Adam – Sungkyunkwan University – Korea
Semester 2, 2022
Bachelor of Business
SKKU is a fascinating university with over 600 years of history. Their Seoul campus has a combination of modern architecture mixed with historical buildings. The campus itself is located on the side of a mountain which provides you with awesome views of the city. Throughout my time there I was able to participate in many activities organised by the university. I recommend being proactive in communicating with your professors and the university with any questions you may have. I was able to study all my courses in English and met people not only from Korea but from all over the world. The Korean university experience was similar to QUT, but the main difference was in the participation style. It is strongly encouraged that students participate in class and attendance comprises a portion of your final grade.
Life in Korea
It was easy to get by without knowing much Korean although I do recommend learning basic words like Hello etc. Most Seoul locals have a good grasp of English and Papago/Google Translate are excellent tools for communicating. I lived off campus during my stay, but it was easy to navigate around using Korea’s extensive public transport system and taxis. Besides using transportation systems, I also found Seoul to be a very walkable city. There are endless cafes, restaurants, convenience stores, and other interesting shops almost everywhere you go. The food and culture in Korea were truly great. There are many interesting and delicious foods to try. I recommend checking out Gwangjang Market, which is about a 25-minute bus ride from campus or 10-minute taxi ride.
Things to do in Seoul
I enjoyed travelling around the city of Seoul and each part of the city had its own unique feeling. There are many things to do in Seoul whether you enjoy hiking, sightseeing, shopping, or going out. Some of my favourite places I visited were N Seoul Tower, Lotte World Tower, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Olympic Park, and the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Aside from these places, just exploring areas like Hongdae, Myeongdong, or Gangnam was an awesome experience. Seoul is a city that never sleeps, and you will be able to find people outside at all hours of the day and night. Convenience stores are on every corner and are 24/7, and most shops will stay open until around 10pm or even 24/7 as well.
- Make sure you get your documents in order for your ARC ASAP as it takes a long time to get them.
- I recommend getting a card from Wise as it has no international fees and I could use it everywhere in Korea, including paying for accommodations.
- Google and Apple maps do not work well in Korea, so download Naver maps (AirTags do not work either).
- Check online websites like Klook or Viator for booking as you may be able to skip queues.
Overall, I definitely recommend going to Korea for a semester exchange. It was an incredible opportunity to meet people from different walks of life and to expose myself to different cultures. It was a rewarding experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Find out how you can apply for exchange via the QUT Student Exchange website.