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This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, finances and much more.
Remember to also visit the Participants
section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
Click a heading below to see section content.
Fall, Spring, and Year Programs
The academic year at Yonsei University begins in late February or early March with the spring semester. Spring is therefore the first semester at Yonsei University. Fall term begins in late August or early September and is the second semester. The first section of some sequential courses will be offered only in spring. This is especially true for courses taught in English.
See the course information section below for additional information.
These programs offer coursework taught in English and Korean, as well as Korean language study. The programs also feature community service and internship opportunities for academic credit.
- Attendance at both Yonsei University and UCEAP mandatory orientations
- Full-time course of study; minimum of 21 UC quarter units each term. Most UCEAP students take 22.5 UC quarter units (usually four or five courses). You may take a maximum of 27 UC quarter units.
- A Korean language course each term (unless you are fluent)
- Korean language placement test on the first date of the program (no makeup exams are offered)
- Completion of the MyEAP Study List and confirmation by the Study Center (any changes made in your Yonsei University course registration must also be made on your MyEAP Study List)
UC quarter units are calculated by multiplying Yonsei University units by 1.5. (3.0 Yonsei units equal 4.5 UC quarter units). Most courses are 3.0 Yonsei units.
UCEAP students take a wide variety of courses. Many take the semi-intensive Korean language course (9.0 UC quarter units) plus three Yonsei University courses (13.5 UC quarter units) to meet the 22.5 UC quarter unit requirement.
Yonsei Portal Service
You will preregister for your courses through the Yonsei Portal Service. You will receive instructions by e-mail regarding Yonsei University preregistration procedures one or two months before departure.
The Yonsei Course Catalog and Syllabus search under the Yonsei Portal Service lists several versions of each course for the current and previous terms. The catalog provides course titles, units, descriptions, syllabi, and other useful information. The catalog can be difficult to search as is has thousands of courses with several versions or sections of each course.
Hints to narrow your search:
- Search by major and department: select undergraduate programs, select a college, select specific area, select term.
- Search by course code: find the department code in the MyEAP course catalog in the "P Course Number" field and enter that under the course code search (BIO for biology, SOC for sociology, POL for political science, etc.)
- Search by course title: enter a keyword or title of a course (microbiology, microeconomics, fluid dynamics, etc.). This is useful to see if a course listed in the MyEAP course catalog has been offered recently.
- Check the box for courses taught in English
Hints on reading your results:
- Semester: year and term it was taught. 20131 is spring of 2013. The last digit indicates term (1 spring, 2 fall). Check to see how regularly the course has been offered. This field is not shown when searching by major and department.
- Year: target students. 3 and 4 are for advanced students and are usually upper division. 0, 1, and 2 are usually lower division.
- Credit: multiply by 1.5 to calculate UC quarter units.
- Time: courses typically meet for three hours per week over the 15 weeks with a week for finals. There are 10 time periods of 50 minutes each starting each hour from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Time period 1 is from 9:00am to 9:50am and time period 10 is from 5:00pm to 5:50pm.
- Ref.: 2 indicates courses taught in English.
Courses Taught in English and Korean
An increasing number of courses taught in English are offered by the Yonsei University departments, including business, economics, history, communications, Korean art history, law, literature, philosophy, political science, and sociology. Particularly strong courses are available in Asian studies and Korean language and literature, as well as unique courses related to North Korea. There are very few courses in the sciences taught in English.
If the language placement test shows you have adequate proficiency in Korean, you may be able to enroll in Yonsei University courses taught in Korean with the approval of the instructor and the UCEAP Liaison Officer. A high level of proficiency in reading, writing, and comprehension of university-level Korean is necessary to succeed in these courses.
Some courses are taught in a combination of Korean and English. For example, lectures may be in Korean with textbooks in English. Some courses may have sections in English or Korean. Make sure you register for the appropriate section.
Underwood International College
The curriculum in the Underwood International College
(UIC) is taught in English and is designed for admitted degree-seeking international students. UCEAP students are exchange students and may only register for these courses with the permission of the UIC professor. You can make a request to the UIC professor in person on the first day of class to register. The Study Center can provide you with a form to take to the professor. Permission is not possible for UIC exclusive courses (numbers 8–11) and graduate-level seminar courses.
Many of the UIC courses are lower division as they are common curriculum courses designed to introduce international students to aspects of Korea, such as history or politics. Some of the courses are upper division as they go into more specific topics.
Korean Language Study
Language study is required each semester. You will be placed at the appropriate language level based on the mandatory written and oral placement tests you will take after arrival. Depending on the level, classes emphasize oral-aural skills, systematic grammatical pattern acquisition, basic writing skills, listening comprehension, composition, and cross-cultural communication.
Semi-intensive Korean language courses are offered through the Korean Language Institute (KLI) at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. These courses are 9 UC quarter units each and meet for two hours per day (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.), Monday through Friday.
