Learned a lot about Korea, had the time of my life! January 19, 2017

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/25/2016 to 12/22/2016 with

Yonsei University: Seoul - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I got to explore Korea and learn so much about the culture. I would definitely go back!

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 I took were not as academically rigorous as Wellesley's. The IEE courses I took was more laid back and had a lot of busy work.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I applied to this program because Yonsei offered many classes that fit my major. However, the classes for my major were all on a different campus, an hour commute from the main campus, and exchange students are not allowed to take classes on that campus. The program did not emphasis this when I was applying, and I ended up taking other classes not for my major.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

As a KLI student, living in the dorms was convenient as the KLI building and my dorm were connected to each other. I was able to get to my other classes by walking in under 10 minutes. However, the dorms are far away from the main gate and subway station (~20 minute walk). If I could do my semester over again, I would choose to live in a boarding house off-campus.

* Food:

Cafeteria food was decent and cheap, ranging from $2 to $5 per meal. Food options within the dorm was limited and expensive.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It's difficult to integrate into the Korean community, but the program tries by offering opportunities to join clubs and find language exchange partners. It's very easy to stick to your international friend circle, and you definitely have to make an effort to make friends with locals.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Did not have health issues abroad, but heard good things from those who needed attention.

* Safety:

I always felt safe both on and off campus.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I would choose a program that better fit my major interests and has a Korean language program that emphasizes speaking, rather than grammar.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50 to $100

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

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 202
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? Seek Korean friends, join clubs, find a language exchange partner.

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

  • Local Students
  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • City life
  • Meeting new people
* What could be improved?
  • Housing application process
  • Korean language immersion
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If you're going to Yonsei to improve your Korean, you really must put in effort to integrate into the local culture and speak Korean as much as possible. It's very easy to get through the semester just by speaking English, and KLI does not focus on speaking nearly enough.