Life From A Different Angle Past Review

By (Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering., University of California - Merced) - abroad from 02/21/2012 to 06/20/2012 with

Yonsei University: Seoul - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a new perspective on Korean culture and Christianity. It was very worthwhile.

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.

The educational system in Korea is very different from that of the United States. Independent study is integral to success, with particular emphasis on rote memorization.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

It was very difficult to get in contact with the administration before arrival, but the UCEAP office on-site was very helpful with anything and everything.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The facilities were amazing. Each room had heated floors, air-conditioning, and their own washrooms. However, getting in touch with the housing administration is an immense pain thanks to frequent miscommunications and misdirections.

* Food:

Korean food is amazing.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The International students have their own dorm, so they do not interact with the local students on a day-to-day basis. However, the school is very close to a thriving section of Seoul.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no health care issues.

* Safety:

Korea is a relatively safe place when compared to the States. The only thing to be on guard for are drunk people late at night.

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)

It's entirely possible to live on a student's budget, but the only way to really experience Korea is to have plenty of money to spend.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Everything is convenient in Korea, so it's very easy to spend money that goes unnoticed for things like taxi fares or snacks. Stick to a budget.


* 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

Korean classes were a necessity for non-fluent Korean speakers.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 3rd Grade Korean school
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? Find a language partner. The locals generally avoid speaking English, but there are those who really want to learn. The interested ones will often make the effort to speak to foreigners in the form of language partners at the Global Lounge office.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* 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?
  • The church I found
  • The food
  • The country
* What could be improved?
  • Housing Administration
  • Availability of Class Syllabi
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Korean education focuses heavily on independent study, and UCEAP deposits are refunding, making events free.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'