Good but missed language goals August 05, 2019

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/24/2018 to 06/22/2019 with

Yonsei University: Seoul - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Very worthwhile, learned a lot about Korea, really enjoyed my 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.

this doesn't show stars or any kind of scale so i actually have no idea what i'm clicking but general classes were less rigorous than Middlebury, but my language classes were far more rigorous

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

again, the bubbles aren't labeled

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

very much in a bubble, kept separate from korean yonsei students, few speaking opportunities besides day-to-day life

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

It's the only program we're affiliated with (Sogang has a better program for speaking, I hear)

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)

$150/week allowed for sufficient living funds, although traveling outside Seoul was difficult

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Call your financial aid department

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

Living situation was a bubble and there were few options for language speaking outside of clubs with high enrollment costs and admittance caps that I hear weren't good anyway.

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? Korean level 2
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? try to set up an outside language partner as soon as you can; it'll be too overwhelming later on

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

  • International 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Dorms
  • Location
  • Food
* What could be improved?
  • Language classes/exposure
  • Middlebury support
  • We don't have a Korean program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Need to get out and set up your own language practice opportunities because Yonsei won't give them to you

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

KLI level 4

Course Department: Korean
Instructor: Kim Sung Sook
Instruction Language: Korean
Comments: Extremely challenging--because grades are determined entirely by the midterm and final (no homework or participation grades) so you have to cram extremely hard. Little actual speaking in class, focus was on grammar. Helpful but not a Good Language Course (for the 10 hours a week you spend in it).
Credit Transfer Issues: haven't tried yet
Course Name/Rating:

Contemporary Korean Cinema and Society

Course Department: Film
Instructor: Min Hyunjun
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Learned a lot about Korean cinema; watched a variety of significant movies; good discussions in class; very knowledgeable professor. A very worthwhile course.
Credit Transfer Issues: haven't tried yet
Course Name/Rating:

Korean Government and Public Policy

Course Department: Political Science
Instructor: Lee Sabinne
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Was essentially another overview of Korean history; learned nothing about Korean government other than the presidents/dictators up til 1998.
Credit Transfer Issues: haven't tried yet
Course Name/Rating:

Modern Korean History

Course Department: History
Instructor: Son Cheolbae
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Similar to premodern; learned slightly more (focus on religion wasn't as strong).
Credit Transfer Issues: haven't tried yet
Course Name/Rating:

KLI level 3

Course Department: Korean
Instructor: Kim Sung Sook
Instruction Language: Korean
Comments: Extremely challenging--because grades are determined entirely by the midterm and final (no homework or participation grades) so you have to cram extremely hard. Little actual speaking in class, focus was on grammar. Helpful but not a Good Language Course (for the 10 hours a week you spend in it).
Credit Transfer Issues: haven't tried yet
Course Name/Rating:

Beginning Korean Writing

Course Department: Korean
Instructor: Lee Yunjin
Instruction Language: Korean
Comments: Spoke more Korean here than I did in my actual Korean class; slightly lower than my level but focused on grammar points that I didn't know previously, allowing me to correct long-standing issues. Very kind professor. Fun class.
Credit Transfer Issues: haven't tried yet
Course Name/Rating:

Korea-U.S. Relations

Course Department: Political Science (?)
Instructor: Lee Byeongjae
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Knowledgeable professor, somewhat dull lectures, but learned a lot
Credit Transfer Issues: haven't tried yet
Course Name/Rating:

Premodern Korean History

Course Department: History
Instructor: Son Cheolbae
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Lots of busywork, little learning, instructor focused mainly on religion (confucianism and buddhism) and little else, dull lectures
Credit Transfer Issues: haven't tried yet