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Academics

Fields of Study: Humanities, Social Sciences, Engineering, Science

Enroll in courses in your UC major and become part of the Yonsei student community. Student clubs, cultural events and activities, internships, community volunteer work, and field trips are all defining features of this immersive program. By the end of your term, you’ll have a firsthand understanding of Korean society and culture and a rich portfolio for advancing your academic and career goals.

Unique study opportunities

  • Observe dynamic South-North Korean relations while learning its history.
  • Witness the global impact of Korean popular culture in music, dance, fashion and media.
  • Understand changing East Asian economic and political relations.
  • Participate in research, independent study, or an internship for academic credit.
  • Volunteer as an English teacher at a children’s hospital or as an interpreter at an adoption agency.

Language

Language of Instruction: English, Korean

Language Study: Optional

Korean language study is recommended unless you are fluent in Korean. ​The Study Center also arranges activities to assist with your language skills, including a Korean Speaking Club, tutorials, and a Language Buddy Program that will pair you with a Yonsei University student who is planning to attend UC on exchange.

Aside from language study, you’ll primarily take courses in English. However, with approval, you may be able to enroll in courses taught in Korean. A high level of proficiency in reading, writing, and comprehension of university-level Korean is necessary to succeed in these courses.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: Four to five courses for a total of 21-27 quarter/14-18 semester UC units.
  • You may opt to take 40 percent of your units pass/no pass.

Current Program Courses

Yonsei University courses taught in English are offered in many fields, including business, economics, engineering, history, communications, literature, philosophy, political science, and sociology. Of particular note are offerings in Asian studies, Korean studies, and Korean language and literature.

Graduate students and senior undergraduates, especially business or international studies majors, may study at the Yonsei Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS) or in the Global MBA program at the Graduate School of Business Administration. These professional schools offer in-depth studies of such subjects as international management, trade, finance, law, and area studies. Undergraduates are limited to one graduate course per semester.

Research and Independent Study

You may arrange research or independent study for academic credit in certain fields. If you are interested in either option, you can propose a plan after arrival in Korea.

Catalogs and resources

  • Yonsei Portal Service: Find courses for the current term and previous terms. The Yonsei course catalog is not compatible with certain web browsers. If you can't get it to open, try a different browser.
  • Yonsei University colleges: Browse courses by colleges at Yonsei University.
  • UCEAP Course Catalog: See a list of courses UC students have taken on this program.
  • Campus Credit Abroad: Learn the types of credit (major, minor, general education, elective) students from your campus received at this location.

Academic culture

Grounded in Confucian traditions, respect for teachers and university rules is a hallmark of Korean academic culture. Respect is seen in attendance and interactions in class. Students are generally polite with both professors and fellow students. And, when opinions are challenged, it’s done with a moderate tone, never demanding or argumentative.

Some professors are more traditional than others. For example, many Yonsei faculty members are Western educated and, while respecting traditional Korean customs, encourage discussion and an interactive atmosphere in the classroom. Try to be sensitive to the style of each instructor. Instructors may also have heavy accents that are difficult to understand. If you can prepare yourself for the adjustment, it is worth the effort. Many instructors are highly recognized scholars in their fields, prominent professionals, government policy makers, and consultants in prestigious firms.

The size of Yonsei University classes varies with the popularity of the subject. Classes offered in English are relatively small and are taught mostly in the lecture format. Language classes average 12 students. Many instructors provide syllabi and focus on delivering lectures. Teamwork among students is an important aspect of some courses and group presentations are frequently required, particularly in business courses.

Unlike UC, faculty members in Korea rarely keep regular office hours. Instead, you’ll contact a professor by e-mail to set up a meeting.

If you want to succeed at Yonsei and be proactive about your education, try this:

  • List your educational goals before departure and use these objectives to guide your course selection, readings, and other activities.
  • Consider the entire academic experience you’d like to have, acknowledging that classes are only the beginning of academic inquiry.
  • Engage in your academic activities, join discussions, and form study groups.
  • Regularly observe, read, and write about academic subjects that interest you. This can later become a base for extraordinary academic work and projects.

Grades

You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. Your work will be assessed primarily by exams, but many courses also include attendance, participation, term papers, group and individual projects, and class presentations. Attendance is also usually an important factor in assigning the final course grade. The exact percentage that attendance counts varies depending on the instructor, but averages about 20 percent. 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. Korean language courses require serious concentration and diligent study. Grading in the language courses usually is more rigorous than it is at UC.

Fall grades are usually available from mid-February to mid-March; spring grades from mid-July to mid-August. Early grades are not possible.