Student experiences - Korea

Jimin Lee - MA Cinema Studies

Jimin LeeBristol University is a place for passionate students. I always desire to learn more, and I was first attracted to Bristol University when one of my British friends recommended it to me as a place with a great reputation for teaching and research. I made my final decision to study for a Masters degree here after examining the departmental website and being impressed by the breadth of courses on offer and the evident expertise of the academic staff.

My course is well-structured but also flexible, allowing me to study aspects of television and cinema in combination. It has provided me with the ideal foundation for the career in broadcasting that I have always wanted to pursue. On the theoretical side, the Masters course has allowed me to develop new critical insights into the purpose, effects and ideological content of visual media, while on the practical side, I have acquired a great deal of technical knowledge such as, for example, how to manipulate a film camera in order to achieve desired effects of atmosphere and action.

I gained a lot through participating, by way of monitors, in active discussions and seminars with students from other universities. In this way, I learnt how to develop my ideas through discussion, contributing to a rich dialogue that crossed cultural boundaries. This was an experience that I would not have been able to enjoy in my own country.

I live in Woodland Court, one of the nearest halls of residence to the university. I have an en-suite room in a shared flat. Enjoying multinational food with my flat-mates is an important and enjoyable part of the day for me. Aside from that, I go to the Cathedral every Sunday. The priest, Canon Alan Finley, in Clifton Cathedral helped me to join the Catholic club. I cannot forget their kindness or the heartwarming welcome that I received from the club.

Talking with various kinds of people influences me to have new thoughts, and it is perhaps the opportunities that are available at Bristol to meet and share ideas with people from all over the world that I value most about living here. It is great to share experiences at parties or, in summer, at picnics in the city’s parks, such as the beautiful Brandon Hill. The social occasions that I have attended with my classmates have provided many of the most memorable moments of my life here. I am lucky to have met good people here and to have been able to share perspectives with them.

I would unreservedly recommend Bristol to anyone who was considering studying here. The combination of the stimulating academic environment provided by the university and the benefits of living in this vibrant but safe and laid-back city make Bristol a great choice for any student.


Namy Yu - MEd in Educational Leadership, Policy and Development

Namy YuHello, I am Namy from South Korea. I’m currently studying MEd in Educational Leadership, Policy and Development (ELPD) at the Graduate School of Education (GSoE). I just finished my first term in the University of Bristol and it has been a great experience: challenging as well as thought provoking. I am learning new things every day and it is such a great feeling!

I chose my major because I am interested in international development area, especially Education department. I am lucky to find this course because it is a specialist course which is specifically designed to provide knowledge/experience/information for students who are interested in international education. Living in an ever growing globalised world, it is pertinent to learn, compare and evaluate how other countries develop their education. Studying my course helped me to understand the importance of education and critical thinking to put theory into policy and practice. After finishing my course, I would love to find a job related to international educational development area. It has been my dream since I was in secondary school, but I have forgotten about it until I started my courses here. I do not know if it will come true or not, but finding my long lost dream is definitely one of the unexpected and pleasant outcomes of my study. For that, I am grateful.

My tutors have been all friendly and helpful whenever I needed them. I think this is one of the merits of my department. Since my course has many international students, tutors are very understanding towards our problems. In our department, students are from England, China, Ghana, Japan, Korea, Kazakhstan, Mexico and Uganda. What a various group! I love having discussions with my classmates learning new things about their countries every time.

Of course, there are difficult moments as well. Some students (especially international students) have hard times adjusting to a new environment and studying style (such as frequent group discussions, student centred learning, the concept of critical thinking…etc). My first term was pretty tough to get used to those problems and also reading articles with unfamiliar terminologies was pretty challenging. However, it does get better if you try harder. I think most important thing studying in postgraduate course is taking the initiative to research and read things that you are interested in. You cannot expect tutors to tell you what to do all the time. After all, it is your study and research. Coming from a different culture, it was hard to get used to first. However, I do enjoy studying here and I do feel the depth of my knowledge is getting deeper than before.


Sandra Yeonhee Lee - BSc Social Policy

Sandra Yeonhee LeeHi, I'm Sandra (a.k.a. Yeonhee!) and I'm enjoying my course and Bristol.

