SOAS University of London

Dong-Kyung Lee, Korea University, Year Abroad

You might not be able to find a department dedicated to your major... However, because SOAS has many courses that are interdisciplinary, you also might be able to find courses of your interests. For example, for SOAS does not have a dedicated philosophy department, I, a philosophy major, looked for courses in other departments that cover philosophical discourses. My experience here of studying Buddhism and Taoism was highly inspiring.

Korean Exchange, September - December 2013

Which courses did you take at SOAS?

Comparative and International Politics:

I could go over the essential concepts and key theories in the academia of world politics. As an introductory course for politics and international studies students, this course definitely helped me to organize my knowledge on various issues. A wide range of readings enabled me to cast creative questions and following discussions with my classmates broadened my perspective on the nature of politics.

Buddhism: Foundation:

A very introductory course of Buddhism, it covers not only basic knowledge on Buddhism but also philosophical, artistic and political aspects of it. As a philosophy major who has always been focusing on the philosophical aspects of it, I can say this course definitely enabled me to look at this amazing religion from many different angles. Even for those who are not planning to study Buddhism or any religion, I believe, it will definitely give you the pleasure of learning!

Taoism: the Great Tradition:

While born and raised in Korea, I always have thought that Taoism has once influence Korea and the people in it to a great extent but now it is practically dead. But thanks to this course, I could learn that I was wrong and that Taoism is truly alive and well, affecting almost every aspect of the Korean society (as well as the Chinese one) from the very bottom. This course was especially eye-opening in that it taught me that a religion can exist in many different ways.

How did you spend your free time?

I spent a lot of times travelling to other cities in the UK and other countries in Europe and even in Africa!  London is truly a hub for coming from and going to everywhere in the world! It is surprisingly easy and cheap to travel to places where you could spend wonderful weekends and holidays. The travel can get even better with friends from many other countries! Just turn your head left and right: there must be loads of friends from the city you always wanted to go to! They will help you to travel deeper but cheaper!