South Korea, A Warmly Welcoming Place for Foreign Studies Past Review

By (Business Finance, San Jose State University) for

ISEP Exchange: Suwon - Exchange Program at Ajou University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying abroad in South Korea was an incredibly worthwhile experience, and I would recommend it to any student interested in participating in the program. The mix of academics and top notch quality of life, while still having a chance to have a foreign experience in a country that has significant cultural differences from western culture.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I felt I learned more in that semester and enjoyed it than I typically would in my previous semesters at various Universities in the U.S.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The advisors were always very communicative and agreeable, but sometimes tardy with crucial information. Example, receiving a generic course lists a month before departure, then receiving the actual course list for that semester 2 days before classes were to start.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Standard dormitory, students should be familiar with if attending universities with dormitories built pre-1970's where items like per room air conditioning units is limited. May be considered somewhat spartan in its furnishings.

* Food:

There are no dietary restrictions (in terms of things that are culturally forbidden), but culinary options on campus somewhat limited to local cuisine (get used to the idea of having Kim Chi as a side dish of most meals) and Korean interpretation of foreign dishes (hamburgers, pizza, and pasta will not look/taste the same as they do in the U.S.)Franchises like McDonalds, Burger King, authentic foreign cuisine are novelties that are not that easy to find.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The social life is excellent and geared towards young people

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Had no experience, or heard of any incidents among other students regarding crime or disease attributed to the local area.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Student organizations designed to act as cultural ambassadors were eager to interact with the foreign students, while conversations were usually in English, they encouraged learning certain phrases to aid with daily life.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

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  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

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  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

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A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Always enter a foreign situation being up for anything and a "Do as the Romans do" attitude. Then be ready to scale down your anticipation of experiencing something exotic, as you understand significant parts of your daily routine, are not that different from what you'd experience at home.