I spent most of my life in Korea but decided to come to Bristol. I found out about the University of Bristol from my friends and also went through some research online. I wanted to study social policy and figured Bristol is the best place to do it. Considering that I’d never been to England, even Europe, before I decided to come here, I feel lucky that I fell in love with Bristol. I have always been interested in ‘making the world a better place’ so I have come to do social policy. My course is very interesting because the units touch various social issues.

I lived in Woodland Court in my first year. It was a new building and literally 3 minutes away from the lecture rooms so I enjoyed staying there. I lived in Unite House in my 2nd year and this year I will be living in the same room, same flat with the same girls that I’ve been living with! Unite House is a huge place near the City Centre so if you love to go out you should consider here!

I love belly dancing. It's a hobby that I just picked up last summer but I've come to enjoy it so much I joined the Dance Society, performed loads and ended up becoming the Vice-president of DanceSoc. I met really nice people during the dance classes and performances. Especially the girls that I’ve done all the performances with became good friends. I can’t wait to dance with them again!

In the future, I'd love to be involved with an NGO. I'm interested in eradicating poverty and focusing on the well-being of children. I want to be a part of making a difference in this world.

I got involved in the Ambassador scheme because now I feel more settled and think I can help other international students out. I was a little lost in my first year as an international student and thought if I could get in touch with other international students it would have been easier and more fun to start. So don’t hesitate to bother me!


Miyoung Heo - MSc TESOL

Miyoun HeoOnce I had made up my mind to study toward a more advanced knowledge of English education, I chose the University of Bristol without any hesitation. This was primarily because, needless to say, the UK is the perfect place to learn English and the one-year course for a master’s degree offered a great benefit to me in terms of saving time and money, but also, above all, because through the University’s website and from many friends who have studied in UK, I discovered that the TESOL programme available in the University of Bristol is highly practical and well-organised to meet my academic requirements and my research interests in the field of English education.

During the first term of my studies in Bristol, I found that the most demanding and daunting experience for me was participating in seminars. This may be common and effective way to learn something in the UK, but for students like me who have studied for many years in the Asian cultural environment, raising my own voice and discussing topics with others who have different ideas was not that easy or comfortable at first. However, I quickly found that seminars have made me focus more tightly on individual topics, expand my ideas beyond the limitation of books and unidirectional lessons, and finally acquire precious insights by appreciating the perspectives of others. Now I have come to enjoy vibrant and lively seminars. Another aspect of the course that I am really satisfied with is the tutorial with respected and caring professors. Whenever I spend time with them in tutorials to discuss my essays, they are willing to provide unsparing support and help. Through their guidance and advice, I have been able to recognise my strengths and weakness and so have learned how to develop and cope with them in my studies.

Life in Bristol is both really peaceful and exciting: I can meet and take part in many activities with good people from different backgrounds and we can easily enjoy the endless green and open spaces, which exist in many places in Bristol. I have discovered an especially welcoming community in the local church. The people in the church are really friendly and they help me in so many ways, and I spend a great deal of happy times with them. This is particularly so in the activity programmes which they provide for international students, and I have received much help and many opportunities to overcome any difficulties, which I faced.

I cherish every moment I spend here in Bristol. It is giving me an enormous amount of inspiration to be a better teacher and some unforgettable precious memories, which will last me all my life.


Heebon Park-Finch - PhD Drama

Heebon Park-FinchMy postgraduate study of Modern British Drama (with a research emphasis on the renowned British playwright Tom Stoppard) at Bristol University’s Department of Drama began in January 2008. Prior to this, I spent two years teaching as a Part-Time Lecturer at Kyungpook National University in Korea, where I had previously received my first doctorate degree in English Drama in the year 2006. I applied for Bristol University with a strong desire to broaden my perspective on English Drama through research and study under the supervision of its prominent scholars and respected professors. I believe my exit with a Ph.D. from Korea was an entry to Bristol University, toward more advanced knowledge and experience in the field of modern British drama.

