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About Korea
Country Handbook

Yonsei University

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Program Snapshot

Located just 20 minutes from downtown Seoul, Yonsei University provides students a chance to truly experience life in Korea's capital city. Students looking for a wide variety of English courses while also learning the Korean language will find Yonsei University to be a great fit. Whether students choose to spend their time relaxing in the Global Lounge with other international students, participating in one of the university's over 200 campus clubs, or taking weekend trips into the big city, there is something for everyone at Yonsei University.

Yonsei University’s main campus is ensconced in a spacious, picturesque, and natural setting located minutes away from the economic, political, and cultural centers of Seoul's metropolitan area. Yonsei University has a 245-acre campus in the lovely wooded hills of western Seoul, 20 minutes from downtown by bus or subway.

ISEP Exchange: undergrad and graduate programs available for an academic year, semester, or summer

ISEP-Exchange for International students.
ISEP-Exchange for US students.
Summer program available.

Chance of Placement
ISEP Exchange chance of placement for US students is generally Limited.
ISEP Exchange chance of placement for I-to-I students is generally Limited.

For the most current chances of placement, see the Sites Open for Applications for US Students or Sites Open for I-to-I Applications..

Program Dates
Academic year: August to June
Semester 1: August to December
Semester 2: February to June
Summer: late June to August

Summer Program
See summer program information

Fast Facts
Seoul, Korea (pop. 10.5 million)
Student Enrollment: 37,967
Language of instruction: Korean, English
University Home Page
Graduate School of International Studies
Office of International Affairs Website
The Yonsei Annals Online Magazine

In Korean: Colleges of Business & Economics, Engineering, Human Ecology, Law, Liberal Arts, Science, Sciences in Education, Social Sciences, Theology, Life Science and Biotechnology.

Courses taught in English
In English: Study Abroad Courses offered by the Office of International Affairs (OIA) (courses on a variety of subjects with a focus on Korea & East Asian studies, and Korean language courses); College of Liberal Arts, Commerce and Economics, Business, Science, Engineering, Life System, Theology, Social Science, Human Ecology, Sciences and Education, Underwood International College, Korean Language (KLI)
*Business/Economics courses are restricted to business/economics major only and students can take a maximum of three courses under School of Business and College of Business & Economics per semester.

Courses for Graduate (Masters) Level
The M.A. program in the Graduate School and GSIS (Korean studies, area studies, international cooperation, international trade & finance, international management) is open to graduate ISEP students for one semester.

Academic Notes
The Office of International Affairs offers undergraduate Korean and East Asian studies courses taught in English, with intensive Korean language instruction. Some departments are open to participants who are proficient in Korean.

Students typically enroll in 5 classes per semester which averages 15-18 hours in class per week. A semester runs for 16 weeks.


Semester 1 transcripts are issued in January.
Semester 2 transcripts are issued in July.

Transcripts are sent to ISEP and then immediately released to the student’s home institution if there are no outstanding financial obligations.

Language Notes
Language Requirement: For courses taught in Korean, fluency is required.
Language Courses: Intensive Korean language courses are offered in addition to regular classes during the academic year and/or semester for all levels.


ISEP Language Proficiency Report may be substituted for official score? No
TOEFL: 79 iBT/550 PBT/213 CBT
Institutional TOEFL accepted? No
IELTS: 6.0
Other tests accepted: None
English as a Foreign Language courses available? No
Additional comments: All of UIC and GSIS courses except for Korean Language are taught in English.

Note: The host institution ultimately determines your proficiency level and course eligibility.

Special Academic Conditions
Due to high demand, exchange students are limited to enrolling in a maximum of 3 Business/Economics courses.

Upperclassman placement priority.

College of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, Music, Law and MBA, as well as the Biomedical Engineering field of study are restricted to exchange students.

Hints for Researching Courses
Course information can be found using the Online Portal. After clicking "English" in the top right corner please find "Course Catalog and Syllabus."

If you are having trouble with the Online Portal, please try again using a different browser. If you are not able to find any courses listed under the appropriate semester/year, please try the previous semester/year to get a general idea of which courses are likely to be available.

Note: If you cannot access the course list page properly, please be sure to use the latest version of the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser. The Mozilla Firefox browser has been known to cause issues.

