Simon - KAIST International Summer School

B Computer Science
July 2019

My experience

I always wanted to experience life abroad -- to explore new places, to try different cultures and at the same time, have a reason to do so other than doing general traveling. Due to my program structure, I did not have enough space to complete a full semester exchange for 6 months. So the best next thing was to do a short term exchange. In a short time of 4 weeks (though it felt like a few months), not only was I able to get credit for the course I did in Korea but also got a chance to discover things about world and myself.

How has the experience changed you?

During class, we were split into groups. We each got to know our teammates and work together to complete the tasks and our final research paper. We also had many opportunities to develop our public speaking skills as we had to do presentations of our work at least twice a week. Through this, we got to know our strengths and weaknesses when working in a team and helped us understand things we had to do to work effectively.

Outside of class, we had a chance to spend time with friends over many activities and explore the outskirts of our campus. From the delicious food, cat cafes, and underground shopping centers during the weekday to the Taekwondo training, cooking classes, temple stay field trips and getaways to Seoul and Busan during the weekend. From there, we got to know people's stories and the different walks of life each person has encountered.

Favourite memory

I wouldn't say I had a specific memory but I would say I really enjoyed the late nights out spending time with people, whether it would be karaoke, late dinner, drinking games, or simply having good chats on a rooftop under the stars.

Top tips

One advice is to be manage your money well. Make sure to track your spendings, especially if you are carrying only cash. In many situations, you will be required to pay for something in an instant and if you don't have sufficient funds, you might run into trouble. My advice would be to get a bank card that exists in the country you are going to. By doing so, you can get the highest exchange rates when you pay and also escape the additional transaction fees.

Another advice is to invest in getting mobile data, especially if you are frequently traveling outside of campus. This is very important as the last thing you want is to get lost in a country that you don't speak the language. By having data, you're able to contact people and navigate to places more easily.