to be finalized, but we plan to circulate around sections to enhance connectivity with public transportation such as subways, KTX and trains,” he said. “Through the evaluation of the operation, the late-night bus routes may be expanded.”