Skip to content

Yonsei University : Testimonials (Seoul)

The following program testimonial responses have been selected for publication by GatewayAbroad | Office of International Education
Testimonial
Academic Experience
Program Testimonials
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
Academic Experience
Program Testimonials
Yonsei University's class structure is very much like the structure of courses here at University of Richmond. Attendance is mandatory, and if you miss more than 1/3 of your classes, you automatically fail the course. University of Richmond students can expect to take courses with other exchange students from around the world! All the classes are taught in English, and the work load is manageable; it is not as intense as UR, and students can expect to have ample amounts of time to travel on the weekends! Unless you decide to take an intensive Korean course, many students have Friday's off! I took Level 1 Intensive Korean and we met every day for 2 hours. The class was intense and included a lot of memorization and effort but I learned a lot! Since I had taught myself the basics of Korean before arriving, I didn't find it as difficult as some of my peers did. Because of the class, I was able to pick up on certain phrases I heard outside of the classroom when interacting with the locals.
— Spring, 2017 Participant
Cultural Experience
Program Testimonials
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
Cultural Experience
Program Testimonials
My language skills most definitely improved while being abroad. When I first stepped foot outside of the plane, I remember feeling intimidated because of this new language I heard all around me. It sounded so foreign to my ears, and I was not used to hearing it outside of watching Korean dramas and variety shows! It felt very surreal. There was one experience when my friend and I got lost while looking for a restaurant in Hongdae. We were unsure what to do because the map on our iPhone's was in Korean. After a couple minutes of looking, we deciding to ask the locals for help. We approached two college aged girls and surprisingly, they walked us all the way to our destination, even though it turned out to be over a 15 minute walk! My friend and I felt as though we inconvenienced them, but later learned that unlike the individualistic American culture, Koreans value collectivism and will do everything they can to help even strangers.
— Spring, 2017 Participant
Social Experience
Program Testimonials
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