Here are my top 10 reasons why I recommend studying abroad in South Korea!
Hi, I am Apolline from France, and I have fulfilled my dream of studying abroad in South Korea with the help of Asia Exchange. My semester abroad in Seoul at Hanyang University has been the biggest highlight of my studies so far. An unforgettable experience! That’s why I want to share with you my personal top 10 reasons why you should study in South Korea. Moreover, I will share some of my tips with you. Seoul is the capital city of South Korea, and there is always something going on, such as festivals or new art exhibitions. I can guarantee you that you will never be bored.
1. Delicious Korean food
The food is one reason you should study in South Korea. There are many Michelin-recommended restaurants in Seoul where you can get excellent and cheap food. My favorite is the Ramen place in Hapjeong called ‘Oreno Ramen.’ If you like Street Food, you should check out the Namdaemun Market and look for the vendor with the famous dumplings and freshly hand-cut noodles, which was even featured on the Netflix show ‘Street Food Asia.’ For meat lovers: You will love Korean BBQ and Dakgalbi. And for dessert, you should go to Sulbing. It is a franchise restaurant/Cafe that carries traditional Korean desserts. Bingsu, which is shaved ice cream with numerous toppings, is what Sulbing is best known for.
Seoul is one of the safest big cities in the world and has a low crime rate. You can leave your bag with all your belongings in the streets, and no one will steal it. Many people reserve their seats in a Cafe by putting their phone on the table, and it will still be there when they return after ordering their food and drinks.
3. K-Pop & K-Drama
If you aren’t already a fan of K-Pop or K-Drama, you will soon be. You’ve probably heard of BTS or Blackpink because K-Pop is becoming increasingly popular. Throughout my time in Seoul, I have walked past numerous K-Drama filming locations, and watching the scene take place in real-time is fascinating. And my friends had the great luck of being part of several of them as background extras.
4. Korean culture & making new friends
Most Koreans are very polite and friendly. While hugging is normal in Europe, you should avoid making physical contact when you first greet someone in Korea. Koreans bow as a sign of courtesy. Although it is not required to bow when introducing yourself to close friends, it is always polite to do so when greeting an older person.
5. Learn Korean as a new language
The best way to connect to locals is to learn the language. Challenge yourself and learn a new language skill that will improve your resume. Before coming to Korea, you should know how to say hello (‘Annyeonghaseyo’) and thank you (‘gamsahabnida’).
6. Travel opportunities
South Korea offers something for everyone’s taste, from natural attractions to beaches and cultural heritage sites. My personal travel highlights are Busan and Jeju. Hint: Remember to get your international driver’s license!
7. Convenience & high quality of life
You can get everything you need, such as food, drinks, socks, toothbrushes, etc., from the convenience stores, which are open 24 hours. Korea is also known for its fast delivery services. You can place a food order and have it delivered anywhere. For instance, you can enjoy a picnic and order fried chicken next to the Han river.
8. Affordable tuition fees and living cost
In comparison to the United States or Australia, South Korean universities’ tuition fees, as well as the living cost, are much lower. I paid about 500€ monthly for a private room in a flat that I shared with a friend while living off-campus. Although there are less expensive options, I chose this apartment for its location (Hongdae).
9. Unique campus life experience
Although I lived off-campus, I met many people who lived on campus. It is much cheaper to live near the university, and you will have real campus life experience. South Korean universities offer free festivals yearly where students gather together and enjoy performances of well-known K-Pop artists like Psy, Blackpink, or Aespa.
10. Instagramable Cafes and cute boutiques
I’m not exaggerating when I say that every 5 meters you walk, a Cafe will be in sight. That’s why the cafés are another reasons to study abroad in South Korea. Many Cafes have a theme, and you can take many instagramable pictures. My favorite areas for Cafe hopping are Hapjeong, Hongdae, and Seongsu. Additionally, you can discover little jewelry and fashion boutiques there. I recommend packing light for your trip to Korea because you’ll be shopping a lot!
Do you want to know more about being an exchange student in South Korea? Find out more here!
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