March 29th 2024

From studies to vibrant nightlife: A semester abroad in Korea

Jonathan Roth and Rafael Gufler share their experiences of their semester abroad at Kyung Hee University in Suwon

Jonathan Roth and Rafael Gufler are students of the bachelor's degree program in Medical, Health & Sports Engineering and tell us about their exciting experiences during their semester abroad at Kyung Hee University.

What is your overall impression of the university and the courses offered?

Jonathan: Rafael and I spent our semester abroad at Kyung Hee University in Korea. We were located at the International Campus in Suwon. The courses were of high quality, and we enjoyed them very much, except for one course. The workload was comparable to what we are used to at MCI, but it varied depending on the professor. An example of the variation of the workload is the course "Computational Analysis and Programming in Biomedical Engineering", which constisted of online lectures and two exams. In contrast, the course "Biomedical System Modelling" required four reports in addition to the exams, which took up a lot of time. Nevertheless, we can say that the overall quality of the courses was very good, and the English proficiency of the professors facilitated communication.


Which course was your favorite?

Rafael: The course that we both liked the most was "Introduction to Mathematical Big Data" at the Applied Mathematics Department. The professor delivered engaging lectures that made the topic easy to understand. The practice assignments before the exams were helpful, preparing us well for the tests as they often contained similar tasks to the exams. That made the preparation very enjoyable and effective.


What did you do in your spare time?

Jonathan: There were many options in Korea, so we often found it hard to decide what to do. Like visiting historical temples, participating in gaming sessions in PC Bangs, exploring the rooftops of skyscrapers, and much more. It was a time full of new experiences and carefree moments that shaped us. Especially clubbing and going out were integral parts of Korean culture that we gladly embraced. While going out, we also engaged in many interesting conversations with locals, especially when enjoying the famous "Somaek" - a mixture of Soju and beer. It was an enriching time that we thoroughly enjoyed.

Rafael: We tried to make the most out of our time in Korea. The diversity of activities and the vibrancy of the Korean lifestyle impressed us. It was amazing how easy it was to connect with locals, whether during our nightly strolls through the city or just relaxing in a cozy café. The culture of going out and celebrating was fascinating and gave us many unforgettable memories. It was a time full of adventures and new impressions that we will never forget.


What tips would you give to other students who also want to go to Kyung Hee University?

Jonathan: A good piece of advice is to enroll in courses exclusively at the Global and not at the Seoul Campus. We did not know that the two campuses were an hour and a half apart. You should consider this when selecting courses. Furthermore, enrollment in South Korea is based on the "First Come, First Serve" principle, meaning you have to get up early to secure your preferred courses due to the time difference between Austria and Korea. If possible, we recommend choosing the course "Korean Society," which is an online course for exchange students and provides the opportunity to become familiar with Korean culture. Another valuable tip is to use Papago, a translator that works reliably and can be indispensable given the language barrier.


How would you summarize your semester abroad in two sentences?

Jonathan: Our semester abroad in Korea was an unforgettable experience that we would recommend. It was a time full of new impressions and encounters that gave us a deep insight into a fascinating culture.

Rafael: Exactly, we had a great time in Korea and got to meet many new people. The semester abroad has enriched us with experiences and given us valuable insight into a completely new culture that we would not want to miss. 


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