Lecturers-Harvard Graduates

When I first arrived at the university I immediately received the impression that this was a very prestige university. This is because of the very large campus and building infrastructure. The buildings were built in 1905 but looks like an old style castle. The infrastructure was very old yet modern. The insides of all the buildings have been renovated and have some very unique artefacts.

The campus was very large and in the Anam area there were many shops and restaurants that surrounded the two main campuses. The two main campuses were the science campus and the business campus. The university also had a stadium that was very large with soccer fields. The business campus was the main one and the science campus was up a big hill right next to Korea University hospital. (It’s a hassle to walk to science campus).

There was also accommodation in and around the university. The Anam area was always alive with students having a night out or meetups. There was a possibility to get dorm style accommodation or personal “one room” accommodation. Although the personal accommodation gives you privacy, it is hard to make friends as quick as you would if in the dorms. The dorms and the private housing costed the same price.

The city was basically 24/7. There was always people out and about even during the week. The subway and busses close at around 11:30 on a weekend and later during the week; they reopen at about 6am. There were many different subway lines that will take you around the city and it very convenient but at first very confusing. The buildings in the city seem never ending and filled with neon lights and food restaurants.

Korea University is competing for Second Best University in Korea. It is well known and was very difficult for locals to get into. The majority of my lecturers were graduates from prestige universities such as Harvard. The business faculty was famous and the school spirit was very well represented. There were even large cheering competitions that show the school spirit.

Insights from an internship in Korea

Overall I had a fantastic time. The clubs and groups and activities are endless. The KUBA group is excellent and you always have weekend activities and options that can occupy your time. I felt very accommodated and supported during my whole exchange and experience. I didn’t come across any culture shock or instances of concern there and found Koreans to be very accommodating and supportive during my entire stay. Safety was never a problem the country is exceptionally safe. It is also far cheaper than Brisbane in terms of food and living costs with a budget of around $70-100 a week. If I ever had a problem they were so happy to help me sort it out. I would recommend the exchange program because living somewhere is such a testament to knowing a country from a company’s perspective especially. When I say I’ve lived in Korea it makes people assume and think I am very knowledgeable about the region and this is such a benefit to building future career links and setting up opportunities.

As part of the PM Award, I was required to undertake an internship here in Korea. I was extremely fortunate to have found an accommodating workplace at an organisation hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government called CityNet. It’s a fascinating international organisation that work on urban sustainability and improving human settlements through knowledge exchanges and forums through their network spanning across the Asia-Pacific. I’ve been working there part-time since October assisting them in preparing for their Executive Committee meeting in Vietnam as well as writing journal articles that they share with their members on new ideas on transport, energy, liveability, sanitation and climate resilience.

I was fortunate enough to get a chance to go to their Conference in Vietnam in November which was a fascinating insight into intercultural communication and government practices. I saw some vastly complex relationships and ideas on Asian specific models and regional integration away from European and American institutions. I was able to build up a great network of contacts while there and also build stronger connections with my co-workers! During my internship, I was able to achieve strong gains in my professional work quality as well as managing and integrating effectively into an intercultural workplace and be well-accepted.

A warm welcome to Korea University

Me and other exchange students to Korea

Me and other exchange students to Korea

I partook in the study program at Korea University in Seoul during semester 2, 2014. The study here is very interesting and a big contrast to Australia and I found that the lecturers were very interested in building relationship and understanding students. I’ve been so thoroughly welcomed into the university environment here, and have made the most of seeing the countryside, getting to know local networks as well as the local culture. Studying abroad at Korea University was a great opportunity to develop more knowledge of Korea and learn more about East Asia. The university itself was located in Anam-dong, which is quite a good location and close to most activities, and well known for being affordable. On campus food is very well priced and they have a lot of variety however it is very Korean inspired. Most students had a preference for the western options which tends to be a bit more expensive and usually with a Korean twist. The university consisted of great facilities and on-campus dorms have access to the CJ Gym, which I spent a lot of time using.

The university was very large and took almost 40 minutes to get from one side to the other. The lecture halls were great and most lectures were very personal, which was something I was not used to. For KU, class size lectures with a professor are standard usually with about 30 students, so expect to answer a lot of questions. I became quite used to this format, it meant I could speak to the lecturer frequently and also form a good relationship. Probably the greatest strength of KU was its library facility. It had just about every book I could ever want! It was very well stocked, books that were only recently out were already in circulation at KU. The university is well known for its international studies, engineering and business. On exchange I did most of my studies in the division of international studies which is a great department with some really experienced and knowledgeable staffs. They are very helpful and always happy to assist you whenever you need support. The accommodation was great and really well organised and had some great facilities. I was really happy to have picked meal plans at the cafeteria given that the walk especially in winter to the front road was a long way!