Hello to all readers, I am a Tourism Management student at UTS, my name is Chia Ying Chan, but I go by Angel! I am currently an exchange student at Korea University, located at Anam, for the Autumn session 2019. It has been almost a month since I arrived in South Korea, and I think I’m ready to say that Korea is my new home.
South Korea, Specifically Seoul is such a dynamic city! You get a taste of history but also a modern city simultaneously! If you love shopping, fashion, nightlife, visiting cute cafes? Korea is the place to be …
If you love trying local food, visiting tea houses, exploring ancient royal palaces, hiking mountains, experiencing local culture & markets. Korea is also your place to be!
It is a city for everyone! And why not study there as well!?
First impressions of my host university KU
HILLLLS everywhere! Seoul is a mountainous city, so compared to Sydney, it is a trek to basically get to class. I am Living on campus at CJ international in Anam, and just a warning to everyone wanting to stay on campus, you will be required to walk 15 minutes up a steep giant hill just to get home from class! Anyways, other than the hills, I really like the accommodation, I live in a single room in a 4 single room suite, it has plenty of storage space and is quite cosy. The dormitory offers a gym, laundry room, prayer room, kitchen, and a cafeteria.
Just like UTS, less than a 5-minute walk you are surrounded by unlimited options of services. You will find a convenience store on every corner of the campus, and find many cafes that also serve as a study area.
There are diverse food options, from fast food chains like Maccas, burger king, to Chinese food, kebab stores and even cheap $3 milk tea chains for those who love milk tea like me!
Anam is a university neighbourhood so many services cater for uni students, so everything is reasonably priced, especially the food, so yay to $3 Kimbab and Deokboki (Korean Rice Cakes).
You can also find pharmacies, printing shops, and the Uni even has its own subway station. So, it is very convenient to travel around Seoul from Anam.
But I must say I fell in love with the campus, even though it is located on mountainous land, it is just so aesthetic! Just imagine beautiful European style buildings as your classrooms, library and even cafeteria! The campus is also huge, they have a hospital, tennis court, a stadium ‘The tiger dome’ and even an ice rink! One of the students told me that legendary figure skater Yuna Kim used to practice there.
The classes I am taking are mainly History related subjects so it was heavily lectured based with no tutorials. Though, one big thing that is different to UTS is that attendance is taken every class, and participation rates are a part of your overall grade. I realised that discussion-based classes & weekly group presentations are a popular style of teaching over here, especially in Business and Media Majors.
So, to everyone thinking of going on exchange to South Korea, come to KU! Korea University, other than being known as the ‘Party Uni’, they also have a lovely program called KUBA, for exchange students. They hosted the orientation, took us on a campus tour and are responsible for hosting weekly trips, dinners and lunches. It’s a great initiative to make friends and explore Korea stress-free during your time here.
It was the 2nd week of the semester, and my KUBA group already took us to NAMI Island! We went bike riding and it was a very relaxing trip, as we were transported from the hustle and bustle of Seoul to a very cute and peaceful island.
1. Come earlier, perhaps a week before orientation, explore Seoul, because the months will fly by!
2. PLAN AHEAD your subjects, HAVE BACK UP BACKUPS, subject enrolment is INTENSE AND COMPETITIVE!
3. BUILD UP YOUR STAMINA, if you are planning to live on campus, and if you are arriving by taxi, make sure to let the taxi driver keep driving till the end or else they will drop you at the bottom of the hill. Which happened to me and you will struggle to drag all your luggage up the hill all by yourself!!
4. KU is Known for their party life, drinking/clubbing culture is immensely popular so a big warning! Be prepared!
5. Prepare to pack bed sheets, and kitchenware, like pots, pans & cutlery, as these are not provided.
6. Talk to everyone, be open-minded, everyone is in the same situation & wanting to make friends (Most of my friends I made were in the kitchen!!)
7. Try to learn some Korean before you arrive, being able to read the Korean alphabet hangeul helps a lot especially when ordering food!
Thank you for reading, and good luck on your exchange process! Its going to be worth it! 🙂
Chia Ying Chan
Bachelor of Management
Australian Government New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant recipient.
For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au