Why Consider Study Abroad in South Korea Programs
Living and studying in South Korea may provide students an opportunity to explore a beautiful and vibrant country. Study in South Korea is a once in a lifetime opportunity, whether exploring South Korea’s large and bustling capital city, Seoul, or exploring the country’s lush coastlands and countryside, students are sure to enjoy a variety of interesting sights and gorgeous views. Students are also likely to enjoy South Korea’s rich and dynamic culture.
South Korea is officially known as the Republic of Korea. It is located in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula in East Asia. It shares a land border with North Korea and oversea borders with Japan and China. South Korea’s terrain is comprised mostly of mountains with some coastal plains, rolling hills, river basins, and valleys. It has a humid continental and subtropical climate with four distinct seasons.
Language in South Korea
Korean is the official language in South Korea. Because the ethnic make-up of South Korea is homogenous (with the exception of a relatively small population of Chinese), Korean is the only language spoken throughout the country. The Korean language has numerous dialects, but the majority of them are similar enough that the majority of Koreans can understand them.
Cost of Living in South Korea
The national currency of South Korea is the “won”. In October of 2013, 1061 won was equivalent to 1 U.S. dollar.
Depending on where one lives, one can rent an apartment and enjoy sports and leisure-related activities in South Korea for about the same price as one can in many parts of the United States. Groceries, clothing, private transportation, and the purchase prices of apartments, however, are typically higher in South Korea than they are in the U.S. Meanwhile, public transportation, utilities, and restaurants are typically less expensive in South Korea than they are in the U.S. Overall, the cost of living in South Korea is slightly higher than it is in the United States. Salaries, however, are slightly lower.
South Korea has a technologically advanced transportation system comprised of highways, bus routes, ferries, and high-speed railways. Travel by air is also a popular mode of transportation. As mentioned above, public transportation is relatively cheaper than public transportation in the U.S. Private transportation, or purchasing a car and buying gasoline, however, is more expensive in South Korea than it is in the U.S.
South Korean Culture
Much of Korean culture is rooted in Confucianism and emphasizes family and community values within a hierarchical structure. The hierarchy is based upon relationships between people and emphasizes the social importance and relevance of familial and communal relationships.
Harmony within families and between individuals is of primary importance when you study in South Korea, and many Korean people focus on establishing, maintaining, and protecting individual and familial “kibun”. Kibun is a concept that has no direct English translation, but roughly translates to pride, emotion, feelings, and portrayal. South Koreans take great care to maintain respectability and status (social and cultural, individual and communal) through the diligent care of and respect for kibun. This is especially evident in many South Koreans’ focus on establishing and maintaining harmony, or a sense of peace, calm, and comfort in any situation, no matter the circumstances.
Food When you Study in South Korea
Staple foods in South Korea include rice, vegetables, legumes (such as soy and mung beans), and meats. Popular flavors include sesame, ginger, garlic, spicy dried peppers, and fermented sauces, foods, and pastes. South Koreans bring their foods and flavors together to create regional specialties and dishes. Common specialties include soups, noodle dishes, stir-fried dishes, and raw dishes such as Miyeok guk, Baek Kimchi, Japchae, and Tangypyeongchae. South Koreans commonly serve multiple dishes during one meal so that people can enjoy a variety of foods and flavors. Meals are often times served with eumcheongnyu, or non-alcoholic beverages, such as teas, sweet rice drinks, fruit punches, fermented grain juices, and herbal beverages. Many South Koreans also enjoy alcoholic drinks such as beers, rice wines, and Soju.
Much of South Korean film and musical culture is uniquely South Korean. The country is well-known for its locally-made television dramas and mini-series, and also has a relatively popular and well-developed film market primarily comprised of Korean-made films. Popular music in South Korea includes genres such as “K-Pop” and “trot”, both of which have unique and dynamic sounds.
20 Amazing Reasons to Study in South Korea in 2020
Reasons for certain decisions often seem to be a force to quickly and faster decision and choice of option, these also encompass our choice of an institution of study. These reasons most often are convincing and most often not convincing, pertaining to this article, perhaps you have been considering studying in Korea, patiently waiting to get those force and motion driving reasons to do so and make a choice then I bet you, you have come across the right article.
Korea was known as the ‘hermit kingdom’ until the late 19th century. The possibility of visiting was out of the question. Now that it is open to foreigners, the opportunity to travel around the country, learn about its rich history, and be a part of the rapidly progressing future is one that should not be missed.
Korea is remarkable for its merging of the traditional with the modern; it is commonplace to find a thousand-year-old temple neighboring a sky-scraper. Traveling around Korea is relatively cheap and, in some cases, free for foreigners.
Cheap, convenient, and delicious. If these are your requirements for dining as a student, Korea is the right place for you. Food is central to Korean culture and so, the streets are lined with a variety of restaurants, many of which offer a wholesome meal for a reasonable price.
Most restaurants are open until late, offer a delivery service and convenience stores are open 24 hours for late-night study fuel. Dining out is an essential part of life as a student in Korea, with many social events revolving around food, so if you want to immerse yourself in a unique and delicious cuisine, come to Korea.
Since its boom in the 1960s, the Korean economy has been growing at a rapid rate. This has led to interest from international organizations and foreign job-seekers. The ability to secure a career in the country is becoming increasingly more competitive, especially for those without language skills.
Studying in Korea will give you the experience and language skills necessary to pursue a career here and will put you at the front of the game. A year abroad is highly desired by many employers and is essential to anyone who intends to work internationally.
One of the most common reasons students desire to study abroad is to experience life in a culture completely different from their own. No matter where you are from in the world, Korea will never fail to intrigue and fascinate its visitors on a daily basis.
