Oh, Korea! June 17, 2018

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 03/02/2018 to 06/21/2018 with

Yonsei University: Seoul - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be comfortable in speaking Korean. I always had trouble getting into a full conversation when I learned back home. I knew what the person was saying, but I always felt like my response needed to be perfect and so I got into the habit of planning what I was gonna say. While in my time here in South Korea, it's helped me make the language my own where I am confident in keeping a conversation going, even if i'm not completely correct. I mean i mess up my mother tongues all the time.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a single in SK Global House. It is in good position to get to all school buildings and out into Sinchon and other places. The single comes with a mini fridge so that was nice, but since you also have individual bathrooms, you need to provide your own toilet paper as well as maintenance.

* Food:

The school food is really, really good, but unlike my school back home, Yonsei doesn't offer a meal plan, so it may end up being too much for those that don't have the means or don't get a part-time job.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was really easy to be accepted around the Seoul area in general since there is a big international population due to the schools. However, it is really easy to get stuck with other international students and not fully immerse oneself in the local culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There's literally a "pharmacy village" wherever you go. One can easily go to any of the pharmacies around to get immediate medicine. If it is something serious, Severence Hospital is very near.

* Safety:

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

I would definitely want to come back to Korea. The actual schooling kept me interested and challenged. Everything is so sophisticated? The transportation system is easy and effective (and clean!), the restaurants are amazingly good, and the coffee shops are aesthetically pleasing and calming spaces.

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)

Korea can be very cheap, there are restaurants that serve full meals for ~$2.50, but as a student who spends a lot of time close to home in order to study going out to eat isn't ideal. I was getting $100 a month, so most of the time I only had one meal a day.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would definitely recommend getting a part-time job (even exchange students). If you're not getting an allowance from back home, get a job. Cooking for yourself is also really helpful. While here, people eat in big groups a lot so even then outings may not be too expensive, but it's amazing how easily money can go when you're having fun.

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Advanced Korean
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? Keep trying to speak in Korean. There will be people who will respond in English, but this is also their way to practice their English skills.

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
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?
  • Involved with local students
  • Similar grading style to home college
  • Location
* What could be improved?
  • Food options
  • Clear instructions for incoming students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That as an exchange student it's okay to look for a job, people know that you're temporary. With this it's also a reason some local students, try not to get to close with us, but push beyond that and try making friends that you know you would be willing to meet again no matter what.

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.