Return to the Fatherland Past Review

By (Economics., Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/20/2014 to 06/20/2014 with

Yonsei University: Seoul - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Improved my Korean, got firsthand experience of Korean life, and ate great food.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Good amount of academic rigor for a study abroad semester

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Yonsei is a very international school and has been hosting exchange/visiting students for a long time so they are very well organized.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Very nice and I loved my (Korean) roommate. We also had a mini-fridge in our rooms.

* Food:

It's Korea. The food is amazing.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Maybe a bit too many international students at Yonsei leaving it very easy for students to fall into the expat/foreign lifestyle while living in Korea.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any personal experience but my friend twisted an ankle and received good care from Severance Hospital. Severance Hospital is Korea's largest and oldest (old name, new building) Western hospital and is a 10-minute walk from the dorms.

* Safety:

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)

Cost of living in Korea is a lot cheaper than Japan.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $250
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't eat at Itaewon


* 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

Learning Korean was very self-driven and the program didn't do much.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
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? Make Korean friends.

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

  • Local 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Korean language classes
  • Food
  • Roommate
* What could be improved?
  • More classes that do not conflict with the Korean language classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Program is not total immersion so temper your expectations of how much Korean you're actually going to learn.

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 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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Korean Cinema

Course Department: Study Abroad
Instructor: Chang Ho-jin
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Not hard but too many students in class (40-50) to have an atmosphere like Middlebury's classes.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Business & Society

Course Department: Study Abroad
Instructor: Darryl Bockett
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Great class and great professor. Tackled really interesting workplace topics.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Modern Korean History

Course Department: Study Abroad
Instructor: Howard Kahm
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Profesor is from LA-area and graduated from Williams College. Super cool guy and great teacher.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Confucian Philosphy

Course Department: Study Abroad
Instructor: Kim Hak-ze
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Professor's english wasn't good and I regret not dropping the course. Overall, pretty chill class though.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Korean Language

Course Department: Korean Language Institute
Instruction Language: Korean
Comments: Best class I took during my time in Korea. Super fun and you learn a lot. You get what you put into it.
Credit Transfer Issues: