Here is a short post about one of my days as an university exchange student in Seoul. I hope this gives a bit of insight with some experiences as an university exchange student in Seoul. I would also like to state that everyone’s experience will be different depending on the university attending to, programs, classes, class schedules, and interests, etc.
As mentioned in my previous post, 10 Tips When Studying Abroad in Seoul — I did a Fall semester at Hanyang University. I took three courses during the semester — Introductory Korean Language, Korean Economy and Business, and Strategic Management.
Here is one of the typical days that I would have during my semester when I had two courses in a day:
My first class was Strategic Management which started at 1pm, so before class I would usually go eat at the cafeteria near the School of Business building or at a cafe nearby my on-campus dormitory. It takes about 10 minutes to walk to the School of Business building from the on-campus dormitory. If you are looking for a good place to eat a meal under 5,000 won, I would definitely recommend going to the school cafeterias!
After my first class, I would go to a cafe on-campus, or a cafe near my on-campus dormitory, or I would go take the subway to near by areas to explore, such as Sinsa-dong or Myeong-dong.
My second class for the day was Introductory Korean Language, which started at 6pm. After class, I would go to the convenience store to get take-out food, eat near Wangshimni and then go eat out with friends or go explore nearby areas.
On weekends, I would go out and explore different areas of Seoul, participate in exchange student trips, or go on day trips to nearby areas. Some of my weekends activities consisted of going to Gapyeong, Nami Island, COEX Aquarium, and Lotte World, etc.
I would recommend not taking a full load of courses, because you should also take some time to explore Korea during the semester. I would have one course in two days, and two courses in two days. This gave me time to explore after class and lessen the stress with all my courses.
Some differences between my experiences in university in Seoul and in Calgary was how big the campus is in Seoul. In Calgary, my university was fairly easy to get around the whole campus (without being exhausted). At Hanyang University, there are many hills and going to the front of the campus from the on-campus dormitory takes at least 15 minutes to walk. I don’t doubt that there was more to explore during my time there! Another difference was the course load, I would say that the course load was much lighter than my home university (but this could be because of the course itself).
Some similarities between my experience in university in Seoul and in Calgary is the course mark up. I ended up doing group projects and presentations during my courses (this could be different depending on your program). I was glad that some of my marks were from group projects and presentations rather than just exams. Another similarity is the class sizes (again this maybe different from your home university and program). I came from a university that has small class room sizes that teaches up to 40 students, so it was great to be in the same environment.
Please leave a comment below and share what experiences you had during your time as a university exchange student in Korea or what you would like to experience if you could be a university exchange student in Korea!