Winter 2016 Survival Guide

By Antonio Santiago

If you’re like me and staying  at Chung-Ang University for two semesters, you may not know exactly what to do.

After all, the winter break is an entire 3 month period between the end of December all the way through March. Thankfully, CAU and the Republic of Korea have got you covered whether you’re trying to fulfill your wanderlust or just trying to learn about Korean culture.

Option 1: Traveling Korea!

So you’re living in Seoul. Maybe you have been all around the city, maybe not. It is even possible that you have visited Jeju, Nami, or Busan over one of the holiday breaks or weekends, but there are so many more awesome places to visit in this culturally rich country!  Winter may not be the best time travel around, as Korea gets rather cold, but it could all be worth it, and there are plenty of winter activities. South Korea is


경복궁 (Gyeongbokgung Palace)

laden with coastal fishing villages, Buddhist temples built hundreds of years ago. Adding to the options before, there are sights like the islands of South Jeolla, the mountains of Gangwon, or the excellent temples and palaces is North Gyeongsang. Traveling to these areas is affordable (since you’re already in Korea!) and will give you a much deeper, more intimate understanding of the country that you are living in. Korea is a wonderful country and as cozy and fun as Seoul may be, there is so much more to see and experience. Click here for more information on places to tour while in Korea.

Option 2: CAU Korean Language Program

The best way to get to know a country is by learning their language, and thankfully Chung-Ang University has you covered. Known as the “Korean Language Program” (KLP) you will take classes  4 hours a day, 5 days a week for 10 weeks! so you will be guaranteed to know how to order from your favorite Korean restaurant in all Korean. This program can be taken by complete beginners all the visual_ko_instituteway up to professional Korean conversationalists. KLP was designed for students who plan to take the TOPIK. At worst, you’re learning a new, beautiful language. At best, you’ll be laying the foundation to study in a beautiful, culturally rich, academically competitive country. Students exchanging at
CAU get the added bonus of reduced tuition (20% off) making it an awesome value if you want to stay in Seoul over the extended break. To apply, I would suggest going for a visit inside the office in Building 101, Young-Shin Hall, in the education center as the process is very different for students already attending CAU. The application period is through the month of October, so if you’re considering it, act quickly and don’t’ miss out on this opportunity. Click here for more information about the Korean Language Institute.

Option 3: International Winter Program

If you’re looking to take more classes and still gain some experience in Korea, CAU’s Office of International Affairs organizes a winter program annually, the International Winter Program. This is a 2 week program that is intensive, with plenty of activities and even short term classes to help you soak in as much culture as possible in such a short period of time. Up to 4 credits (or units/hours) can be earned with classes offered including the following:


These classes run off what is essentially a “hybrid program.” Activities like a ski trip, K-Pop dance lessons, Taekwondo lessons, and city tours are all included in the program price you pay at the beginning of the semester. All lectures during this program are taught in English. If you’re thinking about applying to this program or just want some more information, give the Office of International Affairs a visit in Building 201, right behind the dragon pond, on the main floor. Click here for more information about the International Winter Program.

Option 4: Visit Home

Sometimes even the most adventurous travelers get home sick. If this is the case for you, maybe you should visit home for the break. Think about it, you’re probably missing your country’s foods, home cooked meals, your old friends, or being able to use your native language everywhere. It could be for the best to go home for a little while, and it could even prevent you from getting burnt out. If this is making you miss home, call your loved ones, book that flight, and migrate home for the winter.


  • Every convenience store will sell hot packs. They’re about 1000₩ and lifesavers.
  • If you plan on staying two semesters, information about dormitory over the break will be sent out when available.

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