KLI is not open to exchange (UCEAP) students for the summer or winter quarters, or morning intensive courses.
Materials include Korean language textbooks and collections of readings, listening comprehension materials, newspapers, literary works, and audiovisual materials. Upper-level students learn advanced grammar patterns and expressions, work on expanding vocabulary and increasing reading speed, watch films, and practice advanced listening comprehension with real news broadcasts.
If you do not wish to take the semi-intensive course, you may take a less intensive Korean language course, such as Korean Language and Culture, Korean Writing, or Korean Grammar (4.5 units each). These are offered through other schools or departments at Yonsei University. Korean Language and Culture (IEE3220) is very popular and is consistently offered. You may also take these courses in addition to the semi-intensive language course to further your Korean language development.
If you have documented fluency in Korean language or you receive a high enough score (advanced levels) on the language placement test, you will not be required to take Korean language courses.
Graduate School of International Studies
As a leading professional graduate school, Yonsei Graduate School of International Studies
(GSIS) offers an intensive curriculum designed to train international scholars and other specialists. GSIS consists of five programs of courses taught in English: 1) Korean Studies, 2) Area Studies, 3) International Cooperation, 4) International Management, and 5) International Trade and Finance.
Undergraduate students who have senior standing, a minimum GPA of 3.0, and adequate background in a field relevant to the course may be able to take one graduate-level course at GSIS. Permission from the instructor must be obtained at the beginning of the course and both Yonsei University and the Study Center must approve participation in the course. Undergraduate students are limited to one graduate course per term.
Attendance, Exams, and Grading
Seoul is a vibrant city and can be a serious distraction for students. Make sure to prioritize between academic responsibilities and extracurricular social activities.
Your work will be assessed primarily by exams, but many courses also include attendance, term papers, projects, and class presentations.
Attendance serves as an indication of your commitment to the course, the professor, and fellow students, and usually is an important factor in assigning the final course grade. The exact percentage that attendance counts varies depending on the instructor, but may average about 20 percent. If you miss more than one-third of your class meetings for regular courses, you will likely fail the course. If you are absent for more than 20 percent of your language course meetings, you will not receive a passing grade. Some professors count two tardies as one absence.
Participation in class discussion is often part of the grade (averaging 15 to 20 percent), and if class presentations are required they may count for 20 to 30 percent. In regular Yonsei University courses taught in Korean, competition with Korean students is greater than it is with international students in courses taught in English.
Korean language courses require serious concentration and diligent study. Grading in the language courses usually is more rigorous than what you may have experienced at your UC campus.
Fall grades are usually available from mid-February to mid-March; spring grades from mid-July to mid-August. Early grades are not possible.
Independent Study and Internships
Independent study, including internships, may be available in certain fields. Information on UCEAP-arranged academic internships will be provided during the UCEAP on-site orientation.
If you would like to participate, research internship opportunities before arriving in Korea and prepare a proposal shortly after arrival. Websites such as Job Korea
, and Find Job
are good informational sources.
In previous years, UCEAP students have interned at various organizations listed here
If you wish to apply for an internship, you will take a preliminary test after the orientation to determine if your Korean language ability is suitable for working in Korea. Korean language proficiency is important because the internship providers prefer students who are able to speak and write in Korean. If you pass, your résumé will be sent to designated internship supervisors in several companies and interviews will be arranged. Selection depends on the internship supervisor of the company—not the Study Center.
If you are accepted for an internship position, you must submit a Special Study Project
form to the Study Center within two weeks. Other requirements also apply that you must agree to when accepting the internship position.
See the Academic Chapter
of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
for more information on independent study and internships.
You may also seek a volunteer or non-academic internship. The Study Center’s volunteer club, UCEAP Angels, welcomes UCEAP students who are willing to volunteer on a regular basis. In this club, you may volunteer with Severance Children’s Hospital School, with major police stations’ culture classes for North Korean refugees, as an English teacher, or in other activities that may be arranged. More information will be available during the UCEAP on-site orientation.
Korean Speaking Club
The Study Center hosts a Korean Speaking Club exclusively for UCEAP students interested in practicing Korean. You will improve your Korean by learning and using practical expressions with Study Center staff. The club meets weekly. Details are provided during the on-site orientation.
If you are interested in improving your Korean but can’t join the Speaking Club, take advantage of tutorial sessions arranged by the Study Center. You will be introduced to a Korean language teacher who will help you improve your Korean. The teachers are graduate students of Yonsei University majoring in teaching Korean for foreigners. Tutorials are held weekly. Details will be provided during orientation.
Extending UCEAP Participation
Extending your UCEAP participation in Korea is possible. UCEAP encourages you to extend participation to the next term. Approval of extension is based on academic performance, the support of your UC campus department, and available space at Yonsei University.
