Hello from Korea University! It’s been almost two months since I arrived in Seoul and I cannot believe how fast time is flying while on exchange. Though it has been rough sometimes (homesickness can get pretty intense), so far my life in Korea has been amazing! There are so many fun things to do in Seoul, and many opportunities to travel from the city itself (I am currently writing this from Jeju), so I highly recommend coming here for exchange or at least visiting if you plant to travel during or after your study abroad experience.
Now, on to the topic of campus life. I am currently living on campus at CJ International House in a suite of 4 small (but cozy!) single bedrooms. My roommates and I have a common living area and two bathrooms – which we share according to the bedrooms closest. Although initially hesitant about sharing living quarters, my roommates and I get along great and have heaps of fun hanging out together! When we aren’t busy studying or exploring Seoul on our own terms, that is.
Overall, CJ International House is great and very convenient to live in – it isn’t too far from both the science or main campus, and has good facilities such as study rooms, a free gym, washing machines and driers, and 2 kitchenettes per floor. The only issues I have had so far would be with the kitchenettes getting a bit crowded at times and the massive hill residents have to trek up when coming home from Anam’s main street. However, the entire university is quite hilly, and I can feel myself slowly adjusting to the hike with each climb being marginally easier than the last.
I am taking direct equivalent subjects, plus one elective for a Korean language course. Studying science at Korea University is drastically different from studying at UTS – unless it is specifically stated in the subject’s name, there are no lab classes, and most subjects that are taught in English are only lectures taught for 1 hour and 15 minute sessions twice a week. The class sizes are also quite small, with only around 30 students in each classroom with most being domestic Korean students. This means that at times the professors will switch to Korean to explain difficult concepts after trying to do so in English, which is usually fine but it can be a bit hard to maintain focus.
So far, I haven’t really had any assignments, just small homework tasks and quizzes. This is because midterm and final exams weigh rather heavily on determining your final mark, so don’t forget you have to study on exchange as well! Learn from my mistakes.
The Korean classes are very beginner friendly and run Monday-Thursday. If you manage to schedule your timetable correctly, you can get Fridays off, which is great for taking small trips throughout the semester if you wish to do so!
One benefit of studying science is that there is less competition for enrolment, most classes have a limit of 15% exchange students, and most students on exchange study communications. I had no trouble with enrolling, but still be careful and punctual when going through the enrolment process, especially if your degree is popular amongst other exchange students.
To any prospective exchange students – good luck on your application process and I would 100% recommend coming to Korea to study!
Bachelor of Medical Science
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