Study abroad in South Korea, land of technology and rich tradition, and you will be engulfed in a diverse culture full of ambition, independence, and certainty.
The Republic of South Korea is located on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula, fenced in by the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan. Around seventy percent of the country is mountainous. The climate is very cold and dry in the winter, and very hot and humid in the summer. While the language of study abroad programs will most likely be English, Korean is the main language of the country’s 48.87 million inhabitants.
Korean cuisine often varies according to the season, so our taste of Korean cuisine will depend on the time of the year you’re studying abroad. South Korea has satisfying cuisine with a wide variety of flavors that hit every part of your palate. Kimchi refers to strongly pickled vegetables, traditionally cabbage, with a variety of seasoning, often spicy. Banchan are little side dishes made up of pickled vegetables, noodles or a variety of fish, which are placed in the middle of the table to be shared. Usually, meals consist of rice, soup, banchan, kimchi and a meat dish. Meat lovers will rejoice over pulgogi, Korean barbecue: thin slices of beef marinated with soy sauce, sesame oil, and other spices.
The people of Korea have strong traditions of which they are very proud. The Gangneung Danoje Festival is the largest countrywide festival, held to pray for a good harvest. Music, dance, literature, drama, and handicrafts reflect the history and life of commoners. You will also be able to partake in a traditional tea ceremony, meant to help Koreans find relaxation and harmony in the fast-paced new Korean culture.
From the ancient tombs of Jisandong to the spectacular beaches of Songjeong, South Korea has so much to offer. Some of these amazing destinations might be added into your study abroad program as excursions — work with your program provider to figure out if and what excursions are included. Check out the Hwaseong Fortress located 30 miles south of Seoul and surrounding the center of Suwon. The fortress was built from 1794-1796 and stretches for about 3.5 miles. It is quite the sight to see! Also, if you enjoy shopping you can’t miss the Dongdaenum Night market. It is located in Jongno-gu, Seoul, and has more than 30,000 shops.
If you like the hustle and bustle of big-city life, Seoul, the capital of South Korea, has several options for study abroad. In Seoul, top-notch institutions such as Seoul International University and Yonsei University offer courses in a variety of academic fields, including Asian studies. For a smaller city, check out Ajou University, located in Suwon and offering courses in business and social sciences.
In order to study abroad in South Korea, you need an up-to-date and valid passport. If your study term is longer than 90 days, you are required to get a student visa for South Korea. You won’t need a visa if you are participating in a short-term study abroad program, and staying in the country for less than 90 days. Apply for your student visa through the Korean consulate.