Eugene - Winter Abroad At Yonsei University

My experience

While participating in the Winter Abroad at Yonsei University program, I took a course in East Asian International Relations and Taekwondo. I highly recommend the program to anybody who wants to push themselves, experience a new culture and make new friends. The academic component of the program can be quite challenging, but with daily classes and professors to assist you at every stage, a high grade is achievable. In addition, you are provided with the opportunity to participate in several field trips including a cooking class, DMZ trip, a ski trip and make-up trip. In addition to providing a break from the studies, these trips also provide you with insight into the culture and history of Korea as a nation.

How has the experience changed you?

The experience has pushed my comfort zone and allowed me to gain new confidence by living and studying in a new country. It has also provided me with a greater appreciation and respect for the rich and deep history of Korea as a nation. Academically, it has also provided a great overview of international relations from a more Asian-based perspective with a number of exchange students participating in the course from around Asia. On a lighter note, I’ve definitely gotten better at handling the cold. 

Favourite memory

My favourite memory of the program was getting involved in the cooking class with friends I had recently made at the program. Although my cooking skills may have been lacking, the whole experience was a lot of fun and gave me an appreciation for the rich ingredients and philosophy behind food in Korea. 

Another fun experience involved participating in the spicy food challenge with Study Abroad team at Yonsei University – see the clip here: 

Top tips

Say hello! Especially if you are going alone on a short-term program, you may often feel nervous and unsure when first arriving. I can assure you that many of the other students are feeling the same way and would love to say hello and get to know you better. Be sure to explore the country. Especially if you have never been to Korea, there are countless attractions, museums and events to attend and enjoy. Finally, keep an eye on your budget, being in a foreign country is often alluring when it comes to spending, but you should be careful to avoid a nasty surprise when arriving back in Australia.