Even The Burning Sun Couldn't Make Me Leave! December 05, 2018

By (Ulster County Community College) - abroad from 06/22/2018 to 08/05/2018 with

Korea University: Seoul - International Summer Campus

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained experience of being independent. I learned about korean culture while also the Korean language. There were many Koreans living their life to the best and working hard, that drive has also inspired me to become the best I can be. This trip was definitely worthwhile and helped me grow and become a better me.

Review Photos

Korea University: Seoul - International Summer Campus Photo Korea University: Seoul - International Summer Campus Photo Korea University: Seoul - International Summer Campus Photo Korea University: Seoul - International Summer Campus Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes brought me more than expected. With wonderful engaged professors that have came from high ranking schools in the United States, and more. In the class, I felt the desire to learn and it can all be thanked towards my wonderful Professors who pushed me forward to achieve more.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were very informative and helpful in getting you onto their program and connecting with other prosperous students who were joining as well.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed in the Frontier Dormitory. The rooms were larger than expected and was symmetrical which I liked a lot. Only issues I've had is with the air conditioning and the light in the bathroom. Yet that can happen anywhere regardless of the school. I loved my dormitory so much especially since it felt safe and was a close meter from the convenience store. The walk up the hill everyday was hard but it was a great exercise to get rid of all the korean food I ate prior that day.

* Food:

Overall, great. The staff was very friendly and considerate. I had a friend who was vegetarian and the staff made sure she got enough food even when she was too shy to ask.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

You are going to a college amongst the natives who live their, the walk to the school, or going beyond the school was filled with korean stores and natives living their daily lives. It was a great experience and I felt no threat while being there.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Prior to coming I had recieved something of the lines of "Blue Health Care" It guaranteed me check ups or hospital visits if I ever needed them. Fortunately I never needed it, but it was great to have for emergencies. When a bug was going around during the end of the summer all the professors and ISC staff made sure everyone recieved notice of this. Also Professors were not hard on you if you missed days due to sickness.

* Safety:

Very safe. I have never felt so safe before and yet I live in the Catskills of New York! when walking down the streets whether alone or with friends no one dares to bother you besides the people handing out fliers. Since it is a city you should be aware of your surroundings all of the time. If you are a girl and happened to be approached by a guy (this can happen anywhere) just refuse polietly and leave to a safer area. Also be safe of drunkards further in Seoul although they won't bother you when you are near. Lastly, I have learned about Cults online. I have not seen one in Korea but if you happen to they may approach you. Please polietly refuse because they will only be trying to swindle you. Always be aware of your surroundings and be careful of strangers! Korea is a safe place but that does not mean you can trust it 100%.

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

On the first day of arrival into Korea I had jitters in my stomach. That all went away when I approached the KU ISC faculty amongst international students waiting for a free bus ride to the university. Everyone was friendly and eager to talk to somebody new. I made friends easly after introductions and friendly conversations. After be loaded onto the bus which was another fun experience. We made our way to our dorms! One of the best parts of the trip was getting your own place to stay. The staff made sure everyone was informed and piled us into lines which led us to our dorms. There we were greeted by a smiling security guard and other iSC staff who after IDing us gave us room keys and an air conditioning remote if your roommate didn't get one prior. Roommates were random which made it all more exciting. I had previous friends who were studying abroad in Korea that I wanted to meet up with after checking in. Within moments I had a group of friends with me to meet up my other friends for our first meal in Korea! It was a day I will never forget. Further on in the week me and my new friends made plans to go out and do stuff outside campus when we didn't have classes. Everyday was a trip and the program also provided us with free weekly events that added to my best memories of the trip. Exciting events I went on was a trip to Lotte World Adventure Amuesment Park, Calligraphy, Nanta Show (Hilarious!) and Korean Folk Village. There was a huge variety of events to do but I only had time to do a bit of all the events they had. With friends, we went to Han River, Water Bomb, KMF, Namson Seoul Tower, Running Man Thematic Experience, wearing traditional clothes in front of the kings palace, going to nami island, escape rooms and much much more! Although we only had 6 weeks it was possible to do everything and anything we wanted within that limited time. With supportive ISC staff members and a buddy's it was easy to get help when needed. I still talk to my ISC friends daily and we are planning to meet up in the future! I recommend this trip because it provides you with great experience in a new environment and culture. I also was grateful to participate in the Promotional video for prosperous students to watch.

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)

Budget, was hard. This comes the price of staying at an elite university and staying at their dorms. If you think you are having troubles contact your school about student loans or financial aid they may apply to your trip.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Probably $100-$200 This was because I went out everyday.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Set a budget limit and make a list of all your expenses to see how much you spent per day. If you went over your budget one day make sure to take note of that and spend less a following day. For food plans, don't get them unless you are sure you are going to be using them. I made the mistake of getting one and barely using it because I went out to eat with my friends. Take out money from an atm and use that as your weekly budget. It saves you from going irrational on your credit/debit card and keeps you safe.

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

We had a security guard, who only spoke korean. Everyone besides isc faculty, professors and students only spoke Korean. I had a Korean Language professor which helped me with my korean and made it easier to talk to locals in their native tongue.

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? level one
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? memorize! Try practicing with friends or use it on locals. Nothing beats memorizing.

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

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • ISC Buddy Program
  • The Classes I Took
  • The Friends I made
* What could be improved?
  • the air conditioning
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew more Korean. Although I was able to get by with the little bit of Korean I knew and understood I want to be more involved in the culture and not be a bother. I also wish I brought gifts from my home country to my new friends who I had to say goodbye to at the end of the program.

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.