Fall Study Abroad at Yonsei University January 25, 2018

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/26/2017 to 12/21/2018 with

Yonsei University: Seoul - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
One of the best decisions I made while in Seoul was to actively seek out a new experience every weekend, whether it be to go hiking, see a show, or just explore a new area of the city. Along with that, while living off campus was not planned it did provide me with a feeling of further immersion within the city. I was able to establish a routine and make friends that took me away from the Yonsei University campus and forced me to become more comfortable within the city.

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.

My classes were primarily taught in English and with mostly domestic UIC students. I preferred the rigor of those classes over the relatively relaxed course meant specifically for study abroad students.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived off campus in an apartment with four other women.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Both my roommates and classmates were a mix of domestic and international students so I was not entirely integrated in the local culture but also did not feel isolated from it.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was aware healthcare was available on campus should I need it. However, I never had the need to seek it out during my time at Yonsei.

* Safety:

I frequently walked over for an hour or alone at night and never feared for my safety. Seoul, at least the areas I was in, felt like a very walk friendly city at all hours.

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)

I was lucky enough to have access to a kitchen while in Seoul and was therefore able to cook rather than eat out for every meal.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Grocery shopping. Choosing to walk a bit instead of taking public transportation for every journey.

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 specifically took Korean language courses while at Yonsei, however they are not required by the program. It is entirely up to the individual student if they wish to take entirely English courses.

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
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 101-102
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? Aside from my language courses, I also would attempt to communicate with the locals or to use Korean when speaking to my roommates.

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

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
  • Other
* 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?
  • UIC Courses
  • hiking
  • living off campus
* What could be improved?
  • websites that only work on internet explorer
  • explanation of how to print things on campus
  • better explanation of library desk reservation system
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It's not so much something I didn't know, but it is off-putting to go from a school where you know everyone and everything to go somewhere that is exactly the opposite. You do have to be proactive about making new friends, finding new places you like, and establishing yourself in this new environment. It definitely takes some adjusting and extra effort.