Blog, My Korean Diaries, Videos / December 24, 2017

FIRST SEMESTER AT UNDERWOOD INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE Q&A (video)

Happy end of 2017!

Time flies so quickly!

Not only is it the end of yet ANOTHER crazy year but also the end of my first semester in Korea.

Despite the assumptions of many, yes – I am staying. Right now for another 3,5 years at least. (unless I get kicked out) However, even in just couple months I did get a big insight into how everything works here both at UIC and in Korea in general. And since so many people have been asking me and emailing me a lot of questions I want to help find the answers.

Question Overload

But for future reference, I am unable to respond to everyone. Doesn’t matter if you email me or tweet me – I want to give everyone proper answers so I will do it like this, when I have time in a post or a video. Feel free to ask but I won’t probably answer right away. I am very sorry but I just can’t. If you end up here, you will understand why.

I will get to the questions and answers pretty quickly (all of the full answers are in my video) but I just want to say I included some of my own. There are things I researched and I tried desperately to find out before coming to UIC and I felt like knowing the answers would be a big benefit. Now I can try and help answering some of those. So shall I start?

Question Time

FIRST WARNING! I am sorry to start this in a negative way but I feel the need to warn every international student planning to apply to UIC. “International” is unfortunately mainly just the name. The real Underwood College is far more different than that. If you are ready to struggle and think you can bear common frustration, go ahead and apply. I love being here but there is a long way to go for this place to be ready to truly embrace international students.

1.Are you a full time student at UIC?

Yes, I am a full time undergraduate student at Underwood International College which is a part of Yonsei University. Unless I get kicked out I will be here studying for 4 years.

2. How are you funding it?

I was lucky enough to receive an admission scholarship from UIC. Everyone is automatically considered for one when applying to UIC and there is no need for separate application. There are many other external scholarship, government scholarship which you can look into. Do your research carefully when applying. UIC then also offers certain scholarships you can apply for from your second semester. When it comes to actual tuition UIC is sadly the most expensive Korean university, traditional Yonsei is cheaper. Other then tuition, I earned some money working and I have my family’s support.

3. What are you majoring in?

I have yet to declare my major officially but my first choice would be Comparative Literature and Culture. I would like to later consider double major or major/minor as well but since you do not have to declare your major until sophomore year there is a lot of time. Just choose carefully the division you want to apply to, that is the one thing you can’t change after coming to UIC.

4. What made you want to study in Korea?

There are several reasons but I honestly applied all over the world. I knew I wanted a good education in English language and was keen to try a new place I have never experienced before. When I found about UIC I was drawn to the idea of small liberal arts college but mainly to the major. It is very specific major, hard to find elsewhere. Despite the cost being high it is still lower compared to many other international universities.

5. What do you plan on doing after you graduate?

I honestly have no clue. Not being that type of a person to have my life lined and decided and I often change my mind. I wish to let my future open. Now I just need to focus on surviving even till the second semester hoping the school won’t kick me out ๐Ÿ˜‰ If I were graduating at this moment I would love to continue to graduate school, just if I could afford it.

6. What is the whole deal about residential college?

Residential college or RC is a policy UIC implemented few years ago. In short all freshman students coming to UIC are required to spent at least one year (2 semesters) living in the dorms at International Campus. UIC chooses your roommate and your house to help you with this “experience”. On top of it all you have to earn at least 12 RC points per semester. You get those by attending certain events, concerts, lectures or special small group events hosted by your Residential Assistant (one of your seniors who get assigned groups of students to help). Your house will also host certain fun events.These are all usually worth from 1 to 2 RC points. The problem is that if you fail to earn 12 points in both semesters you have to live one more semester in the dorms, basically until you have 2 semesters with 12 earned points in each.

7. How did you get this dorm?

I stole it. Bad jokes aside I applied for it. Contrary to the UIC website International Campus offers both double and triple rooms. Double are more expensive and more competitive to get. You will find all info about applying for dorms in your welcoming pocket from UIC so no need to worry about that before you even get accepted.

8. What was your GPA in high school?

Sorry to let you down, but my high school didn’t do GPA. And it really is not that important. Don’t worry about it and just do your best in all you can. Even if you have great GPA but horrible essays and interview you won’t probably get in. Focus on the other things and don’t be stressed if your GPA is not a certain number. (more in the video..)

9. Can I study business at UIC?

Unfortunately, UIC does not offer BUSINESS. Main Yonsei does but it is in Korean. What I think is very similar at UIC though would be Economy. As part of the Underwood division you can choose to major in that.

10. Do you feel like it is worth leaving your friends & family to study in Korea?

Well, yes for me. But for you? Only you can know. Your friends and family will not run away. It will be hard but if you feel like you are ready to go away and it is truly what you want, it will be worth it. Friendships will break but also strengthen with the distance, those who truly care about you will stay in you life if you make a bit of effort. And new friendships are what college life is all about right? If I can find someone who stays beside me anyone can ๐Ÿ™‚ (long explanation in the video)

 

Well that was a lot. Please check out the video for more detailed talk. I hope I answered all of the questions in a helpful way and feel free to sent me more. I plan on doing part two of this Q&A very soon.

Here are some helpful links:

https://uic.yonsei.ac.kr/main/default.asp

https://yicrc.yonsei.ac.kr/default.asp?mid=n00

https://oia.yonsei.ac.kr/

Good luck.

AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Love,

 

Sara

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wonderfilledsarah@gmail.com

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