Unforgettable and Memorable Experience December 05, 2018

By (University at Buffalo - SUNY) - abroad from 06/25/2018 to 08/02/2018 with

Korea University: Seoul - International Summer Campus

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Living abroad alone without your family is definitely a hard choice, but it made me become more independent, in terms of individually and also financially. I had always wanted to try studying abroad, so I would get a sense of independence.

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 thoroughly enjoyed my summer exchange at Korea University, there was definitely no regret in having my summer semester abroad. I would definitely recommend Korea Uni's ISC for anyone going to Korea for school. There were complimentary fun filled activities organised by the school every week that gave us the opportunities to understand the Korean culture better. What I enjoyed the MOST about this trip was the Boryeong Mud Festival. There were so many sections, and the best thing is to have fun with all your friends in the water and the mud. If I had a chance to do a semester abroad, I wouldn't hesitate to choose Korea again!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were definitely very organised and efficient. The student volunteers were also very welcoming and friendly to us as exchange students.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I did not get to stay in the University's dorm, but I did managed to book a Goshiwon along with my friends near the university. It was about $1000 for 2.5 months, and the best thing is, it is only 4 bus stops away from school! The bus stop was just about a minute down from where we stayed, so convenience factor satisfied.

* Food:

Korea University had so many cafeterias inside and outside of the school, which provides convenience and a variety of different Korean food to satisfy our cravings. I also love the fact that Seoul has so many T-marts around, and if you are alone and not wanting to eat along, you can always have a quick bite at T-mart as they often provides chairs and tables for you!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Koreans were all generally nice and respectful. Our goshiwon manager treated us like friends and helped us with anything we needed for that 2 months. It is sort of a tradition where you tend to order food delivery in at night, and our manager did not hesitate to help us to order, as the app was all in Korean.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The streets were all brightly lit, and many restaurants are still open till late night, making the streets lit and less dangerous as everyone would be able to see everything. If you were to come to Seoul, do ensure you get a good dorm/hostel at a location that is right at the main road, so it is easier to access by taxi drivers and yourself.

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

I have been watching Korean dramas for a long time, and it has really made me love Korea especially. I love the 4 seasons in Korea, and I would like to make another trip back during autumn, spring as those two are the only seasons I haven't experienced before.

Finances

* 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)

As we were there for 2.5 months, it is essential that you really budget your finances well. Food generally doesn't costs that much, if you choose a good and budgeted restaurant. Sharing with friends would help to reduce food costs. Definitely, you would go shopping when you are out on streets like Myeongdong and Hongdae, but those shopping can be done variably, or near the end of the trip. But as girls, it is hard to resist makeup or skincare products, especially during promotion.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $280-$300
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Definitely, you would go shopping when you are out on streets like Myeongdong and Hongdae, but those shopping can be done variably, or near the end of the trip. Keep some money safely in another location, so you would not spend all the money so quickly. Balance out the money slowly, or remember to set your credit card for international usage if needed.

Language

* 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 took Introduction to Korean Language in SIM Uni of Buffalo, so I was more or so familiar with Korean terms. Most Koreans are very friendly, and they are able to understand our slow but understandable Korean language.

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? English, Chinese
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? watch , listen, read!

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Friends
  • Free activities to bring us into the korean culture
  • Free Time
* What could be improved?
  • -
  • -
  • -
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wished I had brushed up on my korean before heading to Korea, as sometimes there was definitely a language barrier between us and them.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.