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1 Seoul National University South Korea Myrthe Hellema S Host institution and exact dates of semester abroad I ve studied at Seoul National University from the 1 st of September till the 11 th of December. Seoul National University is seen as the top university of Korea and one of the best Universities of Asia. The campus is a little bit out of the city but this also means that accommodation, food and drinks are cheaper. SNU is humongous compared to the University of Groningen. The campus has everything from sport courts, museums, relax rooms, restaurants till a nine stories high library including a media zone where you can watch the newest movies at your own HD screen. Walking from one side to the other can easily take you 45 minutes. Luckily every department has its own building so you don t have to walk a lot and otherwise there are free buses going very regularly. Contact with home faculty, preparation and journey Contact home faculty SNU is a university wide place so therefore all communication goes via the MSD office. For the application you have to hand in the same documents as for a FEB contract. In addition you have to hand in two recommendation letters from professors. Since I was abroad during the application process my application was a bit harder. However everyone was very helpful by arranging all required documents. Contact host faculty After I got accepted by the RUG I had to apply again at Seoul National University. In the beginning of June I got officially accepted at SNU. SNU provided me with information about the deadlines for dormitory application and course registration. The application process is rather complex since you need all different kinds of accounts and sometimes the webpages are not fully translated into English. The courses are usually full in about 5 minutes. I didn t manage to get enrolled for any courses. However this is not a problem because in the first week of the semester you get a chance to enroll by letting the professor sign an overriding form. Usually they allow exchange students to attend their classes. If I had any questions the exchange office of SNU usually responded very quickly. Visa Application I received all required documents for the student visa application halfway July which was pretty late. I was already living in Asia for 7 months before moving to South Korea so I applied for the Visa at Vientiane, Laos where I was at that moment. I just had to hand in all documents and I could pick up my passport again in a week. The application was very easy. However, I am not sure how much time it takes if you apply in the Netherlands so make sure you apply as soon as possible. Residence abroad Accommodation

2 If you want to apply for the dormitories you have to take a chest X ray and be vaccinated against measles. Your doctor has to sign a form that you fulfil these requirements and that you are healthy. The places at the dorms are very limited and only a very few students get selected for the dorms. The biggest advantage is the costs of the dorms. You pay only a few hundred for the whole semester. However the dorms are very old and dirty. You usually have to share your very tiny room with a Korean student. Furthermore there are very strict rules at the dorms. You definitely save a lot of money by living at the dorms, but most students I met called it a depressing place where nothing is going on. I applied for the dorms, but I didn t get selected. Which I actually was very happy about afterwards. When I arrived I didn t have any housing arranged so I decided to stay at a guesthouses which was recommended to me. I met a few other SNU students without accommodation so we decided to team up. In about one week we managed to find an apartment. About 90% of students live in a One Room which is, as the name suggests, one very small room including a bed (or mattress), desk and bathroom. Luckily me and my new friends found an apartment which was a new concept supported by the government. Downstairs we had a lounge room and upstairs we shared one floor with 6 international students. The bedroom was very simple with only a very thin mattress but it was nice to share the whole floor with other students. To costs in Korea are between 300 and 500 euros a month. Most international students of SNU live at Seoul National University Station or Nokdu. I lived at Nokdu and I can definitely recommend living there. You have tons of restaurants and bars at very cheap prices. Campus is at walking distance and there is also a free shuttle bus which is very convenient. Although SNU station is also a nice area I preferred Nokdu. Introduction and Student life My first weeks were filled with introductions. The university, faculty and SNU buddy all organized introductions to inform you about life at campus and the city. SNU Buddy is a program where international students get a Korean buddy and a buddy group consisting of about 60 international students and Korean buddies. They organize a lot of drinks, dinners and other activities. You have to apply for this before you arrive at Seoul so they can match you with a buddy. Almost all international students belong to the SNU Buddy program so I can definitely recommend you to join. It is a great way to get to know people in the first weeks. After you made friends you can decide how active you want to be. Some join every activity and others only appear at the drinks and parties. Besides the buddy program the student life at Seoul is very lively. Food at supermarkets is pretty expensive and not all students have a kitchen at their room so you will end up eating out every day. There are millions of restaurants offering food for a fairly cheap price. After dinner we usually went for drinks at a bar. I can assure you, you will drink litres of soju and beer. It is super cheap and a big part of the Korean life. Drinks are usually served with free snacks. After you drank enough you can go to a Karaoke place where you will have your own room with friends and sing until dawn or you will end up at one of many amazing clubs at Seoul. International students get free entrance most of the time. Gangnam, Itaewon and Hongdae are popular student areas. Of course we also organized house parties every now and then. All in all, if you want to you can go partying every single day at Seoul.

