Dreaming Korea – Useful website for prospective students

As I always say, I am quite a boring person (no joke!) and I’m been getting increasingly busy with school which means less time for updates, so I am constantly on the lookout for other related websites where you guys can get to know more about student life in Korea or about some other universities.

Recently I was contacted by Dreaming Korea, a website that provides information for students who wish to further their studies in Korea. Looking at their website, I really wish that it had existed at the time I was applying for university! It has basically collated much information about the various universities that you can easily access, and also features some posts about universities or life in general. Now this is important because my experience is mostly about Yonsei University or just Underwood International College, and everything else is what I hear from some of my friends from other universities. But reading interviews from this website you can directly hear from other students in some other universities!

Dreaming Korea

These are the main reasons why I decided to contribute to the website (under Community –> Campus Life) and gave an interview with the website. I guess I never really got down to talking about my life in Korea more personally because I never had the full list of questions before. Perhaps the interview might answer some of your questions too!

URL to the interview:

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Career prospects with a degree from Korean universities

Since I will become a senior in the coming fall semester, I guess this is one question I have become more informed about compared to my time as an innocent freshman. I do get quite some questions about this too, so I hope this post can help you a bit more in making your decision to come study in a Korean university.

Some basics you need to know about working in Korea before we start:

Local Korean companies vs Multi-National companies
For local Korean companies, they would definitely require Korean proficiency. And when I say Korean proficiency, it is not 반말 (the form of informal Korean you use with your friends), but formal, business Korean. So if your aim is to work in Korea, in a local company, you definitely have to be able to speak Korean well.
*Note: Korean multinationals like Samsung or LG are not really in this category

The number of multinational companies that choose to locate in Seoul has been increasing over the years, and Korean multinationals such as Samsung are becoming well-known brands worldwide. In this globalizing context, such companies have two tracks of employment. One would be the local track where they are looking for Koreans to work in local branches and contact with local clients, and the international track where they are looking to send employees overseas or back to their home countries, or deal with international clients. For the local track, it is the same as Korean companies – Korean proficiency is needed. Korean proficiency is not always needed for global track.

However the international track is becoming more and more competitive due to its better employee benefits and the opportunities for overseas posting. Also, working in the more global departments in multinationals gives one a higher chance of escaping from the strict hierarchy in local Korean companies, so many overseas Koreans are very interested and definitely well-qualified for this track as well. They are effectively bilingual in English and Korean, so they have an advantage over other applicants who only speak one language. So I cannot begin to stress the importance of Korean proficiency if you intend to work in Korea. Korean proficiency would also be an added bonus if you want to work in Korean multinationals as well, even if your aim is to be posted back to your home country.

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FAQ about Undergraduate Studies in Korea

Hello all! Hope everyone is having a good summer break!

As incoming freshmen for Fall 2014 are receiving acceptance letters and preparing to come to Korea, it signals the start of another cycle of applications for graduating high school seniors!

It’s been a little past 3 years since I’ve started this blog, and I’m approaching my final year of undergraduate studies in Korea. In the past 3 years, I’ve been asked many questions, and as the workload in college got heavier and heavier (as you might guess from my lack of posts), I have accumulated a great backlog of emails last semester (my busiest semester yet) which I guiltily cleared and replied a week or two before finals (Sorry to those of you who had to wait so long ><).

To make things a little more efficient, ie you being able to get information more quickly and not dependent on how busy I am, I’ve decided to compile a list of FAQ and will be setting that up in a new section on the blog! I will post again when I create the new section (:

In the meantime, one of my best friends in Korea who I got to know 3 years ago through this blog has created a youtube video on FAQ about undergraduate studies in Korea!

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Clearing the Immense Backlog

In a bid to procrastinate when you have a mountain of work to complete (I’m sure many of you have had the same experience), I took the excuse to come back to the blog!

First off, I am so sorry to everyone who has emailed or commented, because I took an impossibly long amount of time to reply you guys. There are some emails even from March which I have yet to reply (Please forgive me!! ㅠㅠ) I have to say that the exchange to Japan last fall semester did allow me to relax a little, but it also made it a little more difficult to get back on track to the academic rigor in UIC… I am now replying the emails and comments so please wait a little more!

On another note, it’s been almost 3 years since I’ve started my life in Korea and in UIC, and I just have about 1 more year left. There are so many things that I would like to share with all of you before I leave, but senior year will probably be crazier than it already is for me now ): I will still try my best to update more often though.

What I have no time to say in words, I shall leave in photos. Spring came really early to Korea this year, temperatures were so warm that the cherry blossoms bloomed exceptionally early this year! (Usually they bloom towards the end of April, this year they were in full bloom in early April!) I took a trip down to Busan and Gyeongju as well since my sister visited, as well as some interesting places in the vicinity of Gyeonggi-do and Gangwon-do (the two provinces really close to Seoul). I hope that these photos will give you a better idea of how life in Korea can be! 😀

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Packing – What to Bring and What to Leave out?

A comeback after a really long time! I always feel apologetic that I don’t have time to post much during the semester because of schoolwork, and during the breaks because I am usually working temporary jobs D: But by request from one of my readers (and new hoobae coming to UIC) I have decided to spend some time talking about packing! 😀

You might be thinking, of course I know how to pack! I just dump everything into huge luggage right?

I wish the story was this simple.

In fact, I hate packing so much that I don’t know if I’m actually the best person to be talking about this. But in any case I will talk about the things you should definitely bring to Korean and things that you don’t really have to!

Items you DON’T have to bring to Korea:

1. Clothes/Bags/Shoes/Accessories

Of course I’m not telling you not to pack any clothes to Korea, but your belongings will only increase exponentially if you bring too many clothes to Korea. (And you will start to get a huge headache when you graduate and think about how you’re going to bring everything home, like me T___T) Reason being that Korea is a shopping heaven. Korea is one country which places a lot of emphasis on fashion, and college students are especially susceptible to such fashion trends. Baseball jackets may be in trend this winter, but next winter you might see everyone in trench coats. It would be best to just buy your clothes in Korea, instead of using your luggage allowance bringing hordes of clothes from home, thinking that you won’t buy anything in Korea. Nope, not gonna happen. Especially when clothes in Korea are pretty affordable too.

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