|Foreigners in K-pop training. Capture from RBW website|
By Dong Sun-hwa
A growing number of foreigners are visiting Korea to pay up to 10 million won ($8,900) a month to study K-pop.
According to Maeil Business Newspaper Wednesday, Rainbowbridge World (RBW,) the agency for K-pop girl band MAMAMOO that operates the "RBW K-POP Educational Training Program (Dream Withus,)" attracted 30 students in 2015.
The figure doubled to 60 in 2017, and is expected to reach 200 this year.
"Most students are aged 15-23," RBW told the media outlet. "They can choose a one-week or a two-week program that includes accommodation for about 1.5 million ($1300) to 2 million won."
Some attend specialized courses before going back to their own countries to make their debut as entertainers. The courses involve an agents' contract costing 10 million won.
During their stay, foreigners learn K-pop singing, choreography and style.
Many also choose Global K Center, also known as the Hallyu Training Center, in Paju, Gyonggi Province.
Forty-five percent of the students at the center are Chinese, and 20 percent are from Southeast Asian.
Japanese make up 15 percent.