Seoul National University, or SNU, stands at the top of the top, both literally and figuratively. If you’re reading my blog and are considering of spending a semester or two in Korea, you are probably aware of the SKY universities. But if you have never heard of it before, it’s an acronym for the three most prestigious universities in Korea. The S in SKY stands for SNU, K for Korea University, and Y for Yonsei University. While all three are usually grouped together, SNU is on another level compared to the other two. The classes are way more rigorous at SNU and the “paper” you get at the end has more way more value. And did I mention that SNU is located on a mountain? A MOUNTAIN.
SNU campus is huge. It takes over 2 hours to walk from one side of the campus to another and it’s an uphill battle everywhere. It would be silly not to use either the shuttle bus (owned by SNU and are free to use) or the city buses. Because the campus is so large, and the buildings are all in random places e.g. building 16 is for no reason located across from building 103, be prepared to get lost during your first few days on campus! I would recommend exploring the campus and know where your classes are before the first week. Plus it’s always great to walk around campus. It’s a very beautiful campus.
Attending SNU means you’re part of the elites. You’re the top 1% of the nation. It’s an honor and the perks surely show. Walking around campus, around Seoul, around Korea, you can feel the energy of being at the top. With the SNU jacket on you, you are looked at and treated differently. I was approached multiple times for no reasons simply because I had my SNU gears on. Not only that, you can also get discounts for being an SNU student. At JUNO HAIR for example, you get a 15% off for being an SNU student.
You will also be able to feel the prestigiousness through the students attending SNU. Attending classes with the “real” SNU students make me realize that SNU’s reputation isn’t for nothing. These kids are smart. They are very smart. And they work hard. They are overachievers. Sometimes, I feel like I don’t belong here. My friends and I joked around whenever we walk around the library that our IQs combined still wouldn’t be enough to study here.
You definitely do not want to slack off when you’re here at SNU. Of course you’d want to have fun and all but get on top of your schoolwork so you can enjoy Korea without stress. Classes here are generally taught in similar manner to that at home. It’s a seminar style where you’re welcomed and encouraged to participate in the discussion. Keep in mind that professors here love to cold call as Korean students are generally quiet in class. As an exchange student, expect to be called upon fairly often as the professors would love to hear different opinions.
The stress of school calls for plenty of fun. There is always some sort of festival on campus. Food festivals, music festivals, whatever they might be, there’s always something. Singers frequently come and perform for free on campus. Over the past 2 months, I’ve seen Hyuna and Crush. I’ve missed some guy from SM and some other rappers. But even if the famous artists aren’t here, you will still be blessed with performances by SNU students. Oh boy, they are smart AND talented. I feel inadequate.