SEOUL - A full review Past Review

By (The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 06/21/2013 to 08/09/2013 with

CIEE: Seoul - Summer Korean Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was definitely worth while. Korea is a great place and people here in the program are nice. I gained a lot of great friends. I still keep in touch with some of them.

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 classes there are definitely not easy. You do need to keep up with your studies or you well get behind. Also Yonsei has a very strict attendance policy. If you are absent for a certain amount of time you will fail the class. All the teachers were teachers from good universities back home in North America. I took three classes there at Yonsei, mostly business classes. I definitely learned a lot from them and studied really hard for the exams. These teachers are quality teachers and will aid you in learning the materials. If you do your work and go to class you will get a good grade and have the time to enjoy Korea.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The people from CIEE will always help and guide you in every way. For example, I got a Korea a few weeks earlier than the expected starting date. All the faculty were super nice and kind to help me get settled in Korea. And during the program, they were always there to help me whenever I needed help.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The dorm was co-ed and it was were all the international students lived. You will not feel alone here. The people from your program, you will bond with them quickly and people are very friendly from other programs. The people working there were also nice and always willing to help. The dorm rooms are small but not too small. It is super clean and a very nice place to live in. Although one thing I didn't like was the fact the mail is just left in the lobby therefore anyone can pick it up. Since I ordered a lot of stuff online I did have a time when someone just took my package. BUT one good thing is that theres no CURFEW, unlike other Korean universities.

* Food:

The food here is DELICIOUS. I love Korean food so my opinion will be very bias. The food in the cafeterias and near the dorm is extremely cheap. They also come in the right amount of portions.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I loved Korea. On our excursions we went to many of the country side in Korea. We had a great time. The mountain climbing was fun too and the views were beautiful. In the city, its very lively and young. Hongdae is for the hipsters and Gangnam was for the luxurious ones. Both of the night culture there was amazing and definitely somewhere worth going.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

You get checked right away with CIEE. In fact they take you to get checked. But the insurance lasts for a whole year even after the program ends. Check over the policy. It covers A LOT.

* Safety:

The CIEE program staff really cares about your well-being and safety. They always check up and come to help if you call them. You just have to tell them that you are leaving somewhere for a few nights so they know you are safe. In fact I forgot one time and as embarrassing as it was, I was really glad that they contacted everyone to help find me and keep me safe.

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)

Living on a student budget was easy if you were willing to not ever think about the shopping and night districts. You can eat cheaply and be satisfied in Korea but as for me I prefer traveling luxuriously. That doesn't mean I am spending money like crazy its just that I am willing to splurge a little when it comes to eating nice food and shopping for makeup and clothes. Makeup is always on sale but clothes are expensive in Korea. You can bargain but its hard. I spent more than people from my program because of shopping, eating and traveling but it is your choice to not to as well and manage on a very minimal student budget.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 1000 around
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Like I said, I didn't because I don't think I will ever experience this experience again. But you can just go eat at cheaper places like those kimbap houses and not buy as much clothes and make up. Also, CIEE reimburse you money on cultural related activities and sightseeing. So it won't be a problem to save money.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? KOREAN II
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? Don't be shy! JUST TALK. No one cares if you mess up. That was the best way for me to learn. When I got there I couldn't even order food but when I left my Korean improved so fast that I was even able to bargain!

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?
  • Activities
  • Staff
  • Selection of classes
* What could be improved?
  • mailing services
  • more activities
  • thats it
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I felt like the program was well prepared. I was also at an advantage because I have a lot of friends in the States and Korea to help me so I already knew what to do.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.