Where to study abroad in Korea
Even though it’s already so 2012, who doesn’t start tapping their feet when they hear Psy hollering “Op, Op,Op, Op, Oppan Gangnam Style!” Today, Korea remains a global trendsetter when it comes to #popculture, #fashion, #technology, and #music. But, there’s more to Korea than K-pop, kimchi, and Samsung.
To get to know the real South Korea, why not try studying abroad in Korea? If you are ready to become an international student, here are the five best cities for studying in Korea:
If you’re looking for an Asian city that never sleeps, one that rivals the breakneck speed of world cities like Tokyo, London, and New York, Seoul is where your soul should be. Though 10 million residents may seem intimidating, Koreans in the capital city are very friendly and open to foreigners. Jumpstart your introduction to the city by learning why studying abroad in Seoul in spring is the best thing ever. Better yet, commit to studying abroad for a full year to really get into the guts of this eclectic city.
Check out this program to get started:
Want to kill two birds with one stone by studying in Korea and getting work experience? With SAGE Corps, you can study in Korea and intern with a tech startup in Seoul for twelve weeks. Build solid international business experience and network with C-level executives and other pros in the innovative tech industry in Korea. SAGE Corps boasts of one of the most elite professional networks out there so maybe you might be able to snag your dream job and end up staying in the country afterward!
The historical city of Daegu is located in Yeongnam Province in the southeastern part of the country. Daegu’s large student population makes it the perfect college town in Korea. There’s something for everyone here. Climb Palgongsan, go to the ballgame with other diehard Korean baseball fans, seek peace within temples like Donghwasa, Haeinsa, and Jikjisa. Visit the quirky and traditional herbal medicine market. Foodies, linger in Chicken Gizzard Alley and Braised Beef Ribs Alley or dig into Daegu-only foods like makchang gui (grilled beef entrails), flattened dumplings, and spicy catfish stew. In summer, hit up cool festivals like the Chicken and Beer festival and the International Bodypainting festival.
Check out this program to get started:
Youth for Understanding (YFU) Intercultural Exchange Programs offer study abroad programs for international high school students in Daegu and Seoul. Dive deep into the culture by staying with a local host family and going to a local high school. Spend as short as a semester or as long as an entire school year. During the month-long summer program, you get to decide what you want to explore by making your own “to do list.” Even if you’ve never traveled abroad before, YFU’s study abroad programs offer a lot of support, from pre-departure orientation to post-departure orientation.
Chuncheon is located about an hour and half from Seoul. With nine peaks, lakes, and impressive natural landscapes, the city is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. Adventure seekers can hike several mountain trails for great views and waterfalls. If you’re more of a book nerd, visit the literature village of one of Korea’s most famous authors, Kim Yu-jeong. For culture vultures, there’s always something going on in the capital of Gangwon Province, like the Mime Festival, International Theater Festival, and Puppet Show Festival.
The Samgeori/Three Way Intersection Park in Cheonan was a historical junction where scholars and governors rested on their way to other parts of the country. Because of this convenient hub, larger cities in the north (Seoul), south (Daegu and Gyeongju) and west (Nonsan, Gwangju, and Mokpo) are readily accessible from Cheonan. Every fall, the park hosts street parades and an international folk dance festival. The city also claims to have Korea’s largest museum. The Independence Hall of Korea covers several acres and explains how the country freed itself from Japanese rule. Another must see in this city is Gakwonsa Temple at the foot of Mount Taejo, which has one of the largest sitting Buddhas in the country.
Gyeongsan is a city that’s very close to the metropolitan city of Daegu. Many universities are concentrated here making it the perfect place to study abroad in Korea. When the studying gets to be too much, let your hair down in Daegu and explore the rest of Gyeongbuk Province. Relish the stillness at Bulguksa and Buseoksa temples or hike Songnisan or Sobaeksan National Parks to get some fresh air in those lungs.
Next Steps to Make it Happen
Before you go, learn some essential phrases, as you may end up in an area that is lacking in English speakers at some point. Some important phrases to know before you study in Korea include:
- Hwa-jang-shil o-di-ye-yo - Where is the bathroom?
- I-ge ŏl-ma-ye-yo? - How much is this?
- Kam-sa-ham-ni-da - Thank you.
Studying abroad in Korea will feel like the adventure of a lifetime, but take your time when choosing a city and program that suits your needs.