Studying abroad at Seoul National University
Posted on: 21 October 2018 by Jack Young in 2018/19
Jack was the first Liverpool student to attend Seoul National University from Liverpool and tells us about life in South Korea
Far from Liverpool, Seoul is not only 9,000km away but also unlike it in any way, be it food, people or lifestyle and from my experience there, studying abroad is an incredible opportunity for any student to jump out of the usual and into something challenging, exciting and completely new!
Seoul National University is one of the top universities in Asia, with a huge, modern campus and amazing facilities surrounded by the mountains that border Seoul, it’s truly wonderful, and while the academic side of your time abroad is certainly important, there are so many other reasons study abroad might be perfect for you.
For me it was the lifestyle. South Korea has everything you could want to experience, from the buzz of the city and the nightlife to the quiet of some of the world’s most beautiful natural landscapes. I arrived in the freezing winter when the country was filled with excitement for the Winter Olympic Games that were taking place there. Opportunities to get involved were around every corner, be it seeing the games themselves, or as I did, hitting the slopes and snowboarding down the mountains of Korea.
With spring comes warmer weather and the famous cherry blossom festivals across Korea. With beautiful pink trees lining streets bustling with people enjoying the blue skies, it was the perfect opportunity to catch the train and experience Korea’s second largest city, Busan, home of amazing seafood and the best cherry blossom festival the country has to offer and the opportunity to live at a Buddhist temple at a stunning national park.
That’s something I cannot recommend enough. Travel. See as much as you possibly can, you’ve already made the journey half way across the world, everywhere you go there will be something or somewhere new to explore. While the study aspect of study abroad is important, it isn’t the only thing to do, work hard but grab every opportunity and make the most of the ‘abroad’ part too. As well as Busan, at every chance we got, I and the incredible friends from across the world that I had made went to city after city across Korea, seeing everything we could and once exams and our time at the university were over, our study abroad experience was far from it.
The benefit of studying abroad in semester 2 is that you have the whole of summer to explore until your heart’s content. As part of the diverse classes I was able to take at SNU, I had the pleasure of presenting at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, before continuing on to see as much of Japan as I could, with 3 bullet trains, 4 cities and more adventure than I could possibly fit into 500 words, before eventually returning to Europe and checking out Vienna and Berlin with the friends I had made along the way.
Studying abroad, for me, was the best decision I have made at university, it took me to places I never thought I would go, allowed me to do things I never thought I would do, and whoever you are, whatever you study and wherever you are from, I cannot recommend it enough.