I was privileged to part of GEXP 2023 and participate in an exchange with Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea. The past 4 months in Hanyang University have allowed me to experience the life of a university student in Seoul and in this blog I will present all of my school experiences in various aspects, namely: academics, culture and social life.
Academics in Hanyang University are not easy as deadlines are usually tight for assignments and are usually overlapping.
Interestingly, the curriculum at Hanyang University is very unlike that of SUTD, with a greater focus on examinations and assignments.
However I did enjoy some of the modules, namely Machine Learning and Data Mining and my HASS module Tourism Policy Management. In Machine Learning and Data Mining, I learnt about various data mining techniques and algorithms in machine learning such as clustering and regression. In my HASS module, I gained greater insights on various types of tourism around the world which was apt for me as an exchange student. The professor also showed a lot of attention and concern for me as a foreign student.
The culture I experienced in Hanyang University was very unique.
Firstly, the canteen in school was a surprise to me as there was a daily menu with only 3 items on the menu, as opposed to the stalls we are used to seeing.
Each day, a Western dish, a Korean rice dish and a Korean hotpot dish are made available, all of which are very affordable at around 4 SGD.
I was fortunate to be able to participate in Hanyang University’s annual spring festival, Rachios. During the festival, I was able to enjoy performances from student bands, cheerleading teams from various universities across Korea as well as popular K-Pop acts Paul Kim and (G)I-DLE. Cheerleading in Korea was very unlike that of Singapore, as it involved high energy routines that encouraged audience participation. During the cheerleading routine, I was in awe of the level of school spirit as students were all cheering and moving along. There were also pyrotechnics accompanying the performances and I was in awe of the production value despite it being a school festival.
Social life in Hanyang University was different from what I had expected as most Korean students are very independent and introverted. In that sense, I found it difficult to interact with local students who had already formed social circles of their own. However, I did manage to make many international friends from different countries and also managed to know some people through group projects as well. I was also invited to some of their booths during the school festival.
Overall, it was a unique and enjoyable 4 months studying at Hanyang University.