College in South Korea is cheaper
Studying in Korea - My semester abroad at Yonsei University
Hello my dear people! Today I have a new topic for you that is not about beauty. Anyone who has dealt with Korea for a long time has probably come across the idea of studying in Korea - especially the students among you. If you are interested in studying at Yonsei University, you should definitely read on. But even if you are generally interested in studying at a Korean university, there might be something helpful here.
How can you study at a Korean university?
There are many opportunities to study in Korea. One possibility would be to go abroad through your own university. The other option would be to complete a semester abroad through an organization. These help you to organize a place at a Korean university. Well-known organizations that support you during your semester abroad in Korea include EF and Asia Exchange. Language trips are also possible. But you can also take it into your own hands and contact the university directly. Many internationally known universities in Korea also offer summer schools. All you have to do is go to the website of the university of your choice in Korea and find out more.
As a former WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business) and University of Vienna student, I know that you can definitely go abroad through the two universities. Both have some very well-known partner universities in Seoul, including the SKY Universities (Seoul National University, Korea University and Yonsei University) - the three most prestigious universities in the country. Other universities and technical colleges from all over Austria also offer stays abroad at Korean universities. As far as I know, there are no tuition fees for you if the semester abroad is completed at a partner university. Because here there is really only an exchange between the students of the two universities or technical colleges. The best thing to do is to ask your university for more details.
What can you expect in Korea?
Have you already felt like studying in Korea? In general, I can say that it will be an unforgettable experience. You will get to know many new friends from all over the world and you may establish important connections. There are also many sights and great events waiting for you, especially K-Pop events, which are sometimes even free for foreigners. There is delicious food there too! You have to try Korean BBQ there - great meat quality and delicious side dishes! But apart from the beautiful side of Seoul, there are also some small moments of shock. For example: unlike in Austria and Germany, pedestrians do not have priority in South Korea. Therefore, always keep your eyes open when you cross the street.
Lots of traffic in front of Gyeongbokgung Palace
As nice as studying in Korea may sound, you're probably wondering how much the fun costs, right? Well, I can tell you one thing: it's not exactly cheap. You can count on a four to five digit number. The rent is relatively expensive, and imported fruits such as apples are also very expensive. It's best to use local fruit. Eating out (Korean; international dishes are again more expensive) is a bit cheaper than in Austria, but the groceries in the supermarket sometimes cost more. You can compare how much life in Seoul costs compared to life in Germany, for example on Numbeo.
As a woman, you have a hard time there because of the many opportunities for shopping. With so many great beauty products and stylish clothes, it's hard to keep your hands off them. Nightlife can also become expensive in the long run. Saving didn't quite work for me, but well, how often do you get such an opportunity in life? Student life is the best time in life, isn't it?
But now to my personal experience at Yonsei University.
My semester abroad at Yonsei University in Korea
In the winter semester of 2016, I completed my semester abroad in Seoul through WU and was absolutely thrilled with it!
Yonsei University coat of arms
About the university
The university is located in the Sinchon area, surrounded by many restaurants, cafes and shops. In addition to the usual facilities (e.g. library, cafeteria, etc.), there is also a fitness center and a swimming pool on campus. A hospital (Severance Hospital) is also located on campus.
There are two student residences on campus: SK Global du International House (I-House). These are right next to each other and are very conveniently located. The Korean Language Institute (KLI) is right next to the two student residences. So if you plan to study at the KLI, I would particularly recommend these two homes.
Yonsei University Underwood Hall
If you decide to go to Yonsei University, you can take part in the buddy program. Each buddy (mentor) receives around 4-5 foreign students. You meet every 2-3 weeks and go to events together or do something within the group. In addition, your mentors will help you with any problems you may have in the first few weeks after arrival. I loved this program because it allowed me to meet other people from different countries.
Lots of new friends in the buddy program: I'm on the far left in the white-striped blouse
Yonko Games and Akaraka
A tradition of Yonsei University are the Yonko Games and Akaraka. The Yonko Games is a sports tournament between Yonsei University and Korea University. The tournament always takes place in the winter semester.
Akaraka is a concert that also includes well-known K-pop stars. Akaraka always takes place in the summer semester. The color blue is always worn at both events because this color represents the university. I was at the Yonko Games and was really excited. The atmosphere was amazing and the games were also very interesting.
The university tournaments fill the halls
Yonsei University offers a variety of courses, which you can find in the course catalog. The university uses the point system (as of 2016), in which you have to distribute your points over the courses (as at the University of Vienna). Business students could only register for a certain number of business courses. Korean language courses at the KLI were also offered. But these were very popular and therefore you have to distribute the points wisely.
As for the professors, all I can say is that almost all of the professors in my courses knew English quite well. With an accent, but it was understandable. The professors were all very nice and relaxed. The grading was anything but strict. The workload in my courses was more in the middle range. Presentations were very popular in my courses.
There were both locals and exchange students in each course. But there are also courses that are only intended for exchange students.
I thought it was a shame that the local students were rather among themselves. It was not easy to develop a relationship with them. I was also surprised that Korean students worked relatively actively, unlike in Asian culture.
All in all, I thought my semester abroad was super great! I gained a lot of new experiences and experienced great things. The valuable thing about this semester abroad was the personal development.
I hope this information was helpful and motivates you to spend a semester abroad in Seoul. You won't regret it, especially if you love K-pop and Korean cuisine.
Have you ever studied in Korea or are you planning to do so? What were your experiences? Which university have you been to or where do you want to go?
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