Cafe Studying: A Dilemma

To cafe study or to not, that is the question.


Cafe studying is a very common activity seen in Korea. People who can’t focus at home choose to study at their local cafes, sometimes with friends and sometimes alone. But, really, how effective is this method of studying? Let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of cafe studying.



Studying at home is hard, partly because it is so easy to become distracted! While there may be plenty who can study efficiently at home, most can’t resist the calling of their TV, or the internet. But, at a cafe, there is really nothing else to do but study. Furthermore, scrolling through websites such as Facebook is less likely in a cafe environment because of self-consciousness: you get embarrassed to be seen in a public place surrounded by studying material, but casually scrolling through pictures.


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Studying is energy-consuming, and studying at a cafe provides easy access to high quality snacks! Waffles, toast, sandwiches, cake, and more are right there for you. Furthermore, if you need the little caffeine boost, a variety of smooth, rich coffee is readily available!



If you like to study in groups, studying at a cafe is easiest! It could be located at a convenient middle point between houses so that you can spend less time on transportation. Also, unlike libraries, cafes have an environment where you can talk and laugh with ease. If there’s a group project that needs to be completed, cafes are the perfect place to discuss ideas and cooperate!




Yes, cafes are great for studying, but honestly, proper etiquette would be to buy something each time you go there to study. This could pile up, and all your allowance money would fly out the window!



Cafes are, in the end, public places. So, often, it’s inevitable that the cafe you always go to will be too crowded and have no seats. Even if you do find seats, you might not be able to concentrate with the roaring laughter and gossiping chit-chat going on around you.


So, cafes are for you when…

  • You’re always distracted by endless Buzzfeed videos, Tumblr, Facebook, 9gag, etc.
  • You find yourself taking many, many trips to the refrigerator.
  • You live in Seoul, and have a group project with people who live in Bundang (or vice versa).
  • You have a gift card to a cafe for your birthday present.
  • You have a pair of really good headphones.
  • You like to study often with friends.
  • You love coffee.

But, in the end, whenever it comes to studying, you do you and study however and wherever you want!

– Sarah Chin (’16)

Banners by Yunji Lee (’16)

Header: INTO blog

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