• South Korea
    • Seoul
Fall, Spring, Summer
Subject Areas
Accounting Asian Studies Economics Engineering Health Sciences History International Business International Relations Marketing Music Sports Science +1

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
Dormitory Host Family


Price Details
You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE! Our high-quality programs include tuition, housing, on-site airport pick-up, field trips and cultural activities, 24/7 on-site professional staff, and automatic iNext insurance. There are no hidden charges or surprises when you arrive, and scholarships opportunities are available!
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Classes Some Meals Travel Insurance
Jul 14, 2022
Jan 18, 2023
26 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

The capital and largest city in South Korea, Seoul is a vibrant cultural center filled with museums, religious monuments, parks, markets, festivals, sports teams, and tourist attractions, including the Gyeongbok and Changdeok palaces.

Get to know the city, language, culture, and customs with the help of "Seoul Mate" students trained by CIEE to help with orientation, organize social events, host workshops, and more.

Courses are available in English and Korean.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • CIEE Seoul is located on the campus of Yonsei University, less than 20 minutes from downtown Seoul.
  • Connect with local Korean students through our Seoul Mates program.eo
  • Discover the meaning of lions in Buddhism at Hwaomsa Temple, exploring tea fields at Mt. Chirisan, watching the drama of mask-dance unfold at Hahoe Village in Andong.
  • Take advantage of our Cultural Reimbursement program, designed to support you while you see movies, traditional performances, and visit museums and heritage sites.
  • Depending on their program of study and availability, students may be able to participate in an internship or volunteer.

Popular Programs

CIEE Seoul Summer Program

A vibrant business and financial hub, Seoul also brims with culture, with more than 100 museums, numerous religious monuments, parks, markets, festivals, sports teams, and the Gyeongbok and Changdeok palaces.

CIEE Seoul Semester Program

CIEE’s semester program is designed for students to learn at a top-ranked Korean university and experience everyday life in Seoul – a World Design Capital and the center of popular culture featuring the fastest internet in the world.



CIEE Scholarships and Grants

CIEE’s need-based grants offer support to students who face financial barriers to studying abroad. CIEE awards need-based grants based on students’ EFCs and program selection. The Gilman Go Global Grant offers students $750-$2,000 toward airfare, plus $2,500 toward semester program costs, or $1,000 toward summer program costs.

$500 - $2,500

Program Reviews

4.97 Rating
based on 33 reviews
  • 5 rating 96.97%
  • 4 rating 3.03%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.2
  • Support 4.85
  • Fun 4.9
  • Housing 4.55
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 8 of 33 reviews
Me sitting next to a teddy bear statue holding a guitar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Beneficial & Life-Changing Experience

Overall Educational Experience:
During my time abroad, I spent 6 weeks at Yonsei University. The professors spoke Korean and English equally and were very flexible with the 6 week semester. There were several libraries/study areas around the campus and the majority of textbooks/ebooks were free.

Host Country Program Administration:
Yonsei and CIEE staff could be found quite easily. CIEE staff had their own office at Yonsei University and Yonsei staff was also on duty- day and night at the dormitory. All of these staff members were helpful and would find the answer to questions that would arise.

What to do for fun?
CIEE had planned out several activities and excursions for us each week. Aside from this, you will have plenty of time to adventure out on your own/with friends.

I will note that CIEE has nothing to do with how clean the dormitories are. I resided in a single-room dorm, which was smaller than expected but worked for me. Within my room, I had a twin bed, which was very, very hard and left my back very sore. After some time, my back adjusted and I got used to it. There was a desk with plenty of shelf room and a wardrobe closet, again, with plenty of room. A plus of the single room is that you get a mini fridge which I appreciated greatly. The bathroom is a wet bathroom, so I would advise you to wear sandals when you step into it, and also to keep your feet clean. The shower was always nice and hot. The cleanliness of the room was decent, but not thorough. We were told to clean our rooms before we left, and I suspect that is what the last students did, so some areas were missed.

At the entry-level of the dormitory, there was a convenience store filled with goodies and 3 restaurants. I believe one was a burger place, another was a pork cutler place, and another was a soup place. I really enjoyed the burger place. I recommend the Western burger. If none of those suit your appetite, there is a number of convenience stores and restaurants on campus. Let's not forget that you can find many more restaurants and grocery stores just across the street.

Social/Cultural Integration:
I was a guest, and my country was not my host. This means, just because I came to visit, it does not make them my host. I was to remain aware of my actions because one thing that is considered normal in my country, may come off as rude in another. I educated myself on the social etiquette of the country I was visiting beforehand. You do not want to stand out. You want to blend in, and because I educated myself, I did blend in quite nicely. Aside from this, while the language barrier did cause some problems as I am not fluent, I did not worry too much as many places had kiosks that had an English option- this made purchasing items a breeze. On top of this, as noted above, CIEE provided many activities and excursions that allowed students to work together and encouraged them to interact with the locals and explore the area.

