• South Korea
    • Seoul
Fall, J-Term, Spring, Summer
Subject Areas
Accounting Asian Studies Economics Engineering Health Sciences History International Business International Relations Marketing Music Sports Science +1
Need-based funding, Merit-based funding, General grants/scholarships

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
Dec 07, 2023
39 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.

Seoul Sunset

The dynamic city of Seoul has been South Korea’s capital for more than 600 years. A vibrant business and financial hub, it is also a “smart city.” Seoul brims with culture, boasting more than 100 museums, numerous religious monuments, parks, markets, festivals, sports teams, and majestic palaces.



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

4.92 Rating
based on 38 reviews
  • 5 rating 92.11%
  • 4 rating 7.89%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.1
  • Support 4.85
  • Fun 4.9
  • Housing 4.5
  • Safety 4.95
Showing 1 - 8 of 38 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Learning Korean Language

I wanted to come to Korea solely to learn Korean. I am Korean-American and was never formally taught Korean as a child. The Korean Language Institution at Yonsei held amazing classes and improved my Korean immensely. If it wasn't for CIEE's wide network and accessibility at so many schools nationwide, I would never have found out about this opportunity. They also provided me with seamless off-campus housing and always made sure we knew they were there to help at anytime.
Seoul is such a unique city, with an infinite number of restaurants to try on every block AND so many beautiful hikes within an hour away to get away from the bustling city.

What was your funniest moment?
My funniest moment was when a server at a restaurant gave my friend a fork because she was struggling with her chopsticks. My friend didn't ask for a fork, but the server saw her struggling and genuinely wanted to help her out. My friend was a little offended that the server thought she needed that much help, but upon reflection appreciated his generosity. It was so funny for the rest of us at the table!!
  • Cafe and eating-out culture
  • Low living cost
  • City and mountain life, so many hikes!
  • Late ARC registration delayed travelling to other countries
16 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE at Yonsei University

The people, in general, were the strongest part of the program. The staff was engaging, helpful, and friendly and the students I met were all wonderful. The courses were reasonably challenging, about on par with my home university. The campus itself is gorgeous; the local students are all very friendly as well and I had no problems making friends/connections with Korean students and professors. CIEE's extracurricular excursions were great too, they did a good job of simultaneously leading us and giving us room for independence.

  • Seoul is a wonderful city
  • Yonsei is a good university
  • helpful staff
  • dorm living was average at best
42 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience in a safe environment with CiEE

Yonsei was a great school with one of the best locations. Everything is convenient. Language barrier is not a problem. CIEE was super helpful in emergency situations and responsive when you need help. If you are there to study hard, I don’t think this is the place. Exchange students are usually chill, but contribute interesting points from different backgrounds! Public transportation is amazing and everything is on time. If you are into a party life, you can definitely find it here. Just be careful with the local guys if you are a girl. Sometimes they tend to go off limit. I felt like consent was not a common thing here. But nothing super serious. You will learn to deal with them.
Overall, great experience.

  • Safe
  • Great location
  • Great staff
  • Profs English speaking in the school
  • not super academic
  • Drinking and partying culture(depends)
43 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
No, I don't recommend this program

Amazing Experience

Offered a lot of events that helped to check things off my bucket list and gave a chance to meet other study abroad students. Offered a lot of support and liked that there was an office on campus. Thought the events could’ve been more organized and had more information provided. Would recommend though! Made it very easy to do everything and get accommodated here. Some meetings felt very unuseful and could’ve been better spent learning how to use the subway hands-on, how to use Naver or Kakao maps for buses, how to use Kakao T, or even basic Korean sayings for ordering at a restaurant or getting a taxi.

  • Guidance
45 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The benefits of studying abroad with a program like CIEE

Everyone always talks about how studying abroad was the best time of their lives (and I 100% agree) but I think an important aspect that gets left out is the different ways one can study abroad and how that can impact the experience you have. There are two main ways that I would say one can study abroad: 1) Apply directly to the university in the country you plan to study abroad in. 2) Apply through a program. When I studied abroad, I applied through CIEE due to my university's COVID policies, but this ended up being one the best decisions I had to make. I had a couple of friends who studied abroad without a program, meaning that they applied directly through the university they wanted to study at. They spoke to me about how they didn't know that applying through a program was an option, and if they had known, they would have done it too. There are many benefits that come from studying under a program including abundant resources, community, activities, and cultural engagement. Through CIEE, I always felt safe because they provided me with adequate resources to refer to when any situation occurred. The CIEE staff were all so friendly and well-informed-- I was able to trust them completely. Additionally, I was automatically connected with everyone else that was studying under my program through a groupchat, so it was super easy to make friends with people right when I landed! I even had the opportunity to talk to CIEE alumni, expanding my network even further. When you apply through a study abroad program like CIEE, there is an extra activity fee that applies, but it ends up being SO worth it because they fully plan out multiple activities for you to sign up for and attend. It's all super fun because you can go on these trips with other CIEE students fully paid for!!! It's a stress free way to do things in a country you are unfamiliar with. Last but not least, CIEE offers a course called "Intercultural Communication and Leadership." I loved taking this course because I learned so much about the different customs in South Korea and was able to deal with my homesickness way better through it. I strongly recommend studying abroad through a program like CIEE because the extra cost is so worth it!!!

  • Community
  • Resources
  • Cultural Immersion
  • Extra fees
44 people found this review helpful.
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
54 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
55 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
55 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers