Studying abroad as an exchange student can be the chance of a lifetime. But getting through the selection process at Ewha can be tough, and even after they selected, some exchange students experience unanticipated problems. Students who have studied, are currently studying, and are going to study in foreign countries as exchange students gave the Ewha Voice some tips on getting prepared.
Ham Ji-ah (Business Administration, 4) who has studied at
Kim Ha-neul (English, 3) who is going to
Kim Keun-young (International Studies, 3) is going to in the Netherlands this summer, says that she decided to go to the University of Groningen because the curriculum matched well with her major and she also wanted to go somewhere unfamiliar. Kim comments, “People tend to go to schools in the U.S., but I think what’s important is to choose the school that suits your purpose of studying abroad best, whether it is traveling, making foreign friends, or improving your language skill.”
Park Soe-young (English, 2), who is now studying at
Bae Eun-mi (Chinese, ’07) who was at Beijing Normal University from fall 2005 to spring 2006 says that, if students are willing to go to China to study, the door is wide open because there is always a shortage of students applying for Chinese universities. If you want to be exempted from the written test to apply to Chinese universities, however, you have to score above level six on the HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi). At first, Bae didn’t get a good score because she took the test with no preparation because she had no information about the written exam. For her interview, however, Bae got information from students who had passed the selection exam and also took advantage of the Ewhaian.com website, made a script for her interview, and memorized it.
Lee Sun-min (International Studies, ’07), who was at the Univiersité de la Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris III from fall 2005 to spring 2006, says she applied for a French school because she wanted to both experience a new culture and improve her French. Having lived in the
The biggest problem Lee had as an exchange student was transferring credits after coming back to Ewha. As she was planning to minor in European studies, she got a list of courses she could get credit for from the dean before leaving. But when she came back the new dean had changed and refused to give her credit for some of the classes she took. In order to graduate, she had to give up her minor in European studies. So, Lee advises, “Asking the dean to approve classes before leaving may be a good idea, but it may not be the solution to all problems. Students should always keep in mind that they run the risk of not being able to transfer credits once they come back.”
Despite the troubles Lee went through, she encourages Ewha students to challenge themselves. “Try out for the exchange student program, not just to countries you are familiar with, but also to countries you only vaguely know about. There is no need to worry about failing the selection exams even before you try. Believe me, there will be a way to solve every problem, and you’ll have the experience of a lifetime!”