Now that you’ve decided to study abroad, the next (and most important) question you must answer is “where?” If you’ve already narrowed down your search to Korea, you’re in luck. USAC offers three programs in Korea, one in Gwangju and two in Seoul, for you to choose from. Both USAC Korea program cities offer exciting opportunities for USAC students to broaden their horizons, practice the Korean language, and immerse in Korean culture through travel and interaction with locals. What more could you ask for? Read on to learn about each program and find the one that is best for you!
Gwangju, the sixth largest city in Korea, is home to some significant history. The city was established in 57 BC and is known as the birthplace of the modern democratic movement in Korea. However, there’s more to the city than it’s rich history. Gwangju is a vibrant city with lots of cultural festivals and art exhibitions, as well as restaurants and shopping. However, if you’re interested in exploring the great outdoors, Mudeungsan Mountain National Park is only a 30-minute bus ride from the heart of the city. The park is comprised of various hiking trails and three rock peaks, as well as several famous temples to explore. Whether you’re in the city or exploring the great outdoors nearby, Gwangju is a great destination for students interested in soaking up as much culture, tradition, and history as possible.
Our host university, Chonnam National University, is home to 1,200 international students from 40 countries around the world, so you’ll never be alone. USAC students will also have access to the wide variety of student organizations, clubs, and activities on campus. On the Gwangju program, students can choose courses in Korean language, culture and history, business, literature, engineering, political science, environmental and health studies, and more.
While studying in Gwangju, you’ll live in an on-campus dorm with easy access to lecture halls and the rest of campus.
Field Trips & Activities
In addition to the various student organizations on campus, USAC students can participate in several activities during the semester to get to know each other and better immerse in the local culture. CNU hosts an orientation at the beginning of the semester for all international students, a buddy program to pair you with local CNU students, and a variety of field trips around Gwangju and beyond. Sample locations for these field trips include Gyeongju, Busan, and the Boryeong Mud Festival.
Seoul, the capital of South Korea, has a little bit of everything. With palaces and temples right next to IT corporations and shopping malls, it’s the perfect blend of traditional and modern. Trust us when we say that you will never run out of things to do in Seoul. If you’re looking to dive head-first into a bustling city that never rests, Seoul is the place for you. However, students in Seoul will still be able to take a step back in time and explore some of Korea’s history by visiting some of the city’s palaces, including Gyeongbokgung.
If you choose to call Seoul home, you’ll be able to study at one of two universities in the city: Kookmin University or Yonsei University. Kookmin University is one of the leading private universities in Korea and is home to 24,000 students. The campus is located right next to Bukhansan National Park, a nature preserve located in the heart of the city. The campus boasts up-to-date facilities including several libraries, an art museum, and a wellness center, and USAC students have access to all of them. Kookmin University offers courses in nearly every subject, including business administration, political science, language, and the arts.
Our second host university, Yonsei University, educates the largest number of international students among Korean universities. It is known for its excellent global programs and focuses on creating an exceptional experience for international students. At Yonsei University, USAC students can take courses in Korean and East Asian studies, language, arts, humanities, social sciences, and more.
Both campuses offer residence halls for USAC students to settle in and make themselves at home with other international and local students.
Field Trips & Activities
KMU organizes plenty of opportunities to keep you and your fellow international students entertained and connected throughout the term. Past events have included a campus BBQ and a field day. In addition, Kookmin has more than 70 clubs for USAC students to join, so you’ll never be bored!
Along with these activities and clubs, KMU organized the Global Peers Program to help international students like you connect with local students. Matches to buddies are made before arrival, so you’ll have a friend waiting for you when you arrive.
Yonsei University hosts several events, as well, including the big Yon-Ko Festival each fall. This festival is an annual sports competition between Yonsei and its rival, Korea University. Other activities include a movie night, ‘Language Exchange’ and ‘Global Day’, and the ‘Korean Culture Experience’ are offered through the Yonsei Global and Office of International Affairs to help international students learn about their host culture, make new friends, and immerse in campus life.
Like KMU, Yonsei also offers an International Buddy Program to help students adjust and make connections with other students on campus.
Choose the Best USAC Korea Program for You
So, there you have it! In conclusion, if you’re after an authentic Korean experience with access to nature and outdoor recreation, head to Gwangju. If the hustle and bustle of one of the largest cities in the world excites you, then Seoul is your place. No matter which USAC Korea program you choose, you will have access to education in a variety of fields at three top-tier universities. You can’t go wrong!
Want to know what a typical day studying abroad in Korea is like? Check out this student video: