Annyeonghasaeyo from Seoul, South Korea!
International Business Studies sub-major at Sogang University. That’s my academic role here as an exchange student in Seoul. However, exchange in Seoul is about much more than just that an academic overseas program. It’s literally a “Seoul”- searching experience like no other!
With close to 10 million people calling Seoul home, the city is bustling with beautiful sceneries, grand department stores, unique street markets, deliciously diverse food and crazy-cheap alcohol, it is really no wonder as to why students from all around the world come to share their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity here. Sogang University is one of the most-recognised universities in terms of reputation excellence and location-wise. It is one of the first university choices for all students, domestic and international, as it is located right next to the “Hot Place” Hongdae. Hongdae, or Hongkik University, is a very popular area known for being accessibly generous to college students with lots of multi-national restaurants, shopping malls, big movie theatres, busy bars/clubs and bright arcades, all at student prices- hella CHEAP! Did I mention that the nightlife lasts till 8 in the morning?
It has been only three weeks, yet I have made so many memories already. New friends from every continent across the world. New food experiences at shockingly-low prices I wouldn’t see back home. Joining a sport club I never imagined I would ever try in my life except in high school- Volleyball. Meeting domestic and other international students through Sogang’s H.U.G buddy program who help international students adjust and understand the Korean way of life and go on field trips together while bonding and getting to know each other better.
Tips to note:
- Whether you are coming alone, or with friends, it will be very fun to mingle around and make friends with other international students. Just a smile and saying “Hi” could be the start of an incredibly unique relationship you could have never imagined. (That’s how I met my “Seoul-mates”)
- If you have academic worries, the teachers and offices here are extremely welcoming and helpful. So, if there is an issue of any kind, they will be more than happy to help you and give you lots of information regularly to ensure you don’t miss deadlines!
- If you are on a budget, I suggest you get a budget diary and start thinking about how much you want to spend per week to get through however long you are staying at Sogang or Seoul. It is easy to over-spend- too easy.
- If you decide on Sogang, I recommend staying at the university dorm – Gonzaga Hall. This is where you meet majority of the international students, so staying at a dormitory is a big YES.
- If you are worried about the language barrier, don’t be. A lot of people/ shops at universities, Hongdae area and tourist places speak English, however it would be extremely useful to be able to say a few words or even read/write Hangeul (the Korean Language).
- If you want to learn Korean, Sogang KLEC is one of the most entertaining yet useful classes. Look into it at least once!
- If you are worried about the entire exchange itself, it can be quite a big decision to think through, but I can say with absolute certainty that it will be one of the most important and memorable moments of your life. Something will make you smile when you think about it and you’ll reflect on how you became the person you are then, in the later years of your life after university.
I wish that everyone would be able to take up an exchange opportunity given the chance. It is too great of an opportunity to pass up on!
Bachelor of Business
Seoul, South Korea