What’s it like to study abroad in Korea?
Let’s check out Asian Languages minor, Gabrielle Diamante’s experience of studying at the University of Seoul in Fall ’21.
Q: Why did you start studying Korean?
A: I have been studying Korean since late 2018, which I started just for fun. After I grasped Hanguel (the Korean alphabet) and some beginner phrases, I became more passionate about the language and wanted to see how far I could go.
Q: Why did you study abroad in Korea?
A: Immersion is supposedly the best way to learn a new language so when I found out that MSU had an exchange program that sent students to Korea, I couldn’t sign up any faster than I did.
Q: What can you get from studying abroad in Korea that you can’t get from studying Korean in the USA?
A: Learning Korean in the USA has an off-switch–once you’re done studying Korean for the day, that’s where it ends. But if you study abroad in Korea, you’re constantly using the language and learning new things. You can learn new words from reading the street signs or even just ordering a coffee.
Q: What is there to do in Korea other than study?
A: I personally signed up for taekwondo near the university and met so many kind people. I also went hiking with the friends I made, and also really enjoyed reading by the Hangang River. The transit system in Korea is really easy to understand, so I went just about anywhere I wanted in Seoul. I even got the opportunity to tutor two elementary school students in English.
Q: Is it hard to study in Korea?
A: It’s very similar to the USA in my opinion–as long as you put in the work, your grades will show it.
Q: Is there anything you recommend?
A: One semester is too short. If you can stay for a full year, do it. It is worth it. Try to learn as much as you can about the culture and make as many Korean friends as possible!
Q: Did your Korean language skills improve?
A: My understanding is a lot better as well as my confidence. I can say things much faster and understand speech better than I did before my semester in Korea.
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Korean Study Abroad Photos
Gabrielle Diamante’s experience of studying at the University of Seoul in Fall ’21
Click on an image below to enlarge photo.