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Experiencing Seasonal School at Overseas Universities!

Vacation is always an exciting period but lots of college students have troubles planning and wonder about how they should spend their valuable time. Here is one solution for the worried ones! Going abroad to participate in summer/winter school program. It is an excellent way to travel abroad, get credits, and study at a foreign university. The article will provide detailed explanation and information about the application process, interview, and hands-on experiences abroad. However, it is important to note that the information is based on the summer of 2017 and even before, thus the programs availability and agenda may have changed and there is a possibility for new programs to exists. Make sure to check the College of Business Administration notice board for accurate and current information.

Kookmin Review Reporter
Yeojin Kwon
jennykwon97@kookmin.ac.kr


For College of Business Administration students

The programs available for students whose major is in College of Business Administration are McGill University Winter School, France ESCE Business Summer School, Rotterdam & Utrecht Summer School, and International Heibelberg Summer School. Not all of these programs are available at the same time, just one per summer/winter break.

Application

The application period starts around the end of April for summer schools and middle of October for winter schools. Application notices go up on the College of Business Administration website. Other than the obvious forms you need to turn in, the required forms are letter of recommendation from a professor, self-introduction paper including motivation and study plans. It is helpful for students to go to the foreign university’s website and look for the class plans when preparing for the self-introduction letter. After the first round of documentation, there comes an interview. A short English interview is conducted by one or two professors and an assistant and then, students are finally picked. Usually, it is a group interview where students are asked one or two questions about motivation for studying abroad, expected troubles when students go abroad, expectation from the study programs, etc. One anonymous participant of the program advises that “It may be challenging since the interview is all in English but if you can express your will and motivation for the program well enough, it should be fine. The questions I got was my motivation for this program and the relationship between South Korea and North Korea.”


▲ Estonia, Weekend Baltic Festival 2017

Financial Costs / School Studies

Financial support from the school includes the foreign university’s tuition and dormitory fees. Depending on the program, the school might provide students with Kookmin University’s seasonal semester tuition fee which is 90,000 KRW per credit. The rest should be dealt by individual students. The arriving and departing dates for flights are totally up to the students as long as they are present during the semester period in the designated city. It is advised for students to arrive before and leave after the program for traveling. Especially in Europe, if you have a student card that proves that you are attending a school in Europe, most of the museums, cathedrals, entrance fees to tourist venues are free of charge or discounted.

The school studies abroad may be challenging considering the fact that all classes are in English and professors require quite a lot. Based on the experiences from McGill University and France ESCE program, the classes last three to four weeks and include a midterm or final exam or both. In-class group presentations are often required along with small assignments such as writing short essay about issues dealt in class. It may sound a bit tough for a seasonal semester, but it will give a big boost to your English skills and you will gain more knowledge about the fields you are interested in. The grades will be recorded as either pass or non-pass. Once students have passed the classes, they will earn the credits that were assigned to the program. Ko Eunsong, a participant of France ESCE Program states that “The hardest part about the studies was that because we were studying and taking tests, and doing class projects together, it required me to have an English level that exceeds just daily life English level. However, what I’ve learned from these classes is that despite the cultural differences that all the students had, there was something in common. If I tried enough, talking about these differences and similarities brought us together and it gave me a sensational experience of making new international friends.”


▲ Grindelwald, Switzerland

Life Abroad

Lodging is provided by the school in the form of dormitory. According to the students who have participated in these programs, the dormitory facilities are excellent. The dormitories are equipped with kitchen, laundry room, and sometimes there are swimming pool, library, gym, and student communication rooms.

It is more than recommended to travel around the city where the school is in and also the neighboring countries, if possible. It is a great opportunity to experience the local culture, make international friends, and visit famous nearby tourist venues. For those who are planning to travel, there is no need to visit the city where the program is held in great advance since you will have enough time to enjoy the city during the seasonal semester. But rather, it is great to visit other cities in the country or even other countries before and after the semester. One of the students who participated in McGill University Winter school program, Jueun Lee, says that “The somewhat reckless challenging seasonal semester in Canada gave me more than just an experience. It was a memorable semester where I met new great people and I learned my own novel life lessons from the unique experience. Don’t be afraid to try new things! The door for opportunity is always open.”


▲ Left: Eiffel Tower, France / Right: Versailles Park, France

For Kookmin University Students

Any Kookmin University students can also apply to the Kookmin University Language Study Program. Students who participate in this program will go to the university’s sister overseas university from three to six weeks. According to the Kookmin University website, in 2014, 45 students went to the USA, Canada, and China in the Summer and 82 students went to the USA, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, China, and Spain in the Winter.

Application

The application notices go up on the Kookmin University website (University life(대학생활)>International interaction(국제교류)>language study program(어학연수). Students will need to submit the application form with self-introduction letter, a copy of passport, and grade report. For those who are going to the USA and China need to get the necessary visa. The form can be downloaded from the university website, or academy notices board. In addition, students who have participated in exchange or visiting student programs cannot apply right before or after their programs.

Scholarship / School Studies

The amount of scholarship will be different depending on the program. It will be given to students after he/she has finished the program and has safely passed the classes. After completing the program, students will be given two credits as “Overseas Language Study Program”. The students will need to register for Kookmin University seasonal semester which is 90,000 KRW per credit. For more up-to-date information, please check the Kookmin University website.

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