Korea: Go to experience culture, and have fun! Past Review

By (Psychology, Harvard University) for

Seoul National University: Seoul - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I loved all the friends I made, and will cherish the memories forever. The time spent there went by so fast, and I wish I could do it again.

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 workload for my Korean language class was very light and easy. We rarely had homework, and did not have any tests either. So we were based on our ability to speak in class, read some texts, respond to some very simple questions, and attendance. Because I am a native speaker, I found the class to be very easy. I wanted more of a rigorous grammatical class with essays, but that is not what I found.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Seoul National University is like the Harvard of Korea. Everything was dealt with very professionally. All of the professors were really smart and engaging, because the professors were the experts in their field in the entire country. The TA's for classes were also really intelligent and outgoing. They spoke English well, because many of them had studied abroad, and interacted well with the students.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing of the dorms were great. They were really close to the classes, and it was a centralized area where most of the students studying abroad were present. The program gave us a blanket and pillow which were more than enough in the hot summer evenings, and there was a convenience store like CVS that sold everything a student would need.

* Food:

The food was great, and cheap. If you wanted to eat at the dining hall, you would pay about 3 dollars to eat, and if you did not want to, you could go out to the fast food places that were also really close to the dorms. That way, if you do not want to eat in the dining hall, you're not losing money like the American meal plans.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We went on several field trips to different parts of Korea. We got to see its history and culture. On weekends, the international students would go party at the numerous clubs in Korea.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Safety was never an issue. I felt safe at all time. Did not run into any troubles.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? ~$100. Things in Korea such as food were pretty cheap. For everyday life, it was very easy to get by.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The spending expense that one should be most careful of is when you go clubbing. Entrance fee can run up to $30, and one shot can cost $10. Easily where most money was spent.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? none
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I could practice the language with all of the other Korean students on campus, and the ones who lived in my dorm. I did find situations to speak Korean, but because so many of the students there spoke English, I found myself speaking English most of the time.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Awesome people
  • Balance of social and academics
* What could be improved?
  • More rigorous classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This was a great program from a prestigious university. The students are great, the TA's are awesome, and it was an amazing experience overall.