Ella - Yonsei University

B Information Technology / Science
Winter 2023
I spent a lot time exploring Seoul and it's surroundings by myself which I found to be very peaceful.


My key motivation was to experience a different culture and to see what it is like to study in a different country.

Personal Development

My experience was great for my personal development as I feel that I gained a lot of confidence in myself from traveling independently and even initiating friendships and social interactions (I'm a big introvert). I spent a lot time exploring Seoul and it's surroundings by myself which I found to be very peaceful. I felt connected with the city and enjoyed learning about the culture. I made some great friends on the trip and spoke to many students from around the world, which was great for developing a global social network.

Academic Development

The academic environment was similar but still quite different. We exclusively interacted with the lecturers as there were no tutors involved. I thought this was great as both my professors were really friendly and willing to help. I struggled with one of my professor's teaching style but I found the content interesting so I ended up doing well academically. The best thing I found was the structure of the summer program itself. I loved having a routine where I didn't have to think about work commitments or chores. Instead I got to go to class, do homework with my friends and then go to dinner together. This was the best part about us all being students in the summer school, most of us had no other commitments to go to after class and could therefore study together in the library. It was really nice. The workload was actually a lot lighter but I think this was because it was a summer course and my professors wanted us to go out and explore Seoul instead of studying a lot. We still learnt a lot but we did 90% of it during class time or in the hour after class. For the final project we spent an afternoon after class and half Saturday in the library which is very small in comparison to how much I would spend on a UQ assignment.

Professional Development

I found that from participating in the program, I have improved my adaptability, communication skills and resilience. I thought it would be very difficult to navigate in a area where I don't understand the language but I was able to do it really easily by the end of my trip. I also feel that I have a new understanding for the importance of experiencing living in a city with significant cultural differences - it has equipped me with a new outlook on the relationship between an individual, their society and their culture. I also feel closer to my aspiration of living and working abroad, this trip has certainly allowed me to develop international connections and a global mindset - I am sure they will help me in my future endeavours.


In total I spent around $9,000 ($6,000 my own money + $3,000 NCP Scholarship Funding) - I definitely could have spent around $500-$1100 less if I had/wanted to but I did make several choices that increased the cost such as staying in a single dorm room, eating several more expensive meals, going to cafes quite often etc.

  • Flights: $1,460
  • Application Fee: $122
  • Tuition: $ 3,051 (2 courses for credit)
  • Accommodation (Dorm): $1,696
  • Accommodation (Hotels): $400
  • Vacines: $100
  • Visa: $12
  • Data Plan + Phone number (60 days): $130
  • Public Transport: $100
  • Extra Curricular & Day Trips by the Uni: $300
  • Self-Organised Trips & Activities: $200
  • Food: $1,500 (approx.)
  • Shopping/Other: $500 (approx.)


Funding was super crucial for me. It really helped me to budget my trip, I received $3,000 NCP grant and I used it all on the tuition fee which brought down the total cost a lot.


I stayed on campus in the dormitories which was what was advised by the University - it was super competitive to get a place but I'm really glad I got one. The other option was to source your own accommodation and a lot people got airbnbs or similar. I found living on campus super convenient to get to and from class as well as around Seoul. I was lucky enough to get a single room which was very ideal. I had my own ensuite, desk and fridge. The dorm had laundry and gym facilities as well. I would definitely advise students to try and get a place on campus, especially if they are not confident speaking Korean - it really reduces the stress of any issues that might arise. The program is quite short, so I found I really didn't spend that much time in my dorm as I preferred to study in libraries or cafes.


For me the highlight was the food!! Not only for it's taste but also because of the social aspect. I loved going out with my friends and trying out new dishes and street foods. My friends and I spent several evenings together studying, sharing a meal and doing karaoke after. I loved how the food brought us together.

Advice/Top Tips

  1. Summer in Korea is HOT, HUMID and RAINY - it's best to not bring a jumper (unless you want one for the plane there) because you'll probably buy one at the school merch shop anyway. I also regretted bringing more than 1 pair of pants/jeans because I never wore them and they took up a lot of room. Buy a personal fan (everyone uses them and they're amazing). The big umbrellas from the convenience store are very well priced and actually good, I highly recommend them if you get caught out in the rain. Also, it can get really wet, and the campus was often flooded - people in Korea love crocs.
  2. Over-budget! Do your best to go overseas with more money than you think you need so you don't have to worry about keeping in budget all the time. It's much less stressful and more enjoyable if you can be spontaneous and sometimes a strict budget can prevent that.
  3. Make sure you have photos of your friends/family/pets/home/uni to show your new friends! I really enjoyed sharing what UQ looked like and seeing what my friends' universities in their countries looked like.
  4. Study in cafes and parks! there are so many super cute places around Seoul - on the days I did have to do homework, I didn't do them in my dorm or at the library very often. I went out and explored a suburb of the city and found a place to study, which was a great way to get out more and see more areas of Seoul.