Study abroad… anyone can do it! Although it may not be easy, any student who has determined to devote themselves to academic study may consider studying abroad at least one time. In the 1990s, the pathway to international study was thrown open thanks to the implementation of the government’s accelerated internationalization and open-door policies.
These improved conditions for overseas study were designed to bring Korean academia and scientific technology in line with international standards and further nurture highly qualified human resources able to make a contribution to improving Korea’s global competitiveness in the academic arena. It is advisable for students to attend a graduate school overseas after completing a bachelor’s degree at home and polishing their language skills and academic aptitude, as well as improving their financial capabilities.
Either during school periods or while on a leave of absence, a student may attend a long- or short-term language training program to hone their employment competitiveness or before studying abroad. Recently, English-speaking countries are hosting an increasing number of study fairs targeting Korean university students for introduction to their educational programs and environment. This indicates that Korean students, as a group of potential language course attendees, are being recognized as important members of the educational community of these countries.
As part of a language training program, students are able to experience the unique culture of a foreign country and interact with new international friends from diverse countries, thus gaining a taste of global business savvy together with improving language proficiency. There are diverse language programs with periods ranging from three months to a full year, so students can make a selection considering their individual conditions and financial situations. This is one of the merits of language training.
Global Internship Program
The Work and Travel USA program allows students to develop an international mindset by working side by side with local residents and participating students from around the world while sharing their traditions and cultures.
Distinct from study aboard and language learning in general, this program offers students an opportunity to work at a local enterprise in the U.S. and experience life within the country, thus immersing them firsthand into U.S. culture. While working at a local company in the U.S., students are able to earn their own living. In addition, the program helps overcome any vague fears students may have about life in the U.S., thus developing a sense of independence.
There are two action terms in the program: the Summer Program running from June 1 through October 19 every year (plus an additional month for travel) and the Winter Program from November 15 through April 1 of the following year (plus an additional month for travel).
As requirements, participants must be aged 18 to 28, have a colloquial knowledge of English and be registered as a full time student of an undergraduate or a graduate school, regardless of major. Students who are on a leave of absence or have not completed mandatory military service in Korea are eligible to apply. They work at diverse locations across the U.S. including theme parks, hotels, department stores, national parks, restaurants and resorts. The monthly salary ranges from 800 to 1,500 dollars, roughly 6-9 dollars per hour, which is higher than the U.S. minimum wage of 5.15 dollars . Personal ability and enthusiasm may account for the gap in wages.
The application procedure is as follows: Consulting and filling in the application → English interview → Job selection → Preparation of documents and submission to the company → Interview with an HR manager from the company → Signing the employment contract → Application for approval of sponsorship → Issuance of DS-2019 (letter of approval) → Visa application (issuance) and orientation → Arrival and application for a social security number → Work assignment and commencement of work.
※ There are costs that each participant is required to bear: around 1,800,000 won in administrative fees for an program
agency, 800,000-1,200,000 won for round-trip airfare, and approximately 300,000 won in additional expenses, including visa
Oversea Backpacking Travel
Korean university students on a backpacking excursion are easy to spot at nearly every famous tourist destination around the world. This shows how this type of travel has become a must-do for university students throughout their school years.
In response to this trend, travel agencies have introduced backpack travel products specifically for university students as a kind of package tour. However, students are also able to have a unique, exciting backpack trip abroad without the assistance of a travel agency, as long as it is backed up with thorough preparation and basic language skills. Since traveling freely with no fixed schedule may result in unexpected challenges, experienced backpackers stress meticulous preparation as the one and only way to deal with the varied situations that can arise during backpacking.
If you have a plan to go backpacking overseas during a vacation period, please visit the student support center. You can gain useful advice on preparation for overseas backpacking through a direct consultation.
(Consulting hours: 10-12 a.m. and 2-4 p.m.)