I became ill during my study abroad, and with South Korea's guidelines for COVID, I had to be tested. I first emailed a CIEE staff member asking for advice. She directed me to the on-campus clinic, where I was seen, asked about my symptoms, and tested for COVID, all for free. There were some language barrier problems, but it was sorted out. I was given 3 types of medication pills and was told how to take them. I paid for those there and went on my way. I cannot compare this clinic to my home clinic at my University as I've only been once and that was to get an ice pack, but what I do know, is that there is no fee when you visit my University's clinic as it is already paid for when you paid toward your tuition.

Yonsei University seemed like a very safe place, even when it's in the heart of a large and busy city. South Korea is a safe place in general, so I was never worried. In the dormitory, there was always a Yonsei staff member in the lobby to watch those who enter and leave. There was only one way to enter the area that takes you to the stairs/elevators, and you could only enter this area after your temperature was checked and your card was swiped. Separate floors separated the sexes. There were never males and females residing on the same floor. And to enter your room, you would have to tap your key card (kind of like a hotel). There is no jaywalking whatsoever. There are many safe places to cross at, so never attempt to do so elsewhere because while the city is relatively safe, drivers can be careless. Keep an eye out for bicycles and motorbikes of any kind. They WILL drive them on the sidewalk where people walk, so be aware of your surroundings. I have even seen them drive them on the pedestrian crosswalks. They're not supposed to, but again, you must remain aware.

How did I afford it?
Apply for scholarships!!! The sooner you do it, the better because it is a process. Look into your school and program resources, they will usually have a list of scholarships that will help you. Your GPA not high? Do not let that stop you! Not all scholarships look at GPA. The scholarship that allowed me to study abroad is the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship. This scholarship is exclusive to students who receive the Pell Grant. The Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship gives a voice to those who have been underrepresented: The minority, the disabled, first-generation college students, etc. Gilman looks at what makes you unique and what makes you do what you do. They want to know what obstacles you have overcome. This is the scholarship that wants to hear how you have blossomed and wants to be the one to give you that extra push. Money should never stop a student from learning. If you have any questions about this scholarship or any others, please get with your college/university as they can assist you with this.

Would I do it again?
Absolutely. It was definitely worthwhile. While the trip cost a pretty penny, the impact on my character and life is priceless.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Save your receipts and carry your passport everywhere with you! Many stores offer tax-free goods if you purchase so much (I think it is over 25,000 won?), and they will need your passport to give you that discount. If they do not offer it, save your receipts and it can be done at the airport. This is mainly for items you plan to take back home: clothing, shoes, and gifts.
  • Strong Staff Support
  • University/Dormitory Safety
  • Helpful Strangers
  • Covid-19 restrictions
  • Picky eater like me? You will struggle some... things are oddly spicey and or sweet
  • Careless Driving
9 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Loved every day

This program is excellent for both being immersed in the modernity and innovation of the country, as well as its rich history. You will be at one of three best schools in the country- the campus is beautiful and it’s an excellent opportunity to meet interesting students- as well as live in a very lively, youthful, and exciting neighborhood. CIEE makes the admission process easy and provides one-of-a-kind opportunities to engage with fellow Korean students, see other parts of the country, and fun and unique experiences. I am also grateful to the team on-site that helped me one-on-one for personal reasons on multiple occasions, as well as the very accessible and eager team online that helped me complete my application. I would highly recommend this to anyone wanting to see the best of South Korea!

  • One-on-one support from team
  • Included cross-country travel
  • Optional historical teachings
7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My adventures in South Korea

Last spring, I had the chance to study abroad in Seoul, South Korea. My knowledge of the language and the country was limited, but CIEE ensured that I would be comfortable and that all my questions were answered before departure. I was surrounded by amazing people and had the chance to participate in many activities offered by the program, such as cooking classes and island visits! While I loved South Korea and the culture I was introduced to, my experience wouldn't have been as amazing without CIEE. They made it very easy to communicate with them and are willing to help with any issues you might have. If you decide to be part of the program, I highly recommend taking the class offered by Intercultural class offered by CIEE; it was very helpful to understand how cultures differ and how to be open and inclusive.

