Chinese students embrace intense ‘Korean girl study’ method that lasts for hours

Chinese students embrace intense ‘Korean girl study’ method that lasts for hours
via Crooked little bag (left), Daengeun (right)
Ryan General
By Ryan General
December 21, 2023
The “Korean girl study method” has taken Chinese social media by storm as influencers embrace the intense study routines of Korean vloggers, popularly known as “gongbang.” 
About gongbang: In Korea, gongbang refers to livestreamed videos featuring vloggers engaged in long stretches of studying, often lasting for several hours. The name itself combines “gongbu” (study) and “bangsong” (broadcast). These silent or music-accompanied sessions showcase meticulous notetaking, textbook absorption and relentless focus.

A global phenomenon: Gongbang first emerged in 2018 and gained global traction during the pandemic, generating hundreds of millions of views and engagements across different social media platforms. The trend resonated with students worldwide seeking motivation and structure amidst lockdowns and disrupted learning.

Impact on Chinese students: Chinese netizens, particularly those facing high-stakes tests like the civil service exam, have reportedly latched onto the Korean study approach. The intense routines, often fueled by iced Americanos, daily vitamins, workouts and meticulous skincare regimens, have become a cultural phenomenon. Influencers like Jennylog and YouDan have garnered immense praise for their ability to memorize vast amounts of material while maintaining healthy lifestyles.
Exam spiritual leaders: Chinese platforms like Bilibili and Douyin cater specifically to gongbang, with dedicated sections attracting hundreds of thousands of viewers for top “Korean girl study” videos. According to Chinese content creator Candise Lin, these sessions offer virtual companionship and a sense of shared struggle among Chinese students who have come to view their Korean peers as “spiritual leaders” of exam preparation.
The trend has sparked a challenge in China, where students attempt to replicate the intense focus of Korean vloggers. One Chinese vlogger claimed doing the Korean study method helped her pass her civil service examinations.
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