Updated: Jul 31
Undergoing a summer exchange programme as a University students is more than having an international education! Learn about the reasons as to why summer exchange programs are right for you. We will explore what summer exchange programmes are, and why going abroad and undergoing a summer exchange programme as a University student will be the best decision you make during your University Studies.
What are Summer Exchange programs for University students?
A summer exchange programme are 'course for University students held during University summer vacation'
You may be thinking, why on earth would anyone choose to part take in extra lectures and a summer exchange programme, after having been doing classes all year!
Originally, that was my first perception.
However, such perception changed when I arrived at Korea University, Seoul in the summer of 2017. The summer exchange programme for the University students was 6 weeks long, and by the end of the 6 weeks I wished for the summer exchange programme to continue, as it was a great experience for all University students involved.
During the first day there was orientation, which is common for various summer exchange programmes, the idea is that the orientation is supposed to introduce the running of the summer exchange programme, allow students to meet each other as well as reassure everybody that it will be fun.
However, if you are someone like me; When a School Principle states that something will be ‘fun’ you may automatically think ‘yeah it may not actually be fun’ purely because the school has stated so.
Nevertheless, at the end of the summer exchange programme, I was in agreement and thought the experience was ’super fun’.
Inside the classroom
Before looking at the things that we got up to outside the classroom (the fun part), I will briefly fill you in on the activities and tasks we did inside of the classroom.
As I am a Law student back in the UK, I thought that taking a course which suits my degree would be the most beneficial, however looking back, I wish I took a course that was different or something challenging, to allow me to have a wider knowledge base whilst on the summer exchange.
Without dwelling too much, the course I underwent was ‘Comparative Laws’, we were only required to take one course, however, you were able to take more if you wished but I chose not to, purely because the credits I received were not transferable and I wanted to explore Korea, rather than sit in a class-room all summer. The summer classes I took was relatively stimulating and the exam at the end was an MCQ, so there were no essays (some courses had) and the environment was very relaxed. However on the downside, the classes were 100 minutes, and it was extremely difficult to keep concentration for that long, regardless of the topic.
In sum, the class I took was not too difficult especially considering the exam was an MCQ, obviously this will differ depending on the summer exchange programme you enrol and the course you choose, so please research the summer exchange programs and the courses before deciding.
Outside the classroom
This is where I spend most of my time, and had the most fun!
Fun meaning: exploring Seoul, visiting landmarks, being featured on TV (See my other posts), flying to Jeju Island (picture attached), going to a beach festival, trying out different restaurants and bars, going to clubs and parties. (See my post about partying in Gangnam).
There was so much we did, I will have to do an individual post for each. However, overall the best part of the summer exchange programme was meeting one of my closest friends.
If I didn’t form such a close connection I think the summer exchange programme would not have been as much fun, therefore my advice to you is for you to find a 'close-nit’ of friends at the very start before doing all the exploring.
I believe forming connections with people is the most important.
I say: ‘it is not where you are in the world, it is who you are with which makes all the difference’.
I most certainly had a great time during the summer exchange programme for University students, so much so I did it all over again in Hong Kong in 2018! I think they are a great opportunity and one that should not be missed. If you fear you may get homesick, I highly recommend finding the right people who you can connect with will allow you to overcome these barriers.
Research the courses, research the Summer exchange programme specifically for University students (e.g some Universities may provide free accommodation some may not).
Lastly! Make it your mission in the first few days to find people that you ‘click with’ it may be time-consuming but it will be worth it.
Drop me a message if you wish to find out more!