  • CIEE Staff
  • The food and activities
  • The city is very safe
  • It is very cold in February
7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My abroad experience in Korea

With CIEE, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend a whole semester abroad in Seoul. Coming from my college in the Midwest, a change in scenery was never a bad idea, and I'm glad I chose South Korea as my destination. I expected a hefty cost of living when I first came here, but I was surprised that it was way cheaper compared to the States. A decent meal only costs me less than $8, and the food was just too good. South Korea is also a good destination for traveling, with many tourist attractions serving multiple sightseeing purposes, from amusement parks (Everland, Lotte World), hiking (Mungyeong Saejae, Seoraksan, Naejangsan), shopping (Outlet Villages in Seoul, Busan). Public transport was easy to navigate and cheap. Going out of Seoul was also not too complicated with many options (KTX or flying are all decent options at reasonable prices). However, my primary purpose in South Korea was to study. My academic experience at Yonsei University was rigorous, but what I gained from those learnings can't be disputed. These courses were among some of the hardest I have ever taken, but the professors were tremendously helpful in explaining every small detail.

  • Good food
  • Great scenery
  • Hospitality
  • Non-English speakers
  • Naver Map can be hard to navigate
  • Can't do online shopping without domestic debit card
11 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE Seoul- My Time Abroad

South Korea, mainly Seoul, is a great place to live as a student or study abroad if you want something different from a lot of non-major cities in the U.S. It’s vibrant, entertaining, has a lot to do and experience, and a good mix of modern and traditional. It’s a very safe place to live and study abroad. There’s a good amount of different ethnic foods like Vietnamese, Italian, French, Indian, Mexican, and more. You can never go wrong with KBBQ though! (unless you can’t eat meat..) Overall, highly recommend!

  • Safety (no guns, trains have doors unlike US etc.)
  • Close vicinity to a lot of activities and foods
  • Something for everyone to do
  • Can be a bit hard if you do not know the language (But, decently foreigner friendly-a lot can communicate in basic Eng back)
  • Quicker paced if you are not used to city or prone to adapt as quickly
  • Get used to the flavors of Korean food (kimchi, spice, sweetened foods)
13 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE Study Abroad Review

My experience was unique because I was able to go to someplace that is not really known as a tourist country. But it was so much fun because there were so many things that I could do and I would definitely go again! I was able to meet many great friends and most of my encounters with people outside of the school scene were really nice. There was only one bad experience that I had but other than that it was great to have friends to connect with that were from all over the United States. I would recommend this experience to others because it helped me become more independent and helped me realize that I can put my mind to things and accomplish them if only I put my mind to it.

  • Many things to do
  • Great food
  • Can walk and dont need buses to do many of the activities.
  • Language barrier
  • The school was not very inclusive towards study abroad students
  • Not much of a college life for study abroad students accept for the party scene
15 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


CIEE was very helpful before leaving for travels abroad. They supported me in preparing documents and gave me good travel advice. The orientation helped me understand Korean culture and society better. I really enjoyed the many different excursions because we did activities I may not have done otherwise and I got to meet new people. I felt very safe and comfortable with CIEE's support. Their COVID support was also very much appreciated. The staff was very welcoming and kind and went above and beyond to ensure an amazing experience.

15 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying during COVID in Seoul with CIEE

Studying abroad in South Korea was a dream of mine ever since I started high school. Little did I know that I would have to face the challenges of a worldwide pandemic during my time abroad. After standing in airport lines for hours and bearing the pain of multiple violating COVID tests, I wasn't sure if this experience was worth it anymore. I wondered how drastically my time in Korea would be affected by the government-enforced COVID-19 policies: Would I make any friends? Would I get to experience Korean food, culture, and travel? Although I was feeling incredibly pessimistic during my entire 10-day quarantine, the reality was that I had nothing to worry about! Directly after getting off quarantine, I had CIEE activities and orientation waiting for me. I met my first couple of friends in the program, and my circle grew larger and larger as the semester went by! CIEE held multiple activities each month that I could participate in. Although it seemed competitive to get a spot during the sign-ups, the program gave students multiple opportunities to engage in the excursions they offered. I had really wanted to take a cooking class in South Korea, but the ones I found online were incredibly expensive. CIEE offered two cooking classes, both of which I was unable to attend due to classes and competitive sign-up. I was incredibly disappointed, only to find out that I was given another opportunity to go a month later! This ended up being one of my favorite experiences while studying abroad. CIEE also provided me with volunteer opportunities as well as a course on Intercultural Communication and Leadership. Both greatly helped me understand the differences in my culture as a Korean-American and the native South Korean culture and cultivate myself as a student leader. Studying abroad with CIEE was a reflective experience that helped me have fun and also grow personally and academically. I can confidently say that my experience was positively impacted by the program, and if I were to study abroad again in a different country, I would go out of my way to study with CIEE again.

  • Easily making friends
  • Access to excursions
  • Many resources to feel safe
  • Living in the international dormitories
  • COVID-19 restrictions
14 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers