As a student at Ghent University you have many opportunities to complete part of your studies abroad. But one option clearly stands out: an exchange to a Ghent University campus... in South Korea.
Since 2014 Ghent University is offering three bachelor's degree programmes with a focus on life sciences and bio sciences at the Ghent University Global Campus in Incheon.
In their final year all students from Ghent University Global Campus come to study in Ghent for a semester at the so called home campus, but recently students from the Faculty of Sciences and Faculty of Bioscience Engineering from Ghent can also go on exchange to the South Korean campus.
Victer, a biochemistry and biotechnology student, went to South Korea last academic year and talks enthusiastically about his experience. We asked him 5 things he noticed during his exchange to the Ghent University Global Campus.
1. The Ghent University feel at 9000 kilometres from Ghent
“It is exciting to travel so far for just one semester, but it helps that you go there together with other Ghent University students. As a result, you may be less lonely than someone who goes on an Erasmus exchange much closer to home somewhere in Europe. As a group we attended all the information sessions in Ghent, we went to the embassy together and finally boarded the plane together.“
“Once we arrived, we were super well received by the Ghent University staff on campus and the South Korean students of our year. They took care of a lot of administration for us, took us on excursions and translated Korean at restaurant if needed. And the campus looks rather familiar too as everything is Ghent University branded.”
2. Professors are more approachable
“The connection with professors is much closer on campus in South Korea. There are fewer students, which means the distance between teacher and student is smaller. So you can talk to them more easily. I even remember going to a restaurant with my supervisor to discuss my thesis.”
“There are also a number of professors from Ghent who teach there temporarily. In a way you share the same adventure of the exchange to South Korea with them. So that also offers you something in common to talk about.”
3. Rather study at night than during the day
"I got to know South Korean students as real lovers of the night. Not to go out, but to study. The library on campus is open 24/7 which is already very different from Ghent, but during the day you don't really see many people there. At night, on the other hand, it is fully packed. Meeting up with another student to work on our joint thesis therefore happened at 11 pm and not just in the afternoon. Unbelievable."
4. No clubbing, but barbecuing together
“Nightlife is a bit different over there. In a certain perimeter around the campus, clubs are banned. So you won't find anything like the Overpoort street. Maybe in Seoul, but that's further away from the university."
"Going out to restaurants in groups is a popular activity among students in South Korea though. My favourite was the Korean barbecue, where you share a large table with a built-in grill in the middle. The pork belly is highly recommended! Next to the meat, you also get a lot of side dishes on the table. You eat together and share all the dishes. It's a very social event."
5. An exchange to South Korea is easier than you think
"Many students from the participating faculties in Ghent do not realise what a great opportunity is just up for grabs to go on an exchange to the Ghent University Global Campus. Just a few clicks in Ufora and you're almost gone already to leave. Yes, South Korea is a long way from home. But you are very well taken care of there. South Koreans are the most friendly and helpful people you have ever met."
(PHoto's: Victer Verbrugge)
Interested in studying abroad? Each faculty collaborates with universities from all over the world. Explore your options, they are broader than you think.
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