I have been associated with this website since the late 2008, when it was introduced to me by a class mate of mine who was studying korean with me.. Since then, I have joined various meetups and even met the creator, Chuck, during one of the large scale meetup, organized at Korea university.
I have made numerous friends and even conducted one meetup involving participants from Suwon area. While there are 1000s of language exchange/cultural exchange websites in the world, there are a few factors which make Hanlingo far ahead when compared to others, especially in Korea.
1. The creator, Chuck, actively listens to our opinions and implements our feedbacks very promptly. I guess such a fact is quite important because, along with numerous other benefits, it helps us weed out imposters and help the website better day by day. Along the span of 2.5 years I have been associated with this website, I have seen many examples of prompt actions he has taken.
2. The chat window in the main page. While I dont use it personally a lot, I have seen a lot of people using it and asking language questions and getting the answers from people online. I guess that this is one of the important features that makes this website so helpful to make friends. One can ask a question in realtime and get the answers.
3. The users on the map. Hanlingo shows the users on the map based on the input they have given while registering. This is VERY helpful especially for people looking for getting friends/language exchange partners near them. Instead of using a basic search, one could directly go to the map and then check for the desired target friends based on sex, native language and distance. I find this feature quite unique and helpful.
4. Even though any other such website has a Forum, I guess that Hanlingo forum is quite resourceful as well.
5. Book Deals. While I haven’t used this specific feature as much, I guess this is a one stop for all your book deals. It actually shows all the books available cheap (less than $10 a copy). I am planning to use this feature in the future, whenever I need to look for a good and cheap deal.
6. Meetups. One can organize meetups and define the place and date and put it up on the main page for others to sign up. This is something like Meetup.com but the best part is that unlike the Meetup website, when you need to pay some money to the website for making a meetup, Chuck encourages interaction by making this feature free of cost.
While I can go on and on about the good things about the website, I would say that its only complete when you actually experience it yourself. While everything on this website is not free, some of the important, essential features are kept free for use so that the users can use them in developing long term friendships and learn more about different cultures. There are members from various parts of the globe as well.. So even though its mainly used by Korean users and people living in Korea, there is a global touch as well.
I have been here for quite a long time and have made some good friends during that time. I hope that you do too.
Click here for accessing the website: http://www.hanlingo.com
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