TEAN: Korea University was the best semesters of my college experience! October 26, 2020

By (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo) - abroad from 08/23/2019 to 06/26/2020 with

The Education Abroad Network (TEAN): Seoul - Korea University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My entire experience abroad was amazing. The TEAN program really went above and beyond with the orientation, the semester excursions, and the support while I was over there. I felt like I was in great hands being a part of their program, and was able to see and experience so many different things. I learned so much about Korea and Korean culture, and my whole experience really helped me mature and come out of my shell. It was absolutely worthwhile, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The overall educational experience at KU was amazing. I was able to take some really interesting classes that taught me a lot, and had some great professors (especially the Korean language professors!).

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site TEAN administration was amazing; Sandy was so wonderful during our orientation, and throughout the semester was super helpful when I had any questions or concerns for her. She went above and beyond, and I felt very safe while abroad knowing she was a resource there to help me.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived on-campus in CJ International House the first semester and off-campus in an apartment the second semester I was in Seoul. The on-campus dorms were very nice and convenient, and I was very satisfied with the living arrangements there. I also really enjoyed living off-campus.

* Food:

Korean food is AMAZING! 10/10.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The TEAN orientation definitely helped prepare me for some of the cultural differences I would be coming across in my time abroad, and so I felt well prepared to begin my study abroad experience. Throughout the semester I felt everyone involved in study abroad, whether TEAN or KU, really made an effort to make the foreigners feel included.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

While abroad I did need to go to the doctor/pharmacy a few times, and the on-site TEAN administrator was extremely helpful in showing me what I needed to do and where I needed to go.

* Safety:

Seoul felt very safe, I never felt very concerned for my safety and I never had any weird experiences while I was there.

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

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)

The cost of living in Seoul was actually surprisingly cheap; things like food were much cheaper than I was used to coming from California.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Definitely come up with a general budget before you go!

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 Beginner's Korean 1 and 2, and Intermediate Korean 1 at KU. I was very nervous to practice speaking Korean, but I felt very comfortable in the classroom setting and was able to learn a lot and gain a good amount of confidence.

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?
  • TEAN Orientation/Excursions
  • Life in Seoul
  • Meeting so many new people, especially the other TEAN students
* What could be improved?
  • Support with all required documents/flights before departure
  • Ease of class registration; it was very complicated
  • More semester excursions/activities!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Going to Korea definitely gave me a bit of culture shock; many things about daily life there were very different to what I'm used to in California. Looking back, I wish I had mentally prepared more for this and done some more research on Korean culture in advance to try and lessen the culture shock/homesickness.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!