Study Abroad in Seoul

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A Guide to Studying Abroad in Seoul

Seoul, South Korea is a brilliant study abroad destination! Whether your course of study is business, technology, history, or culture, there are many universities in Seoul that offer a variety of wonderful programs. Seoul is situated in the northwest part of South Korea on the Han River. It is comprised of many different districts that each have unique characteristics. Downtown Kangna, or Gangnam, is the city center and most modern area while others have a much more traditional feel. Surrounded by mountains and rice paddies, both the city and area around it are rich in things to do and see.

Geography & Demographics

Seoul, is the capital of South Korea, and the third largest metropolitan area in the world with a population of 10 million people. It is home to about one-half of South Korea’s population and is known for its population density. There are about 45,000 people per square mile! Despite the multitude, it is known as a friendly, clean, and safe city.

Seoul enjoys all four seasons and the variety that comes with them. Spring and fall being the most popular times to visit. Temperatures stay between mid 50s and low 70s making for several months of easy comfort but the summers are hot and have a heavy monsoon season. The winters can actually be lovely although very cold. Tourists are nowhere to be found, skiing is a popular sport, and the pagoda roofs wear thick white blankets of snow.

Food & Culture

Seoul has the perfect harmony of modernism and tradition. Don’t be surprised by a Dunkin Doughnuts chain kitty corner from an ancient Korean palace. A mesh of modern and tradition shows how the Korean people have kept hold of their past while moving forward and embracing a new Korean culture. Seoul has continuously kept up with the changes of the world. They currently have the world’s fastest internet connection. Along with their commitment to technology is their commitment to the past. There are five historical palaces all located within the city: Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung, Gyeongbokgung, Deoksugung, and Gyeonghuigung. These spectacular landmarks will give you an extensive look into Korean history.

Things to Do

As an international student in Seoul, make sure to participate in the local activities. Everyone who visits Seoul needs to get over their fear of singing in public. Karaoke, or noraebang as the locals call it, is a very popular entertainment for Koreans. Whether you are renting a karaoke room, or on a karaoke bus, it is an activity not to miss. 

Another favorite pastime in Seoul is spending an afternoon in a Korean sauna, or jimjilbang, which consist of different hot tubs, showers, saunas, and more. After a relaxing day at jimjilbang, the Namdaemun market will be calling your name. The Namdaemun Market is a huge shopping center located beside the ruins of the old Namdaemun, Korea’s oldest wooden structure. It is a national treasure and was one of the gates to the ancient city’s fortress wall. 

A major must do during any study abroad program in Seoul is a visit to the Noryangjin Fish Market. It is Seoul’s largest indoor fish market with around 700 shops selling fresh fish. The market is open all hours of the day, but is most lively in the late hours of the night.

Studying in Seoul

There are a few important pieces of advice to know before traveling to South Korea:

  • Stay away from red ink, a Korean name written in red ink means that they are dead
  • Be sensitive about placement of chopsticks. If a person leaves their chopsticks sticking out of a rice bowl it is very disrespectful because that is a rite reserved for the dead
  • South Koreans traditionally eat with metal chopsticks, not wooden ones, which is a bit more difficult so be prepared and put in a little practice
  • It is acceptable to enter a Buddhist temple at any time just go in through the side door and remove your shoes
  • Avoid tap water unless it has been treated or boiled
  • Strictly follow pedestrian laws or expect to be gawked at endlessly
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A Guide To
Studying Abroad in Seoul

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University Studies Abroad Consortium

University Studies Abroad Consortium is a nonprofit organization that has been sending students abroad for more than 30 years. The program at Kookmin University is geared toward students with a minimum of 2.5 GPA who are at least a sophomore in status. Founded in 1946, Kookmin University was the first national private university in Korea after being liberated from Japan. It is currently the se...

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ISA (International Studies Abroad)

Seoul (pop. 10,421,782) is the largest city of South Korea. This booming and bustling capital city is located along the Han River, surrounded by mountains. Seoul is truly a global city in the ways that it integrates traditional culture in contemporary life. Students will explore the natural beauty of the country through its royal palaces, Buddhist temples, and sleek skyscrapers.

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CIEE

Spend your summer exploring the culture, business practices, and language of Korea. Through elective courses in English, options for Korean language study, site visits, and cultural activities you’ll develop an understanding of South Korean society and the country’s recent emergence as one of the world’s major industrialized nations. Study abroad in Korea and you'll: - Choose from a range ...

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ISEP Study Abroad

Ewha Womans University is one of the most prestigious universities in Korea. Ewha was established in 1866 as the first-ever educational institution for Korean women. Although traditionally a women's university, Ewha Womans University is open to male and female international students. On our ISEP Direct study abroad program, you will live and study like a Korean local in the heart of Seoul. ...

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The Education Abroad Network

Study in Seoul at Korea University, one of the country's leading private institutions that's on par with the Ivy League schools in the U.S. While participating in a variety of courses (taught in English) at Korea University's impressive campus, students also have the opportunity to discover more about life in Korea by pairing up with a Korean student buddy for an even more immersive, local expe...

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Best Friend Korean Language School

Our Korean regular course runs every month. You can join at any time you want. - 1 month of Korean language course - 2 weeks of Korean language course - 1 week of Korean language course - 1:1 private Korean language course - Korean Business Course We provide various activities such as local tours, global parties and Korean traditional dress experience. You can study Korean lan...

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South Korea: Digital Futures (Summer)

Experience South Korea’s exciting digital innovation and sharing economy linking public, private, and grassroots social entrepreneurship. From the program’s base in the dynamic center of Seoul, engage with open source and open data initiatives that are driving the next generation of digital and social innovation. Come away from the program with experience developing a digital innovation proj...

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Go! Go! Hanguk

South Korea is famous worldwide for K-pop, but this beautiful country boasts of much more - green countryside, centuries-old temples, cherry trees, high-end technology, etc. If you’re planning to study abroad, do so in Korea and in winter - when you are faced with new and exciting activities, such as watching the amazing display of lights all over Seoul. Of course, there’s always Korean lang...

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Global Collaborative 2017 - Kyung Hee University

- Come to Korea and experience extraordinary international summer program, "Global Collaborative 2017 Summer Program" at Kyung Hee University, Seoul. - Open to all undergraduate/graduate students around the world as well as working professionals pursuing interests in Humanity, Civilization and Global Governance. - Taught by a faculty team of internationally renowned scholars and executive mem...

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Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

Offered continuously for nine years since its establishment in 2003, the International Summer Session (ISS) at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) provides a unique opportunity to all those who want to deepen their understanding of Korean society and the sources of its current trends. International students may increase their Korean language proficiency through ISS language classes, and...

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Sogang Korean Studies Summer Program

Take part in a four-week program that combines intensive Korean Language instruction and Korean Studies Seminars taught in English by international and Korean faculty. International studies will be taking classes alongside local students. The Korean Studies academic courses provide six credits, and the Korean language program is equivalent to three credits. Students can earn a minimum of 6 cred...

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Asia Exchange

Study abroad in Seoul, Korea and combine the excellent academic standards of the Korean education system with living in one of the most modern and diverse Asian countries! Students can join the exchange program either for one or two semesters. Asia Exchange’s partner university in South Korea is Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS), in Seoul. HUFS has been continuously ranked as the b...

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Study Abroad in South Korea

Begin your year in Korea with a five-day arrival orientation that will include Korean language training, culture and customs classes, and cultural excursions to palaces and historical sites. As a student in Korea, you will attend a local Korean school and live with a Korean host family. As all of Korean high schools begin in early March, the program begins in mid-February. During your stay i...