Academic Experiences 

I had the opportunity of a lifetime to be able to study in South Korea for my student exchange experience at Korea University. I am currently completing a dual degree, however I chose to gain credit for general electives while on exchange. The courses that I took were: Contemporary Korean Society, Chinese Politics, Beginner’s Korean Language and Operations Management and International Business.

I highly recommend Korea University if you are doing Business Management or Commerce because the facilities for the business school are brand new and the professors are excellent teachers. That said, some professors at Korea University, particularly in the science department may conduct courses not fully in English even though the course profile state that the course will be in English. Korea University has compulsory attendance for some subjects and the quality of teaching ultimately comes down to the professors and the courses that you choose. Overall, my academic experience at Korea University allowed me to grow by exposing me to different styles of teaching and learning.

Personal Experiences

Going on exchange to South Korea changed my outlook completely. I was able to make so many friends from all over the world who became some of my closest friends today. It was a massive challenge to live independently in a country that I didn’t know the language of. It really did feel like I was a fish out of water but that made my experience so much more valuable. I have now learnt how to adapt easily to completely new surroundings and culture.

Korea University has an amazing program called Korea University Buddy Assistants (KUBA) which made my exchange experience so much better. If you are stumped about which university in Korea you want to go to, I recommend KU simply because of its KUBA program. KUBA plans activities, sometimes trips to the DMZ, Everland or just to have fun. These activities would be 2-3 times a week, and you get the opportunity to make so many friends, both Koreans and other exchange students. Seoul National and Yonsei don’t offer such a comprehensive buddy program as KU.

If you are going to Korea University during second semester, don’t forget to check out the Korea University–Yonsei University Games (Koyeonjeon). The atmosphere is amazing and you get to have fun while watching the two universities go up against each other. 

Korea University also organises your bank account and alien registration card. However, these will only be available to you one month into your exchange, so be prepared for other methods of getting your money other than a bank account.


While attending Korea University I lived in a ‘goshiwon,’ which essentially means a privately run dormitory. I stayed at Allive Gositel because I was too late to apply for CJ I-House. Prices at my goshiwon were 600AUD a month, but Korea University offered to pay for the last month of the semester. Fortunately I wasn’t assigned a room at the university dorms because the rules were rather strict with no visitors of the opposite gender and visitors must sign in to enter. The university dorms were also located on top of a massive hill which became a hassle whenever you came back home tired from your day out to climb a steep hill for a good 15 minutes. However, if you cannot cope with small goshiwon-sized rooms, then the university dorms are your best option.


Living in South Korea is much cheaper than most other exchange destinations so you can travel and live there on a tight budget. You could probably survive on 6000-8000AUD/Semester depending on how comfortably you plan to live. There are also scholarships at Korea University up for grabs to help finance your exchange. Generally food was quite cheap, I was spending about 100AUD/week. You could probably go as low as 60-70AUD/week depending on how much you want to spend on food. Transport is very cheap, with majority of subway trips costing $1.50 and buses even cheaper. Accommodation is quite reasonable with goshiwons, however they tend to have very small rooms. I do not recommend the dormitories at Korea University, as they are located on a steep hill and most dormitory students regretted choosing the dorms.

Remember to budget for some shopping! Korea has amazing clothes for such cheap prices. Travel is also quite cheap, a 4 day trip to Busan or Jeju Island will only set you back $200-300AUD. Also consider entertainment and drinking. Karaoke, PC bang, PS bang and bars are very cheap near the university area.

Top Tips

  • Keep track of how much you spend, just simply record what you spend weekly to ensure that you don’t run out of money towards the end!
  • Don’t just eat Western and fast foods, but taste all the food that Korea has to offer! You get used to the spice and kimchi after a while
  • Budget about 6000-8000AUD/Semester
  • Korea University’s course registration is as intense as UQ’s sign-ons, particularly with Business courses, so be ready!
  • Look out for any foreigner discounts as well as free K-Pop concerts available for foreigners 

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