Before departure, submit an approved Departmental and College Preliminary Approval to Extend
(DPA) form to your Campus EAP Office. Submitting the approved DPA does not obligate you to extend or guarantee extension, but the DPA will expedite the process if you decide to extend.
To extend from the Yonsei International Summer School to the fall or year programs, you must have a 3.0 GPA, must have a DPA on file with UCEAP, and must declare your intention to extend during the first two weeks of the summer program. Yonsei will not consider extensions filed after that period.
If you would like to extend from the fall program to the year program once you are abroad, make an appointment with the UCEAP Program Coordinator to initiate the process. If you have a DPA, the Study Center Program Coordinator will submit a Request for Final Approval (RFA) form to the UCEAP Systemwide Office. The UCEAP Systemwide Office must receive the request by the deadline indicated on the form. If you do not submit an approved DPA before departure, then you must submit a Petition to Extend form, which requires campus and department approval, and can take up to six weeks to process.
Once your extension has been approved, notification will be sent to your UC campus registrar, Financial Aid Office, and Campus EAP Office. For information about the steps you need to take with regard to finances, see the Extension of Participation
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
Extension for more than two semesters is not possible. You may participate in multiple summer programs.
Get acquainted with your new host city, country, and culture before you leave the U.S. Travel guides and travel-related websites, such as Lonely Planet and UrbanLowdown, are excellent resources.
"Be prepared to talk about all aspects of American life. You will be asked about sports, politics, cities...just about everything. My positive attitude and determination to learn Korean helped me acculturate in Korean society." --UCEAP Returnee
"People show more respect for their elders and authority figures. It's important that you are respectful and dress modestly." --UCEAP Returnee
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
Additional information about passports, visas, and other required documents is provided in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
and in the UCEAP Predeparture Checklist.
Travel to Your Host Country
"If you wear large-sized clothing, they will not have your size." --UCEAP Returnee
"Women's fashion in Korea is very trendy. Bring some dresses and nice clothing." --UCEAP Returnee
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Korea celebrates a number of events and festivals throughout the year. Go to Korea.net
In addition, Yonsei hosts the spring festival and Akaraka concert. The spring festival celebrates Yonsei’s foundation day with performances, games, concerts, and more. The Yon-Ko fete during the fall festival, which started in 1945, is a famous tradition between Yonsei University and Korea University in which the two rival universities compete in six sports for two days. After the games there are festivities around each campus and surrounding neighborhoods.
Yonsei Student Clubs
There are more than 200 student and college-affiliated clubs centered on common interests such as athletics, academics, volunteer activities, and music. Joining a student club is a great way to interact with local students. There are club fairs in the beginning of each semester and you can sign up for the clubs on site.
Students with Disabilities
The Study Center offers a field trip each term. Check the UCEAP Seoul Study Center website
regularly for news and updates. The activities arranged by the Study Center are free and exclusively for UCEAP students. These field trips offer great opportunities to explore Korea and meet other UCEAP students. You have to sign up in advance for the UCEAP field trip during the designated sign-up period. It is important to check your e-mail and the UCEAP Seoul Study Center website often so you do not miss the chance to explore amazing life in Korea.
Smog and yellow dust roll into Korea from China. Click the link for more information about air quality, including air quality levels for major cities in Korea: https://www.facebook.com/americansinkorea?hc_location=timeline
Some visitors develop a sore throat during the first few days in the city due to the air pollution. Students who are unusually sensitive to air pollution could have symptoms, so watch for coughing or shortness of breath. These are signs to take it easier. If you have asthma or other chronic illness that could get impacted by air pollution, talk to your doctor before departure and have an action plan.
Air pollution can result in cardiovascular or respiratory illnesses or the exacerbation of preexisting illness. If you have a medical condition that may be affected by polluted air, consult with a physician before departure.
- Plan activities when and where pollution levels are lower.
- Change your activity level. When the air is polluted, try to take it easier if you are active outdoors. This will reduce how much pollution you breathe. Even if you can’t change your schedule, you might be able to change your activity so it is less intense.
- Listen to your body.
- Wear a mask and follow instructions from UCEAP faculty and staff, andlocal public health messages.
Even if you are healthy, you may experience temporary symptoms, such as irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat; coughing; phlegm; chest tightness; and shortness of breath.
With the right information - and by thinking ahead - everyone can play a part in preventing being a victim of crime. There are some strategies you can practice anywhere in the world to minimize your risks. Personal safety starts with awareness. To be alert to potential dangers and risks to your well-being, you need to be aware of what is going on in your immediate environment. The choices you make about your behavior, attire, travel, personal property, relationships, etc., can directly influence your exposure to risk.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
Assembly Points and Evacuation Plan
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condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status,
citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era
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conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.