South Korea, one of the "economic dragons" in Asia, is a country that embraces both a modern and traditional way of life. The capital, Seoul, has many museums, galleries, and theaters, as well as historic monuments and sites, giving students a historical perspective into Korea's dynastic periods, which established the intellectual and cultural foundation for modern Korean society. At the same time, Seoul offers many stores filled with the latest in mobile technologies, fashion, and "K-pop" music, providing a great backdrop to learn about modern youth culture in Asia.
The CIEE Study Center is based at Yonsei University, one of the most prestigious private institutions of higher education in Korea. Founded in 1885, the school has 18 graduate schools, 21 colleges, and a student population of over 30,000, which includes more than 1,000 students from 20 countries. The University is located less than 20 minutes from downtown Seoul on a large sprawling campus that is hilly and forested.
The Resident Director is available to assist students with a variety of needs, and is the primary resource for all students on the program. The Resident Director is a staff member familiar with both Korean and American cultures, and is trained to assist students while studying in Seoul. This unique feature allows students to feel comfortable while learning about how to integrate into Korean culture.
The CIEE Study Center at Yonsei University offers students courses from a wide range of disciplines, including international business, humanities, social sciences, and the arts. Students learn first-hand about the country and its people, while pursuing an intensive curriculum of Korean language studies. Students directly enroll in a wide range of courses at Yonsei, studying alongside local Korean and international students.
Students are required to take at least one class (minimum 6 credits) in Korean Language while at Yonsei. Please note that courses from Yonsei's "Liberal Arts" and "Common Curriculum" faculties are not open to exchange students.
Participants are normally housed in the International House Dormitory, with other CIEE students and other international students, as well as possibly some Korean students.
Students are responsible for purchasing their own meals. There is no meal plan, but there are many alternatives. Students may buy their meals in one of the college cafeterias, or in the university area's many restaurants. Delivery and take-out are available for a variety of foods. An average meal in Seoul costs about the same as in any U.S. city.
Throughout the semester, students will take place in several excursions, including an international trip to Japan for insight on the Korean Diaspora and Korea's influence on Japanese art and architecture; required site visits to Korean organizations, the North/South border, a national park, and places of historic and cultural significance.
Students enrolled in this program receive support from CIEE-trained Yonsei "buddies." Local buddies serve as an excellent resource to learn about local Korean culture and lifestyle.
This program also offers the opportunity to participate in community service, volunteerism, and local University clubs.