Self Discovery in Seoul Past Review

By (Business, Brandeis University) - abroad from 02/23/2015 to 06/21/2015 with

CIEE: Seoul - Arts and Sciences

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Over the course of my time abroad, I learned so much that I didn't even expect to touch on. The biggest thing I gained was personal growth. I expected to only improve myself in terms of language skills and new friends, but I ended up learning so much about who I am as a person and who I want to be in the future. Being in Seoul was so eye-opening to Eastern culture and how I can become more of an international citizen. Looking back at all the adventures I went on makes me feel like I want to keep going in that direction. It was most definitely worthwhile.

Review Photos

CIEE: Seoul - Arts and Sciences Photo CIEE: Seoul - Arts and Sciences Photo CIEE: Seoul - Arts and Sciences Photo CIEE: Seoul - Arts and Sciences Photo CIEE: Seoul - Arts and Sciences Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The courses were all different. Since all my teachers were Korean, there was sometimes a cultural difference in the way they ran a classroom so it was hard to know what to expect. My favorite class was Theories and Practice of Counseling because we got to actually practice real skills with classmates which was cool. KLI was fun too since everyone was nice, but I wish they had focused a bit more on speaking Korean rather than memorizing grammar and vocabulary.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Suzanne, Tina, and Boram are all amazing. They plan such great activities for us and really wanted us to have fun. I really appreciate all they did throughout the semester.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

SK Global House is great. Sometimes the people at the front desk glare at you and there are a few rules like no being on the other gender's floor after 10pm, but to be honest I liked that.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

If you don't look Korean, you won't always be treated as a local, but people are usually very friendly.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Incredibly cheap and accessible.

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

I'm the type to budget endlessly, but I still ended up spending a lot more than I thought. Maybe ~200 a week. Food is affordable so saving in that area is easier, but you'll want to spend on shopping and activities, so bring more than you think you'll need.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 200


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

I really wish there was more opportunity for us to speak Korean in our daily lives instead of just being with other international students.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 3rd semester Korean
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Go out and talk to as many locals as you can!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Food
  • Freedom
  • Korean culture and sights (activities with CIEE)
* What could be improved?
  • Some social aspects
  • Encouragement to speak Korean
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It's going to be hard to make friends. You might need to push yourself to go outside the dorm room sometimes. But, you really have to make the most out of the time, because it goes way too fast.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!