Terri - Korea University

Bachelor of Arts
Semester 1, 2018
A memorable and invaluable semester abroad that I will cherish for a long time.

Academic experience

I studied Media Economics, Intermediate Korean II, Theories of Media Effects and Introduction to Media Criticism at Korea University.

I major in Korean at UQ and was looking forward to studying and improving my language skills in Korea.  The Korean classes taught at Korea University were taught fully in Korean, at first it was very overwhelming but after getting used to learning the language in an immersive environment, it definitely helped to improve my listening skills.

Also, the lecturers at Korea University were passionate and knowledgeable in their fields.

The exchange enrolment at Korea University was quite straight forward and the Korea University Global Service Centre also helped exchange students with enrolment and registration.

Personal experience

The exchange environment was the perfect environment for making new friends.  There were many exchange students, international and local students whom you could meet through classes and social events at Korea University.  

In particular, the Korea University Buddy Assistants (KUBA) was very welcoming and took care of exchange students throughout the semester. KUBA organized regular social events, taught us the Korea University cheering dances and helped us settle into life in a foreign country. The buddies in my group were very approachable and they were very interesting individuals to hang out with.

I made a lot of new friends from all over the world and hope to see them again when I visit their countries sometime in the future.  It was very interesting to experience life in a new country and environment with fellow exchange students.  Everyone viewed life through different cultural lenses and it was wonderful to learn about their cultures and countries and to see my own through new perspectives.

I'm very grateful that I got the opportunity to travel all around South Korea during the exchange semester. There was a lot to see around the country and traveling allowed me to learn more about the country and it's history.  Each day was filled with a continuous sense of adventure and discovery.

Overall, this exchange experience allowed me to improve my language, fitness, communication and planning skills.

Accommodation

I was very fortunate and was offered a single room at CJ International Dormitory on campus after submitting my housing application. The dormitory rules were slightly strict however the dormitory unit was shared with three other students who were lovely to talk to so it felt like a welcoming home.

It's highly recommended that accommodation is confirmed before arriving in the host country for the exchange.

Costs

Approx. $12,500 AUD for one semester (not including travel to neighbouring countries)

Rent - CJ International Dormitory (single room) approx. 2,000,000 KRW

Food - (eating out) generally 2500 - 8000 KRW per meal, (student cafeteria) generally 3000 - 5000 KRW per meal

Entertainment - movie tickets were approx. 10000 KRW

Travel - taxi rides starting from 3000 KRW, public transport approx. 60000 KRW per month

Professional Development

There was a lot of opportunity for professional development during this exchange experience. The group projects, meeting and discussions allowed me to develop my teamwork and communication skills. In addition, I was able to practice public speaking in class settings on quite a few occasions. Finally, the exchange experience involved a lot of planning, whether it was planning a group meeting, study session or travels, the constant planning helped me to develop my organizational skills.

Highlight

There were many highlights during this exchange including the delicious food, living overseas and travelling to new places. Most importantly, I think the people who I met during this exchange were the ultimate highlight to this experience.

Top tips

It is definitely worth the effort, money and time to experience an exchange semester during your university studies. Korea University was a great host institution that offered courses to suit a range of majors and several fields of study. You will be able to learn a lot in classes and the personal growth outside of the classroom is invaluable. There is a lot to be gained in leaving your comfort zone and living overseas to experience life in a new way.