Being in my second semester in Korea, I decided that I didn’t want to have the same dorm experience. Since I had many Korean friends to help me, I decided to find housing off campus as a junior would do anyway--so I'm still living as a junior even when I am abroad.
I lucked out and was able to find a room next door to a friend of mine for only 270,000 won per month (about $240.00 per month). It is a huge room with internet, dehumidifier, and all furnishing provided.
The landlady does not speak English. The little Korean that I know has been able to get me by with the many questions that she has for me. This morning she asked me when I was going to pay my rent. I was so surprised that I was able to understand that it took me a minute to tell her when I was going to pay.
But other than the language barrier, living off campus has been really nice. Since most of my classes are not going to be near the dorms anymore and the place I am staying at is about 3 minutes from the school library, I feel like this semester will actually be better than last semester with my studies.
I am taking four classes this semester. All of them are Yonsei classes and not study abroad classes, meaning I will be in classes with Korean students, but I think I should be fine as I enjoy the topics of the classes I will be taking. If you are curious, I am taking Interpretation of Pentateuch, Observation and Expression, Molecular Biology, and Food Biology. All are outside of my major but fulfill the last of my require LC credits.
Today I had a wonderful experience of a typhoon. Although the news was showing how badly the typhoon has hit areas of Korea, Seoul was virtually untouched. We only experienced massive winds and times of heavy rainfall, but nothing too serious. A day at home made me able to collect my thoughts and experiences over the past 6 months in Korea. I can’t even believe that I have been away for so long.
But, for future Korea study abroad students. I definitely recommend staying off campus or with a host family if you stay for a year. The first semester might be too difficult but after a semester you will get the hang of everything and learning a new side of Korean culture is very exciting.