Jaemo - Seoul National University

B. Business Management
Semester 2, 2015; Semester 1, 2016

Academic experience

I studied introduction to psychology, Korean language and culture, advanced Korean, soccer and volunteering. There were quite a few things that I enjoyed the different academic system. First of all, UQ didn't provide a sport as a course to gain credit. However, SNU had a soccer course which I really enjoyed. The course provided insight into basic soccer skills such as dribbling, running off the ball, inside and outside passing, long passing, shooting etc. It also provided background knowledge such as your thoughts on soccer and life. One of the greatest challenges was the volunteering course. We were part taking in a program called 'dream mentoring' which had been running for only 1 year and this year they included the exchange students to participate in it. It is a program where we SNU students 'mentor' underprivileged kids, such as refugees from North Korea, the poor and juveniles to name a few of many. I was given the role of leader of exchange students. I had to organize events and translate exchange students and SNU students. This was a challenging role as there was a lot of time and effort needed from 3 leaders including me. The program was not structured so well, so there were times when we ourselves had to make events. I overcame it by finding 3 Korean-foreigner like me and share the leadership position.

Personal experience

Friendship would be the greatest things that I have gained through this exchange. I have friends from literally all over the world now. Wherever I travel, there will be at least 1 exchange student friend in that country to visit and hang out with. Moreover, the life of an exchange student is quite a diverse and fluctuating life. Living this sort of life gave me personal skills of finding balance in many things. Giving up what I don't need and prioritizing important things.

Accommodation

I lived off campus. I would recommend exchange students who are going Seoul National University to all live in a place called Nokdu if you didn't succeed in dorms. Nokdu is a place with 'everything' from public laundry (bed sheets and clothes), a public sauna, bakery, grocery stores, cafes and this goes on and on. The accommodations were the cheapest in this area so it has another benefit. It's very helpful to get help from a fellow Korean to go to a real estate and finding your home.

Budget

Rent cost $300 per month, which a very cheap compared to rent for accommodations around UQ. Most food is cheap or middle priced. Transport is also cheap and the only expensive cost will be entertainment and travel costs. The minimum budget I would recommend is $1000 per month without rent cost included. The budget would vary by person.

Professional development and employability

I have gained leadership skills. Through public speaking and organizing exchange students in the 'dream mentoring' program, I have gained a lot of confidence in my leadership skills.

Highlight

The highlight of my experience would most definitely be 'dream mentoring'. Through this experience, I was even given the opportunity to find an internship at a big organisation called 'Asia Society'. I am very thankful for 'dream mentoring' program for despite the difficult times, I have gone through and finished it and gained an internship.

Top tips

I recommend to not fully participate in the exchange student, 'tourist' groups in SNU and try and find programs that SNU students do. The language matter will be challenging if you don't know Korean too well. However, if you do know Korean, I can promise you, you will have so many aspects that you will have learned in the end and even get an internship or full-time job like me.

Jaemo - Seoul National University