As one of the most homogenous countries in the world, many traditional aspects of Korean culture have been preserved and can be observed in modern life without the influence of other cultures. Studying in South Korea will expose you to a unique and captivating culture and provide an experience completely different from that of a tourist.
Attending a Korean university will give you the chance to make friends with Korean students, as well as meeting other exchange students from all around the world.
As well as being extremely hard-working, Korean students are welcoming and friendly to international students and will introduce you to the essential aspects of life in Korea, from kimchi to noraebang, in no time.
University students in Korea are typically enthusiastic to share their culture with exchange students and learn about the culture of their foreign visitors. If it isn’t the beautiful scenery or the delicious food, it will be the hospitality of the Korean people which will convince you South Korea is the perfect destination for your year abroad.
6. Comfort Zone and Safety
Although it may be a leap outside your comfort zone, Korea is an extremely safe destination for exchange students. It is not uncommon to leave your personal belongings unattended at a café or to go out late at night with friends and feel safe.
Of course, every country has its dangers which students should be aware of before moving abroad, but overall, Korea is a remarkably safe environment for foreign students.
7. Student Life
The rigorous education system in Korea has certainly led to a ‘work hard, play hard’ culture at universities. Students in Korea are dedicated to their studies, but this is not at the expense of their social life.
University areas are bustling, typically full of bars and clubs where students gather until the early hours of the morning to drink, eat and dance. If a vibrant nightlife is an important part of your student experience, Korea will not disappoint.
8. Cost of Living
If there is anything university students love, it is the chance to save some money. Embarking on a year abroad may seem like an expensive pursuit, but studying in Korea is a lot easier on your bank account than you may realize.
Accommodation, transportation, and eating outing are all extremely cheap. Even Seoul, which many expect to be expensive like other capital cities, can be enjoyed on a budget by students who are worried about the financial implications of studying abroad.
Most universities offer students the opportunity to take a course in the Korean language during their exchange. This ranges from classes for complete beginners, to classes for more advanced learners who have studied Korean before.
The ability to speak another language is invaluable to employers these days and learning Korean will be extremely beneficial to those planning to return to Korea after their exchange.
The Korean education system is like no other. With most of the Korean youth growing up attending additional after-school institutions, it is no surprise that Korean universities are among the best in Asia.
The quality of education and the dedication to achieving highly is exceptional. Attending a Korean university will inspire you to work hard and compete with students at the top of their game.
11. American-style Campus
American students studying in South Korea will find that their host university campus gives off the vibe of a little student town, very similar to the one they see in the U.S. A typical Korean campus has everything – banks, post office, health center, libraries, dormitories, cafeterias, convenience stores, coffee shops and much more!
12. Classes with Local Students
When studying in South Korea, students will take classes in English with Korean and international students. It’s a great opportunity to branch out and make new friends with students from all over the world! University students in Korea are typically enthusiastic to share their culture with visiting students and to learn about the culture of their foreign visitors.
13. Buddy Assistance Program
For students wanting to fully immerse themselves into Korean culture and see what being a student in Korean university is like, they can do so with the help and support of a local Korean student through the “Buddy” program. A “Buddy” will be each student’s first Korean best friend.
14. Student Clubs
Student Club activities are often considered the gem of campus life. Joining others who share similar hobbies, interests, and talents and growing together is an essential pleasure in university life. Korean universities take student clubs seriously. There are dozens of clubs students can sign up for and look forward to attending after classes.
15. University Festivals
One of the most exciting parts of studying abroad in South Korea is to experience an annual Korean university festival! Most Korean schools host festivals every year that vary in duration and size, based on each university.
No matter what festival students attend, it will be a lot of fun! During the afternoons, there are numerous booths throughout the campus hosted by students’ clubs and associations. In the evening, students gather to wait for the main event of the night: the arrival and performance of popular K-pop bands on stage.
16. Branch Out
There are a lot of American students studying at Korea University for the semester and living in Seoul. While you should make as many friends as possible, make an effort to widen your circle and meet other international or Korean students.
You have a special opportunity to get to know people from all over the world, so ask questions, learn about other cultures, and broaden your outlook!
17. Learn the History of Korea
South Korea has a very long and intense history. It is recommended that you have some background knowledge on the Korean peninsula, why there is a demilitarized zone, when was it divided into North and South Korea, etc.
Learning the background of where you are going not only shows respect but also gives you a more accurate picture when trying to understand the culture.
18. Get out of Seoul
You could explore Seoul every weekend and still not feel like you have seen all the city has to offer. That being said, there are amazing places to see just outside the city that we encourage you to discover as well.
When you thought about spending your semester in Seoul it is likely you didn’t imagine yourself on a black sand beach, but the most popular flight path in the world is from Seoul to Jeju Island and if you book at the right times you can get really inexpensive flights for a weekend away on the beautiful isle.
19. Kop Concerts
KPop is so much more than Psy’s Gangnam Style that hit the U.S. charts. It is a 4.7 billion dollar industry that is embedded into daily life in Korea. If you can’t see your favorite KPop stars in concert then you can hit up a hologram concert in Seoul! Even if you aren’t a fan of KPop, we encourage you to attend a concert for the cultural experience…you may be surprised that you start feeling the perfect choreography, catchy songs, and iconic style of these groups.
20. Korean Skincare
It may sound funny at first, but South Korea is a trailblazer when it comes to skincare and the country has become synonymous with healthy, glowing skin. If you’re new to skincare and interested in developing a routine that suits you, you’re heading to the right place! A walk through the Myeongdong shopping district will open your eyes to all the different methods, routines, and skincare products that South Koreans love.
While many Korean beauty trends have already made their way to other parts of the world, like face masks and BB cream, there are still brands and products unique to Korea like the charcoal “magic stone” and snail mucus recovery gel (yes, you read that right).
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