Sue in Seoul // Exchange Programme at Kookmin University in Seoul 2013
Finally I can say I'm going to participate the Exchange Programme at Kookmin University in Seoul, South-Korea for a half year from August 2013 onwards!
While I was orientating about South-Korea and Kookmin University online I couldn't find any additional information and experiences by students, other than KMU's official site http://english.kookmin.ac.kr/ and an old webblog. On the contrary you can find a lot of information on blogs or sites about studying in South-Korea in general.
I am just really excited for this new adventure in my life and I would love to share my experiences about studying in South-Korea with others and I hope it might be useful for some. I expect to write and post a lot of blogposts and pictures, since I want to keep this as a personal travel diary called Sue in Seoul. Therefore I try to add jump breaks in order to shorten the long text for people who are just globally checking out my blog. If you maybe have noticed or not, I write very lengthy and extensively. I'm sorry for that, I will try to write as short and sweet as possible. Please bear with me.
To prevent confusion: in this and future blogpost I refer 'Korea' to South-Korea, unless otherwise stated.
Read further if you want to know my whole begin story! :)
I said at the beginning 'finally I can say...Seoul, South-Korea' because in order to study abroad, you need to give on time at your University that you want to go study abroad a few months before the actual study abroad. In meantime you also need to gather information, prepare for the intake, fill in forms for application, get visa and so on. I couldn't really say to my friends that I'm going to Korea since it wasn't definitive. But I just got a reply from KMU that I got accepted and I looking forward to receive the official documents.
But for now lets answer some basic questions:
#1 What is your major?
I am studying Bachelor of Commerce Commercial Economics at Rotterdam University, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Currently I am in my third year now. Basically this study is more towards marketing, which is my interest. Next year I will be in my fourth and last year: the year of my Bachelor's graduation. Therefore will the first semester be my minor and the last semester will be conducting my thesis. You can follow a minor and conducting your thesis in the Netherlands just regularly.
#2 Why study abroad?
Icome from an ambitious and international family originally. My brother for example studied in and emigrated to Shanghai couple years ago. He is now working and living in Shanghai with his beautiful wife and super adorable son. My sister went for an internship in Hong Kong at a hotel and after that she decided to continue her study by getting a Master's degree in London. Also a few of my cousins went after their study to Hong Kong for any job opportunities. You could say my family is really ambitious and our Asian parents and background makes it possible for us. Fun fact: we are Cantonese, born in Holland.
I saw my brother emigrated to Shanghai and my sister gaining international (work)experience across Hong Kong, London and our home country the Netherlands, I also wanted to gain international experiences. My lovely brother and sister are a big influence in my life. They've teached me the morals of life when I was growing up and I really became to realise that there is much more than only what I experience or see in my environment. I am thrilled by amazing landscapes. Thrilled by the word 'international'. This word makes things rapidly bigger, greater, more amazing and makes me want to discover for the yet discoverable.
And the best way to gain international experience is through my career. I am lucky that I have a passion for marketing, which allows me to go into the business world. By studying abroad I believe you will not only gain international experience, but it's also about learning about cultures and meeting new people.
Its a lifetime experience.
#3 Why South-Korea?
To be honest, my interest in Korea has increased by watching Korean dramas and listening to Korean pop. You could consider me as a Kdrama/Kpop fan or addict. I've been watching kdramas for years now and I still love it. Of course I have already heard and read and maybe you too that the real Korean life is nothing like those kdramas. So I try not to expect too much about that. But what made me really get into the Korean culture are the korean variety shows, which shows the more realistic of Korea. For example shows like Family Outing and Running (which I both highly recommend!) are my favourite shows, because the people, comedy and concept are just so entertaining. It's also a great way to see how the modern Korean culture is. And I love Korean food as well and I can't wait to try authentic Korean dishes. I have already been in Korea once, but that was by a travel tour. Now I want to take this opportunity to explore Korea's culture, country, food, people and more on my own in a period of 4 months (I said 6 because my exchange programme is officially counted as one semester/6months).
#4 Kookmin Univeristy?
First of all I didn't get to choose Kookmin University. In fact at my school you can't choose which university you want to go, only your top 3 countries. I choose Korea and the only option is KMU. My school only exchange students with partner schools. Here is KMU at a glance from my Student Guide booklet:
- Established in 1946 by the cabinet members of the Shanghai Provisional Government.
- Consists of 23,000 students, 700 faculty members and 300 staff members.
- 14 Colleges and 14 Graduate schools.
- 5th largest university in Seoul, the bustling metropolis of South Korea.
- Affiliated with approximately 200 universities and institutions around the world.
- Surrounded by Bukhan Mountain National Park.
- Boasts green environment as well as high-end facilities and modern educational equipment.
- Leads the nation in areas such as: Automotive Engineering, IT, Design, Nano Technology, Management, etc.
All images from www.lonelyplanet.com
If you are also going to Seoul in August, please let me know! We can maybe hang out or something ^^