The Campus Life of China and Korea

The reason why I chose to be an exchange student is that I want to experience another culture and enrich my campus life. I think it is also the answer for most exchange students. Although Korea is close to China, the culture can be very different from China. Now, I will introduce some difference to Chinese students in order to let you quickly adjust yourselves to Korean life.


1. Course registration

Commonly we just need to register the general elective courses and major elective courses online in China. However, as an exchange student, you need to register all courses you want online by yourself. That means you may get no course if you slowly click “register”. The competition here is fiercer than China, especially business courses.

How can I get the course I want? In fact, there are 4 times for you to register courses online. Here is the schedule of 2016 fall semester. Actually, the process has little change each year.


You should make the best use of every chance. As for Chinese student, you’d better register courses with fast speed in the internet bar in China. If you don’t get the courses you want in the end, you can try to ask the professor for signature with sincere attitude. Some professors are nice and will allow you join in the class, while others may not. Keep in mind that the offline registration isn’t guaranteed because it depends on professors. So you can make plan B or C. Then you can get more courses you want with flexible one.

After registration, you can see the schedule and materials of courses online, HY-in.

4 5

(click ”go”, then you can find course materials )

Unlike China, no one will send emails with PPT to you anymore. You should download materials by yourself. It is the moment for you to learn positively. If you want to get good grade, try your best to finish every assignment and be active in class. PS: team projects never change its status in business courses whether in China or Korea.


2. Food

Korean food is quite different from Chinese food, not only the tastes but also the styles. The process of enjoying your meals in school canteen may have some difference too. I will explain to you in two aspects.

Ordering process

There are two main methods to order your meals in Korea. One is paying by cash, and another is paying through auto-machines. You need to make decision by watching the display of food.  Canteen provides around 6 different set meals each day. Because Korean food always is set meals, so the price is set. In China, we usually pay for meals through student ID card after ordering what we want. We can choose nearly 15 dishes or other food like noodles, porridge. We often choose 2-3 dishes in one meal and take soup or dessert. So everyone pay different bill depending on how much he eats.

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(The set meal in Korean food)

(The self-selective meal in China)

(The counter of canteen in Korea)

(The ordering place in China)


Canteen service

Firstly, in China, there is always at least one convenient store inside the canteen. But in Korea, the convenient stores are usually beside the canteen. Secondly, each floor of canteen in Hanyang has special space for professors to enjoy their meals while it is uncommon in China because professors have their own floor to have meals. Therefore, you need to avoid sitting in such designated space in the canteens. Thirdly, it is appreciated that each of Korea canteen provides free water and tissues for students which is special case in China.


3. Club events

Although student association activity is similar to China, there is some difference between two countries. In China, we always join in one club and just pay 20 to 30 RMB for more than one year membership fees. But the membership fees here are more expensive than China, always around 30,000KRW (180RMB) for one semester. In fact, it is acceptable because price here is higher than China. Like China, there are various clubs, such as music club, taekwondo club, badminton club and so on. But I think the number of club is smaller than China, maybe just 50 clubs (In my university, there are nearly 200 clubs). At the same time, I found that Kendo club is popular in Hanyang which has less popularity in China. I ever didn’t hear its name. It is good chance to give a try.


(The Chinese clubs recruit new stalls. Source:

In China, student associations have several activities per semester, but Korean student associations have routine activities every week and some special events, which is more active and allows members know each other well. Also, most universities in China have no association focusing on exchange students. However, you can find 3 associations in Hanyang. There are HOW, HIVA and Glitters. They try their best to provide more interesting activities to exchange students and help them quickly adapt to Korean life.

Don’t be shy and try to experience different culture. You will be surprised what you gain in the end. Hope Chinese students enjoy their lives in Hanyang University (한양대학교).


Article by Jessica from China

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