3 If you want to do something else than partying I can recommend to go hiking. It might sound boring, but Seoul has amazing hiking trails. After a few hours climbing you will be rewarded by a breath taking view over the never ending city. In the rest of the country there are a few nice places to go like Jeju island, Busan, DMZ area and Namiseom Island. Tickets to Japan, China and the Philippines are also pretty cheap. Language course The university provides a Korean language course for which you have to apply in advance. You have to pay extra for this course and it is quite expensive. The Korean language is very hard for Europeans. You will have three hours class a week and a test at the end of the semester for which you will get a certificate. An alternative language course is via ISF. They offer Korean lessons for about 2 hours a week for around 25 euros. Students will voluntarily teach you Korean. It is a cheap option to learn a few phrases, but don t expect too much of it. Grant You will get 750 euros beforehand and 250 after you have handed in your report. This is by far not sufficient but it at least covers you ticket. Study The official start and ending of the semester was 1 st of September till 14 th of December. However every professor is allowed to make his own schedule and plan exams so it is possible that you will finish a bit before or after. There is a wide range of courses you can take which are taught in English. Their study program is different from ours in the Netherlands. For every course you will have a three hours class where the professor will speak all the time. It is a bit like a lecture but in a tutorial setting. You sometimes have to make a report or give a presentation. Since SNU is the best university of Korea, all Koreans are very motivated. Some even study till four at night every day, so it is also very common that students sleep everywhere like the library, restaurants or at one of the relax rooms at campus. The assignments you have to make for every course are pretty easy, but the exams are very hard. Luckily in Korea your final grade consists of a lot of factors like attendance, participation, assignments and your exam grade. Therefore you definitely don t have to worry about not passing the course. I had to take 5 courses to get all required credits. This means that I had 5 times 3 hours of class. I had three hard courses and two courses which were very easy. International Business and Special topics in Business Administration are both very social courses in which you have to cooperate a lot with other students and have to get in touch with Koreans by interviewing them. These two courses are a lot of fun so I can definitely recommend them. The other courses were also fine but not that spectacular. Summary If you want to study at a city which is ranked as one of the best student cities, want to learn more about a completely different culture where delicious food, drinks, karaoke bars and clubs are in abundance, Seoul is absolutely the place to be! SNU is not only nice because it is the best university of Korea and one of the top universities of Asia, but also because of its amazing campus where they have everything you need and more. I ve had the time of my life at Seoul and I can

4 recommend everyone to study there!! If you have any further questions I am happy to help you, just shoot me a message and I will come back to you as soon as possible. Specific Report. Host Institution and Study Period: Seoul National University. September 1st December 12th Organizational Behavior: Slides and a book This course is about how we can effectively manage human behaviors within an organizational setting. Included in the course are in class activities and discussions, group/individual activities, Business Proposal project, midterm and final exam Attendance/participation/professionalism (10%), Business proposal (25%), Midterm exam (25%), In class activities (15%), Final exam (25%) Relevant and interesting Medium Insurance and Risk Management ()

5 Slides and a book This course focuses on the all topics related to Insurance and Risk Attendance (10%), Midterm exam (45%), final exam (45%) Highly relevant and interesting Very High Special Topics in Business Administration () No literature but guest lecture slides This course gives an introduction to Korea and the Korean work ethic. Lecturers about business operations of companies in Korea and the problems they are facing. It includes field trips, conducting interviews and a networking event. Very social and fun course so can definitely recommend it Midterm exam (60%), 2 group presentations (both 20%) Not that relevant, but gives a good insight into Korean culture Low

6 International Business Management () Literature and slides This course will help students understand the complexity and dynamics of doing business internationally with a special focus on cultural diversity. Very interactive set up with a lot of discussions Final exam (50%), 2 group projects (both 20%), In class activities (10%) Very relevant. Teaches IBM from more Asian perspective Low Corporate Governance and Investment Ethics () Literature and slides This course is intended to provide the students with a general framework of understanding the factors that affect firm value when the interests of the management and the investors are not perfectly aligned. Through the course, the students will be introduced to various internal and external mechanisms that have been designed to mitigate the conflicts of interests in large publicly traded firms and understand how effective they are in various countries around the world in terms of firm performance and investment value.

7 Midterm Exam (20%), Final exam (50%), Group project (20%), Attendance/participation (10%) Relevant but not that interesting Very high

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