Location: Seoul, South Korea
Language of Instruction: English
History Year Abroad Student Views
- The biggest difference to my expectations would be that the university really is a campus university, despite being within Seoul. While not as isolated as Warwick, and surrounded by a far larger and more exciting city than Coventry (sorry Coventry, I do actually have a soft spot for you, but you aren’t Seoul), it takes a while to get anywhere and the buses can be a nightmare.
- People in Korea are generally less polite than in Britain: if people bump into you, they will not say sorry. People drive dangerously, run red lights, and motorbikes zoom along the pavements (in general, compared to Britain’s roads, which are very safe by international standards, it is a bit of nightmare in this regard. But if you are already used to traffic from many other countries, Korea isn’t so bad; it’s just Britain is safe).
- Winter is VERY cold; ridiculously so. . . It is frequently -8C or even -10C in the mornings and at night, and it doesn’t help that that the university is on a mountain making it colder than the rest of Seoul.
- I joined SNUBuddy, a club set up by Korean students at the university for exchange students. The club is very active, holding multiple events every week and I would highly recommend that anyone who goes to Korea joins this society.
- I have developed substantial language skills in Korean while in Korea. I am currently studying Level 4 (out of a total of six levels, with Level 6 as the highest) of Korean at the SNU Language school, and I plan to continue my study in my spare time next year.
- My host university puts a larger emphasis on attendance and participation as it usually makes up 20% of the final grade. I think that it made me more attentive in class as my responses would be noted by the professor and I noticed that lecture turnouts were more consistent.
- I have taken Korean language classes during both semesters abroad and that has been my biggest academic development. I had to get accustomed to repeated practises and feeling comfortable with speaking to others when I might not be using the language correctly. This language learning experience was very different compared to how I learnt languages in secondary school mostly because I could see my progress more clearly and could use the language in daily life.
- I joined the SNU Buddy Program which is a society to bring together international students and domestic Korean students. I met many of my closest friends through SNU Buddy, I got to visit many places in Seoul and I participated in lots of activities.
- I have learnt so much about Korean culture and its similarities and differences when compared to other East Asian cultures. I made an effort to educate myself on the contemporary history of Korea and can now see how that affects present Korean society.
Please note that not all institutions are available each year, and places will be allocated on a competitive basis. Partnerships may be added or withdrawn at any time, and are always subject to availability. The institutions available each year will be posted in the preceding Autumn Term.
Year Abroad Contacts:
Professor Tim Lockley
Director of Study Abroad Programmes
Mrs Val Melling
Tel: +44 (0)24 765 22502
HistoryOffice at warwick dot ac dot uk