The Schoolhouse Rocks Past Review

By (Finance, Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne / IPFW) - abroad from 02/29/2016 to 12/16/2016 with

ISEP Exchange: Seoul - Exchange Program at Ewha Womans University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The breadth of international student backgrounds was something that I found to be interesting. That is to say, I was shocked to find out that so many other international students could be so much better prepared for immersion in another culture than myself. I learned that having an American passport does not necessarily make me the most qualified person in the room. Learning about the unique experiences of other students and what they do, have done, and plan to do with their lives was pretty enjoyable.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The course selection is great for business majors looking to complete their core business classes away from their home institution (Ewha is AACSB accredited). There are decent electives available too. The catalog isn't huge, though. Instructors are generally understanding of international students, but be prepared for some bias. Instructor grading procedures are highly arbitrary in some cases. I took 12 classes over the year and found this to generally be the case. You might benefit from taking fewer and still enjoying your days and nights to the fullest, because the final grades may not be indicative of the work you put in. The international students have a separate grading system from what I understand.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

No guns, no drugs for the most part. Only one publicized homicide in Seoul that I read about the entire year - a far cry from Chicago.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Crowd funding might not be a bad idea. If you have a choice between being smart, good, or lucky - be lucky.


* 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

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? None
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Other
  • Apartment
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
  • Other
  • N/A
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Cheap international travel
* What could be improved?
  • Affordability
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Prepare for your year abroad financially at least 18 months in advance. Traveling and living internationally on a budget is not fun, especially if you plan to spend more than a semester/summer abroad. Have a part time job devoted specifically to saving from your time abroad if you rely on yourself for support. Finding a job abroad without the requisite language skills may not be possible in all countries.