Seoul is the perfect destination for students looking to study in a modern metropolitan city rich with historical landmarks and surrounded by natural wonders. The capital of South Korea provides a great contrast between old and new worlds. This city, which bursts with vibrant culture and rich history, is the perfect setting for a life-changing study abroad experience.
A leader in global business, Seoul is one of the top ten financial and commercial centers in the world. The city also offers a plethora of museums and religious monuments for eager students to explore. With so many unique offerings, Seoul is suitable for students hoping to pursue a vast array of different disciplines. Seoul’s universities, the best in the country, offer high-caliber courses in art, science, East Asian studies, political science, and many other fields.
Students studying in Seoul will also enjoy the city’s vibrant culture and social activities, including music festivals, taekwondo competitions (Korea’s national sport) and the world’s largest indoor theme park. Nature also abounds for students looking to escape the metropolis. The city is filled with parks and streams and borders the Han River.Photo credits: strogoscope.
Students studying in Seoul will have the opportunity to experience the rich culture of Korea that has developed over thousands of years. Korean culture includes many unique customs and traditions, such as special ceremonies to acknowledge the winter solstice and the brightest full moon of the year. Seoul is also a great spot to experience traditional Korean cuisine, which has roots in the feasts served to royalty thousands of years ago.
Don't Leave without Seeing These Seoul Sights!
- Changdeokgung: This palace, built for emperor T’aejong in the 15th century, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site perfectly exemplifies the intricate and stunning architectural style of Seoul. Changdeokgung is particularly beautiful for the manner in which it complements and reflects the natural setting that surrounds it.
- Dongdaemun Market: This market covers 10 city blocks in the heart of Seoul and contains over 30,000 shops. A fixture in the city since 1905, it is a must-see for visitors interested in gaining a better understanding of the history of traditional Korean culture.
- War Memorial of Korea: This monument chronicles the many conflicts that the Korean peninsula has endured throughout time. The visually dramatic monument and accompanying museum is a valuable stop for visiting students that will certainly provide a new perspective on this country’s complicated history.
- Namsam Park: This vast nature area offers the possibility for many outdoors adventures, including hiking. It is a great antidote to the busy and hectic downtown Seoul. The park’s mountain peak also offers stunning panoramic views of the city.
Worries about money should never hinder your dreams of studying abroad. Luckily, there are scholarships available to help fund your trip to Seoul!
Korea’s currency is called the won. Although American dollars are accepted at some hotels, the won is required at most shops and all markets and street stalls. Debit and credit cards are also widely accepted.
Although Seoul can be more expensive than surrounding villages, certain tips can help you experience all aspects of this city while staying within your budget. Visit street stalls for delicious, authentic food that is less expensive than a sit-down restaurant. Also, take advantage of Seoul’s well-developed public transportation system, which includes buses and a subway system.
Students visiting Asia for the first time may be surprised by some cultural differences that they didn’t expect. Language and etiquette particular to Seoul may be difficult to understand at first, but if you keep an open mind and are respectful and eager to learn you will catch on quickly. Choosing a supportive program to study with that offers helpful resources to its students can also make this adjustment a lot easier.
Another great way to prepare for your trip is to learn some basic Korean phrases. Even if your program is taught primarily in English, this will help you to feel like you are a part of the community. It will also make it easier and less stressful to communicate and bond with people you meet at your university and in the city.