Now that it’s August, I am starting to stress over university again. Not only because I need to start a new semester and deal with new classes, professors, and classmates… But also, I have an upcoming battle – course enrollment!
Course Enrollment Back Home
You see, back home we had a very specific class schedule for each semester. I simply had to choose between professors. Each semester, we had a set of classes we were required to take based on our majors. But, if your desired professor’s class was full, you had to take it with another professor, which would alter your timetable and be a bit of an inconvenience. However, at the end of the day, everyone always got the courses they needed to graduate.
But here… here is another story.
Course Enrollment is SUPER Important
When I got to Korea, I didn’t know much about university life, or the specifics of my academic career. I simply applied to transfer and got in, and that’s it. There was no stress about the courses, I didn’t know about the system… I was in the dark. And it probably was not a good idea that I didn’t prepare in advance.
You see, here in Korea, the enrollment for courses turns into a battlefield. You either got the spot or you can wave goodbye to the course forever. Or at least, until next semester which, could actually delay your graduation schedule. But I didn’t know that.
Korean Enrollment Battlefield
Whether or not you get the courses you need comes down to the mili-second in Korea.
Students pull up extremely accurate clocks, go to PC Bangs for the maximum internet speed, and do all kinds of tricks to be able to enroll as quickly as possible. At a minimum, students already have the course codes of the classes they need and a few backups saved typed up and saved on a document. Students need to copy and paste them over because even taking the time to type the name could mean you don’t get the course.
But there I was… happy and smiling when the time approached. I barely knew how to work the enrollment web page. I had only looked at it once or twice, but I was relaxed. Given the way enrollment worked back home, I was not even stressed about the thought of not being able to take any courses because that simply didn’t happen back home. But it does here.
Losing the Battle
When the time came, I could see the number of seats available decreasing by the millisecond! Within a matter of seconds, EVERY SINGLE class I wanted was completely filled! I didn’t get any of the courses I wanted.
Turns out, I was stuck with the freshmen because it was my first time in the system, even though I am a junior. That means all of the courses that I wanted to take -if they had free spots still- would be taken by the monstrous freshmen.
Being a junior meant nothing to me at the time. It does now! The system opens gradually from fourth years to first years, so this time I will have more than one chance to get a course. Hopefully.
Last time, I ended up taking 5 courses, and only one of them was even under my major at all. Plus, I only got that one because I emailed the professor and basically begged him to let me in. He said, “I can open a spot, but anyone can take it, so be fast in the correction period”.
I still passed all of my courses, even though they were pointless. I ended up just taking them in order to stay enrolled and maintain my visa. None of them were actually needed to graduate. However, it was a learning experience, and now I am prepared for the battlefield. I will set an alarm, go to a PC bang, and have everything set for me to get the courses I want.
I will turn into a course enrolment warrior! And, if you’re taking courses at a Korean University, you should too.
If you would like to know how to transfer to a university in South Korea as I did, Click Here to learn more!