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Yonsei University : Testimonials (Seoul)

The following program testimonial responses have been selected for publication by GatewayAbroad | Office of International Education
Academic Experience
My academic studies at Yonsei University in South Korea were some of the best classes I've taken. There is an incredible amount of English taught courses for a country who does not speak English as their first language. I had the pleasure of meeting great professors, both Korean and foreign. Depending on the discipline, your classroom experience can range from small intimate discussions or medium sized lectures. Before studying abroad in South Korea, I had a tough time with public speaking and speaking up in class. But in South Korea, where it is normal to not ask questions or be very quiet during class, you'll have such a great time to be bold and speak your opinion and ask questions. It's a great way to connect with the professor and make Korean friends when you make yourself visible in class by speaking! Everyone will appreciate your efforts to engage with the course! I learned so much about South Korea and America while studying at Yonsei!
— Spring, 2016 Participant
Cultural Experience
My cultural experience in South Korea was so amazing! If you're wanting to learn the language, eat amazing food at such affordable prices, and shop til you drop, Seoul is the place to be! There are so many palaces to visit, traditional villages to explore, and good eats at traditional markets! Seoul itself is huge and it offers so much to you as a foreigner! I had prior knowledge of the Korean language and I definitely improved so much, just having to navigate life in Korean. Koreans are generally so supportive of foreign learners of their language, so you'll get so much love for trying to speak Korean! South Korea is a very collectivist society, so it was so interesting and a good different to be a part of a team mentality and take a rest from the individualistic U.S. society.
— Spring, 2016 Participant
Social Experience
South Korea is such an interesting place when it comes to their education and how students interact with each other. Because Yonsei still mostly abides by relative grading, there's a fierce competition to come first in class and in my experience this causes Korean students to stick with their friends or be really shy. So if you're going to Yonsei and hoping to make awesome Korean friends, YOU will have to make the first introduction and be bold! You have to remember that South Korea is still a very much homogeneous society so if you look different, they may not know how to approach you even if they want to make friends with you. I made a few great friendships in my classes or on campus by just asking people to hang out and making the first move. So it's doable, but needs a lot of courage! As for exploring my host country, I spent all my time Seoul and not once did I ever feel like I was bored because Seoul is so vibrant and there's always something new to do. Their public transportation system will make your jaws drop, it's so efficient! The subway and most buses also speak in English, so no worries about when to get off! Traveling to other parts are also very doable at affordable prices with the KTX and regional buses, you'll just have to plan your time there very well!
— Spring, 2016 Participant