We are two Norwegian students who are studying a complete Business degree at USC. Going into the third year of our program we decided to study abroad for one semester at Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. This was for us an interesting choice because we barely knew anything about the country prior to going there, all we knew was that the culture is very different to our own. This was actually the main reason for us going there, the culture differences. We wanted to learn from a culture that is different from what we are used to.
When we first came to Seoul we were a bit nervous about how it would be to start at a completely new university, but it didn’t take long to settle down. The university has something called a buddy system for all exchange students. When you arrive the first day of orientation week all students are divided into groups that has one buddy each. A buddy is a Korean voluntary student who is there to help exchange students settle down and get to know the university. They are available to their students throughout the semester, and occasionally they group together everyone for dinners and karaoke, or even sightseeing. In addition to this, there are all kinds of student communities to join. They have communities for a wide range of sports and other activities such as drawing and singing. This makes it very comfortable to start at Konkuk as an exchange student, and we had nothing to fear.
However, there is more to Seoul than the university. Seoul is a huge city that has so much to offer. Most people imagine a big crowded city surrounded by buildings everywhere, but you don’t have to go far to find beautiful parks and mountains. They have several national parks, both in Seoul and outside of the city. Next to this, South Korea is very famous for their love for coffee, and there are small cosy coffee shops everywhere around the city. Seoul is also famous for their nightlife, and that’s with good reason. The city is never quite, and there are always places to go, whether your looking for a restaurant, bar or nightclub. There is always something happening in Seoul, and you will never get bored.
All in all, studying abroad was for both of us a great experience. We have gathered many good memories and experiences during our semester abroad, and definitely recommend others to do the same.