Name: Imke Al

Study program: Organization- and Management Studies

Exchange location: Seoul, South Korea



  • Was it easy to find a room?

Luckily it was pretty easy for me to find a room because I had the opportunity to stay in one of the dorms in the international house on the campus of the university. If I did not want to do this, then there were also many other options such as staying in a shared house or renting an Airbnb. You do need to search for these as early as possible, because these rooms fill up quickly. 

  • Did the university provide housing?

The university indeed provided housing. We could choose between sharing a dorm with one other person or having your own dorm. There were more shared dorms, so if you really wanted to stay in the dorms then you would have the most luck with getting a spot if you chose this option.

  • How expensive is housing?

I paid in total around €1300 for my housing for the four months (325 per month) that I stayed there. Staying in a shared house or in an Airbnb can be more expensive, because most of the times those cost more than €400 per month. 


Public transport

  • Is public transport well organized?

The public transport was amazing in the city. You could take the bus, subway or a taxi in Seoul and if you wanted to go to another city, there was also the option to take a train. The subway and buses drove through the whole city, so you could go wherever you wanted. You also did not have to wait long if you missed the bus or the subway, because you could always take multiple buses and it took only a couple of minutes before the next subway arrived. There were also many night buses, so also during the evening and night you could go home safely. It was most of the time very busy in the public transportation, because there of course live more than 20 million people in Seoul. There is also a direct subway line and train track from the airport to the city and there was also an airport shuttle bus that stopped at multiple places throughout the city. Taking a taxi was also very cheap and convenient.

  • How expensive is public transport?

You only had to pay around €1 when taking the bus or the subway, even if you had to switch to another bus or subway, and you could then travel to the other side of the city if you wanted to. With trains it depended on which one you choose, because you could also take the KTX, so that is then a bit more expensive. For the airport railroad you paid €7,70 and then you arrived at Seoul central station. Taking a taxi was also very cheap, most of the time you paid less than €10 to go to another neighborhood.



  • What is your experience with choosing the courses?

The process of choosing the courses was very easy, because they had a very clear data base where you could find all the courses that were taught in English. In my opinion it was also easy to have Tilburg University accept your chosen courses. The only downside of the whole process was that there were very limited spots for some courses and everybody had to apply at the same time, so there was a big chance that you did not get to follow all the courses that you wanted to. We did have a whole week in which we could drop and add courses, so because of this, spots would open up in courses that were full first or you could look for other courses that you wanted to follow.

  • Were the courses easier, comparable or harder than at Tilburg University?

In my opinion the courses were easier than at Tilburg University, but this was also because at Ewha I had a whole semester for four courses, while at Tilburg University I only have half a semester for two to three courses. The exams were also easier, because two courses for example had an open book exam. They were also less strict with group projects and all of this makes it easier to pass the courses.



  • How is the student life in the city?

Seoul is of course huge and has around 70 universities in total, so the city is full of international students. Because of this, there are many places throughout the city that mainly focus on students and there are also four neighborhoods where you can go clubbing. Many international parties are organized in clubs in these neighborhoods. Besides this there are also many neighborhoods where many bars are located that are popular among students. Furthermore, many universities provide international students with the opportunities to join many different clubs. 

  • Is there an introduction day/week? 

Unfortunately there was only one online introduction at my university, Ewha Womans University, that took less than 2 hours. This introduction also existed mostly out of pre-recorded videos that explained things such as how it worked to apply for the courses. I did hear that at other universities there were more offline introduction days.

  • What are things people should definitely do/visit when they are there?

I definitely recommend wearing the traditional hanboks and visiting the two biggest palaces in the city. Besides this I also recommend to visit neighborhoods such as Seongsu, where there are always pop-up stores from many international brands that are free to visit, Insadong, where there is a building with many small shops that sell handmade products, or Yeonnamdong, where you can find many cute cafes and stores. If you want to see how big the city really is, then I definitely recommend going to Namsan Tower or Lotte Tower. The views from both these buildings are amazing. 

A fun thing to do in the evening is visiting La Luz. This is a bar that is located in Hongdae and after you buy one of their delicious cocktails there are many arcade games that you can play for free with your friends. You also need to visit all the special photo booths that are located throughout the city. You will have much fun while making the photos and afterwards they will also serve as amazing memories to look at when you are back home.

  • Do you have any general tips/ experiences you want to share?

Order your SIM card in advance so you can immediately pick it up at the airport when you arrive. By doing this you immediately have data so you can look everything up online while traveling to the city. Another tip is to buy your t-money card as quickly as possible, so you can immediately use public transportation. It can also be really really busy in public transportation, so sometimes you have to watch out because everybody will keep on pushing to get in. It is also an unwritten rule to be quiet or talk very softly in public transportation, so it is smart to keep this in mind when you are traveling through South-Korea. Also make sure that you have all your important documents printed out and within reach, so you can quickly show these when it is needed. Google maps is sometimes not very accurate in the city, so it is also smart to download apps such as Kakao Maps or Naver maps that definitely work. Most bank cards do not work in South Korea, so make sure you have a credit card or a Revolut or Wise card with you. It is also smart to always have some cash with you just to be sure, because at most of the food stalls or smaller shops you can only pay with cash. A last tip is that you need to keep in mind that not many locals can speak English very well, so it can sometimes be a bit difficult to communicate with them.