Study abroad is all fun, but there is still the study portion to keep in mind. Through the Hanyang University International Summer School program, I need to take three classes to stay a full-time student at Drexel. This means I am taking three, three-hour classes from 9 am to 7 pm (with a one-hour lunch break), Monday through Thursday.
Especially for the first couple days, it was a bit of an adjustment. Still dealing from jet lag, long classroom hours, and homework after class led me to difficulties keeping my eyes open past 8pm. However, now I have been here for 2 weeks (my program is already halfway done, I can’t believe it). I would like to say that I have adjusted well to the demanding schedule.
The professors of this program seem to be very understanding that there are experiences outside of the classroom to see around Korea, but they do all highly stress attendance. Two of my professors work for Hanyang University and the other is a visiting professor. He is originally from Korea and his home university is in the United States.
The classes range in size depending on the style of the class, similar to Drexel. My statistics class is more lecture style and has around 60 students in the class. However, my other two classes are more participation-based, communication courses, so there are around 25 to 30 students. One difference I did notice about the classroom facilities at Hanyang is the lack of outlets. In most Drexel classrooms, there are outlets readily available on tables and desks. In all of my classrooms here, there are not many outlets to recharge devices. By my last class, I am dimming my laptop lighting and hoping it will power through the end.
(my business statistics classroom)
All three of my classes stress participation and group work. In my business communication course, every day, we share business-related news articles with groups. My statistics class has a group project and calls on people to solve problems on the board. Additionally, in my negotiation class, we have a group presentation project and negotiation simulation activities.
Since this is the International Summer School program, the vast majority of the students are international students. Many of which come from Singapore. I have also met students with home universities located in Hong Kong, Canada, Kazakhstan, United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Indonesia. There are some Korean students in my classes, but many of them are also studying abroad in Korea from their home universities in other countries. This is not the best opportunity if you are hoping to meet a lot of Korean students through classes.
Nevertheless, I think this is a really great positive because not only am I learning about Korea and its culture by being here, I can also learn about other countries’ cultures by interacting with the other students. This way, I can gain an even wider understanding of life in multiple places around the world. I can also gain some more information on their travels and home countries, so I know where next to travel to!