Straight to the business: It is my second time to go for an exchange period in Seoul, South-Korea as in fall semester of 2015 I was in Korea University.
Short comparison of Korea University and Soongsil: Korea University is much larger with its internal bus lines inside of campus and one of the top Universities in Korea. Soongsil campus is much smaller which has its advantages. Around 17% of the courses are taught in English as in Korea University it is or was 40%. (Comparison of campuses, SU: http://kosmic.ssu.ac.kr/template/front/img/egovframework/sub/campus_map.jpg , KU: http://oia.korea.ac.kr/common/images/cont/campusMap.gif )
My studies here have gone well. The start had its difficulties since a couple of professors told me indirectly to drop the course. They were not going to teach in english, even though the course was listed to be completely in english. After finding the suitable courses, it’s all good 🙂
In my opinion, the main difference between studying in Finland and Korea is that here you will have to remember the contents by heart more or less. A correct answer in an exam may be what the course material tells about the issue – not what some other book or another source may tell. Of course it may not always be as strict as I say here.
The exchange organization is not too active here with offical events. So the spare time has gone mostly with the flat mates and some other friends exploring and sightseeing the missed parts of Seoul. Also, let’s not forget about the nightlife here. Tripadvisor is a great site for finding out what to see or do.
Recently Koreans have started to protest against the president. Last saturday there was ~1 million people showing their upset minds around at City hall and Blue house. I was not participating the protest – I was left behind the police lines after exploring a traditional village and trying to go home.
I watched a basketball match with some Korean friends before and one of them is a local policeman. It was quite funny to meet him in full protection wear while I was trying to get around the police lines. He said that the other policemen gave him a really weird looks while greeting me. Chances to see just that guy are really low, since the area covered by police is huge and they were 21,000 in numbers depending of the source.
It has been a good exchange so far, I have had fun, made some friends and the studies are going well.