Only 5% of the world’s business schools are AACSB-accredited – SolBridge is one of them! 70% of the students and 80% of the professors have an international background, and all of the courses are taught in English.
The Republic of Korea is a peninsula and as such is surrounded on three sides by water. The white national flag with the trigrams and the Yin & Yang symbolises the desire for peace, harmony, change and development. In the past 50 years, Korea has undergone a major development to become a modern and vibrant country that still holds on to tradition. Although the lifestyle is influenced by Western culture, there is a strong sense of hierarchy. A small difference in age can determine one’s social status, although this rule does not apply to the same extent to foreigners. One in five Koreans lives in the capital, Seoul, and only 8% live in rural areas. The unemployment rate stands at just 3.7%, while the percentage of registered foreigners is approximately 2%. Korea’s landscape is characterised by mountains, rivers, forests and sea. There are scarcely any tigers, leopards or bears left on account of deforestation and poaching, but lynxes, leopard cats and seals can still be seen in the wild.
Daejeon, a city framed by wooded hills, has 1.5 million inhabitants and is located centrally in South Korea. Thanks to its strong reputation for science and technology, the city is described as Asia’s Silicon Valley. The EXPO international exposition took place there in 1993, and three games in the 2002 FIFA World Cup were played in Daejeon. Golf and baseball are also popular there. The climate is monsoon-influenced, with temperatures ranging from -1°C in January to 25.6°C in August on average. To relax, you can climb one the many mountains surrounding the city, go to the National Science Museum or the Museum of Art, visit Daejeon Zoo or enjoy a free foot spa in the hot springs of Yuseong. Although you don’t need to speak Korean to get by on a day-to-day basis in Daejeon, you should be aware that English skills are rather limited outside of the university, especially amongst the older population. In a taxi or restaurant, for example, you will not get very far with English. The price of taxis and restaurants is comparatively cheap, however. You can get a meal with a drink from EUR 3.50.
The private SolBridge International School of Business was founded in 2007 and is the youngest university to receive AACSB accreditation. 80% of the lecturers are international professors with qualifications from respected universities. The student body is also international, with 500 of the around 700 students coming from more than 40 countries. SolBridge has its own sports hall, a gym and a swimming pool. You can get involved in the numerous university clubs, from debating to sports or music. Grades are awarded based on the mid-term and final exams as well as on participation in class and case studies, group work, homework and presentations. As a result, a lot of time must be dedicated to this. The lectures are interactive, and active participation is encouraged. SolBridge students are open and approachable, so it is easy to make friends quickly. For exchange students there is an orientation week that also encompasses team-building activities. There is an option to attend Korean language courses. While these courses are not essential for getting by in Korea, Koreans are very pleased to be greeted in Korean. Patrick J. spent his winter semester 2014 at SolBridge and sums it up as follows: “Studying at SolBridge was characterised by an extremely positive atmosphere that broadened my horizons in a wide range of ways. As a result, I can definitely recommend spending a semester abroad at SolBridge International School of Business in Daejeon.”
Before you start your studies at SolBridge, you must pay an immatriculation fee of about $1,125.00 which covers the cost of accommodation, breakfast and health insurance for the entire semester as well as a Student Activity Fee and food for the preparatory week. The student halls are called “SolGeo” and this is where most of the bachelor’s students live. They are located around 2.5 km from the university. The two-bed rooms are furnished and have a bathroom, but you have to provide your own bed linen etc. There is a curfew between 11 p.m. and 5.30 a.m. in the single-sex buildings. You can prepare your own food in the shared kitchen, but there is also a cafeteria for breakfast and a gym as well as sports grounds.