Apart from the fact that Stoppard started his theatre-related career in Bristol, the University of Bristol’s Department of Drama is known as one of the most prestigious and best places to study drama theory and practice, which is why I applied for the Ph. D. programme. I checked the department and the excellent faculty members through the University website, and this convinced me to apply for my Ph.D. study here. In addition, my British husband, who received his first MA from the University of Bristol, has been greatly supportive of my studying here, in the environment of academic excellence and cultural richness. We visited the university in January 2007 when he was invited to give a seminar for the Graduate School of Education TESOL Programme, and my expectations were confirmed at that time. In short, about 10 months have passed since I arrived here – I have visited many other UK cities and universities, but Bristol University and the city of Bristol are still my first and best choices to study and live in.

Apart from excellent library facilities I use in the University, I have several favourite places in Bristol. Clifton Downs is one of them – wonderful for a walk along the endlessly spread green fields. It is also an ideal place for a late-afternoon picnic in summer. Another beautiful place I like (especially in summer) is Brandon Hill Park, which gives a panoramic view of Bristol. It is quite close to the University, so I see many people enjoying their lunch sitting on the grass or on the benches while looking at the view. Both my husband and I are vegetarians, so one important aspect for us is that we have no problem of buying fresh, organic food and healthy bread in Bristol. Also, I was nicely surprised to find a Korean supermarket and a big Oriental supermarket not far from university, which means Asian students who occasionally feel nostalgic can still enjoy their home country food while living and studying in the dynamic city of Bristol.

I love travelling and Bristol is a very good location. Wales is easy to travel to, and Bath is just fifteen minutes away by train. It is also easy to go to London.

 Finally, my professional long-term goals in the future are: i) to continue to research into modern British drama; ii) to teach this subject in a university in Korea; and iii) to translate works of Tom Stoppard and other modern British plays into Korean, so that they can be more widely read and appreciated there. With these in mind, I cherish and enjoy every moment of my study at Bristol University and my life here in Bristol.


Jisu Kim - MSci Physics

When I was 20, I was studying for a physics degree at Songang, one of Seoul’s top five universities.   I was doing well, so my future was assured. Then I started an English course at the British Council and I was gripped by the ideas of studying in the ‘land of physics’, where Newton discovered gravity. The Times Higher Education Supplement listed Bristol among the top universities for physics, so I applied.

In the first years, all I did was work. My maths bailed me out and some second-year English students in my residence helped me out. I passed, thank goodness, and this year I’m running for election to the Students’ Union. I’m also applying to convert my course to a four year MSc. Then I might go on to do a PhD in Cryogenics. Bristol holds the record for achieving the lowest-ever termperature.


Jinae Yoo - MEd Psychology of Education

About five years ago, when I was reading a Therapy Today (this is the journal of the British Association for counselling and psychotherapy; BACP) I noticed University of Bristol on a page of advertisement. Particularly, counselling course seemed very interesting. The page on counselling course caught my eyes for a while. Since that I had kept university of Bristol in my mind for a few years. One day, I met some friends who studied at university of Bristol. I asked them to tell their experiences in studying and living in Bristol. Surprisingly, all of them strongly recommended me to study at Bristol. Thanks to them I came to have very positive feelings and thoughts about Bristol.

I was very impressed by the architecture of university. Before moving to Bristol, I heard many times that people call Bristol as a green-city. As it is, it is really beautiful place and a green city.

I like Clifton most, because there are big green and beautiful parks and suspension bridge, which is very fascinating. When I climb up to suspension bridge and stand on there I cannot believe I am in the city. It is like countryside.

My course, Counselling in Education for Med is brilliant. Particularly, the tutors are excellent, very supportive and warm. Especially, as an international student, it is very important factor in learning. I clearly remember that how anxious and worried I was in the first term. However tutors’ encouragement and support helped me a lot to be able to keep going and achieve successfully all assignments with good grades so far.

I found it quite different the education of the UK and South Korea. While I have been doing my studies in Bristol, I have been challenged a lot. My tutors emphasised many times, ‘Critical Reading, Critical Thoughts, Critical Reflection and Critical Writing’.  I believe such learning and training will help me to be more professional in my area for my future career.

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