Bao Yang - 2013 Program Participant

A beautiful old palace in Gyeongju.
A beautiful old palace in Gyeongju.

Why did you choose ISA over other study abroad programs?

I think it all came down to cost and benefits for me. I wanted the most bang for my buck. When I compared other programs to ISA, ISA was just a better fit for me. I think finding the right program is one of the most important choices one can make prior to actually studying abroad. For example, if someone really wanted to stay in a certain city, there is absolutely no need for him or her to pay for a program that have excursions outside of the city and vice versa.

You’re from Mount Mary University, what advice would you give to other Mount Mary students going to study abroad in Seoul?

My advice to other Mount Mary students is to join clubs and get yourself out there. Yes, there are a lot of Korean students who are shy and intimidated around foreigners, especially foreigners whose native tongue is English, but once you get to know them many of them open up to you. They can become great friends who show you around Seoul, and they are very helpful in translating for you.

How did you choose Seoul? Why is Seoul the best place to study abroad in South Korea?

I really didn't have a choice in which city I went to. ISA only has one site in South Korea. However,  I definitely knew that I wanted to study in the capital city of South Korea. I assumed that everything would be in Seoul. Indeed, Seoul lived up to its hype.

Seoul has awesome public transportation through its subway system, which is very convenient for traveling within the city. There are a variety of places to shop, and Seoul has an established cafe culture - there is variety of cafes for every type of person. There were also many events going on in the four months that I was there. One event that I went to was the celebration of Buddhism’s birthday. Beautiful Paper lanterns/ statues were set up in the man made river Cheonggyecheon.

What was your favorite class and why?

My favorite class was my Shakespeare class. My friend and I were the only two foreigners in the class, and we were so impressed by all the students who were willing to take on Shakespeare. One of the cool things that we did was filming a scene from a Shakespeare play. My group did "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

How has study abroad impacted your life?

Studying Abroad has definitely impacted my future. It has ignited in me a passion for international awareness and causes. I didn't know which field of Social Work I wanted to enter, but after studying abroad I decided to go into International Social Work. Before I studied abroad most of my friends were Americans, but now I have friends from all around the world. I now love to learn about different cultures, and never again do I just want to visit a country - I want to live in it.