Housing and Meals
Students will be housed in double-occupancy rooms at the SK Global House and International House with a stipend for meals. Please note that the stipend disbursement procedure takes about 3 weeks after the start of the program. Students who want to live off-campus should notify the university after they have been confirmed as an ISEP student. A housing benefit can be provided as a stipend. The amount is the same as on-campus housing fee. The SK Global House is available for families or couples. If an ISEP student wants to live off-campus with a spouse or family, a housing benefit can be provided as a stipend as well.


You are responsible for all of your personal expenses including: optional fees (e.g. computer, language, science lab fees), books, local transportation, entertainment, etc. The amount below is provided as a guide; the actual amount needed will vary depending on courses and personal habits. Your personal expenses per month are estimated at USD $200.

ISEP students are required to participate in a 2-day orientation program upon arrival that covers topics and activities such as programs introduction, day-trip information, student clubs, and a Korean culture seminar. Students will be also registering for their courses during this time through the course registration system. Students will receive a detailed orientation handbook with all relevant information. Students will also learn the Yonsei “AKARAKA” cheer which will be chanted at the university's "Yon-Ko" Fall Sports Festival.


Airport pick-up is available. Host will also provide arrival directions with acceptance packet.

Student Activities
Yonsei University holds many events and activities throughout the year. Two of the most noteworthy events to participate in are the annual Spring Mu-Ak Festival and the annual Yonsei-Korea University Friendship Games held in the fall semester. Each school and its representative student clubs organize programs in various academic, cultural, athletic, and artistic areas to bring students, faculty, and alumni together with a shared vision. The spirit of creativity and youthful exuberance extends beyond the campus borders and into the Sinchon community. Students and famous musicians and vocal artists also perform concerts throughout the year.

Korean students tend to take most of their courses only with other students from their own department. They have relatively few chances to meet students from other departments. One function of student clubs is to provide a method for cross-departmental networking. Thus there are a large number of student clubs on campus that involve activities such as mountain climbing, calligraphy, and so on. Below are 3 other examples:

Yonsei Global consists of Yonsei University student volunteers. It aims to provide 30,000 Yonseians with a variety of world views and help them experience diverse cultures. Yonsei Global plans and prepares programs that create opportunities for Yonseians to meet students with overseas experience as well as exchange students every month. Email: yonseiglobal@yonsei.ac.kr

The Mentors Club encourages interaction between international and regular Yonsei students on a one-to-one basis called the Buddy Program. International students are matched with Yonsei students in pairs based on their interests, hobbies, and goals written on their applications. It aims to promote community and friendship and continuing cultural learning and interaction through shared experiences. Email: mentorsclub@yonsei.ac.kr

The International Yonsei Club (IYC) is composed of Yonsei students who are interested in building stronger ties between Korea and the rest of the world. IYC is an excellent place to make new friends. IYC arranges retreats, activities, language exchanges, and forums. All are welcome to join. Email: mailtoiycian@yonsei.ac.kr

Community Engagement (Internships, Service-Learning, Volunteering, etc.)
Volunteer opportunities are available through the Global Angel Program. Please contact your ISEP Host coordinator for more information.

Being the oldest private university in Korea, Yonsei University was first established in 1885 by Christian missionaries. Yonsei's mission is to educate leaders who will contribute to humanity in the spirit of “truth and freedom.” The 300,000 alumni of Yonsei who take this calling to heart can be found manifesting this proud spirit from leadership positions around the world. Yonsei has 3,460 eminent faculty members who are conducting cutting-edge research across all academic disciplines and two-thirds of Yonsei’s faculty holds doctorates from U.S. institutions. There are 19 graduate schools, 17 colleges and 133 subsidiary institutions hosting the most selective pool of students from around the world. The student body is taken from the top one percent of high school graduates in Korea. The foreign student population is about 2,700. Yonsei is proud of its history and reputation as a leading institution of higher education and research in Asia.

What Past Students have to Say
"The international classes at Yonsei University offered a broad span of classes from business to Korean language and culture. This culture class that I took taught me a lot about Korean customs, rituals, and many daily life aspects of Korean life." - James Park, Indiana State University