I have always wanted to improve my Korean, and I thought studying abroad in Korea would be the perfect opportunity for me to learn the language and culture. At Yonsei University, I am taking a Korean language course, Korean philosophy and business courses. There are many clubs here on campus that students can join.
The campus is beautiful, especially during the fall when the leaves turn color. The campus has many trees and plants, so every season the campus looks different.
Even the buildings on campus are a spectacular sight. The campus is quite large and hilly, so be prepared to do some walking if your classes are far from each other. Shuttle buses take students to specific locations on campus.
Seoul is a very crowded city with many people, cars and buildings. It is a city that never seems to sleep. It is not unusual to see shops open very late at night.
To escape from the busy city life, you can go to the famous Han River. It is not very far from Yonsei University. Many students come here with friends to escape the busy city life and enjoy the peaceful scene at the Han River.
I am taking the afternoon Korean language course. Our Korean class meets every day for two hours. Since we meet every day, my Korean has improved very quickly. We practice our reading, writing, speaking and listening in class.
I really enjoy the small class size because everyone gets to know each other very well and we have become close friends. After class we go out together to eat dinner and even plan trips together. My classmates come from all over the world.
It is not difficult at all to find a restaurant near the university. There are many restaurants and street vendors that sell delicious Korean and Western foods. Many Korean dishes are spicy, so be prepared to try spicy foods! Restaurants are a great opportunities to interact with the local people and practice the language.
There are a couple school clubs cater to international exchange students. The clubs plan special events for exchange students like city tours and holiday parties. They also plan programs that help students learn more about the Korean culture and language. I attended an event where we got to make Korean food called kimbab.
Yonsei students have a lot of school spirit. At an annual sports tournament called Yon Go Jeon, Yonsei University and Korea University sports teams meet and play against each other. It is an exciting event because these two universities are major rivals in Korea. During the games, students cheer and dance to show support for their school.
On the weekends, I explore Seoul to experience Korean culture and language. There are many museums to visit to learn about Korea's history. At this museum, the tour guide explained Korea's history of medicine and its importance. We got to see and make our own herbal medicine like they did in the past. It was culturally enriching because of the hands-on experience.
There are many tourist spots in Seoul. Insadong is a very popular spot for tourists and a perfect place to buy all your gifts and souvenirs. It shows both the traditional culture and the modern side of Korea. There are also many art galleries and cafes.
I also went to the president's house called Cheongwadae, also known as the Blue House. A group of exchange students went together to tour Cheongwadae. The tour took us around reception buildings and the beautiful gardens inside Cheongwadae.
The majority of exchange students live in the dorms. The dorms are very close to the buildings for the Korean language courses and English spoken courses. On each level of the dorms is a lounge with a TV and couches. The photo shown is a picture of the lounge room. The lounge is a good place to simply relax and talk with friends.
Learn more about the study abroad program in Korea.