Studying abroad in South Korea, Nico Leger '21 is immersed in the culture

Nico Leger poses next to an art installation featuring a small old TV and fluorescent lights. Photo/courtesy

Nico Leger at Lotte World, a Korean theme park.

Nico Leger '21 likes camping out to get a front row spot at music festivals on the weekend. But not at Boston Calling, or even Lollapalooza or Coachella. Leger is some 6,700 miles away in South Korea. 

"I've seen almost all of my favorite Korean hip hop and rap artists, who don't ever tour in the US," Leger said. "I also stand out as a foreigner in the front row, which is pretty cool because then I get noticed by the artists."

Leger, a triple major in East Asian Studies, English, and Creative Writing, is studying in Seoul through the Council on International Educational Exchange's Korea program. He was awarded a Gilman Scholarship, a program that provides students up to $5,000 toward study abroad program costs, to fund his time abroad. The Office of Study Abroad at Brandeis helps students find the right program for them and to identify scholarship opportunities.

Leger took some time to answer questions about his experience abroad:

What made you want to study in Seoul?

I'm majoring in East Asian studies and have been looking for more opportunities to practice my Korean. The youth culture here is also a perfect place to study as a college student since there are always events taking place to meet new people and de-stress from classes. Conversely, the study culture is intense and incredibly motivating to be productive!

How did you learn about the program you are participating in?

To find CIEE, I spoke with my study abroad advisor. There are two programs that Brandeis students can use to study abroad in South Korea, and I wanted to study through CIEE because of the support they provide students. Because of CIEE, my transition abroad has been pretty easy.

What advice would you give someone who is looking into study abroad options? 

I would definitely recommend studying abroad with a program, as they help you get your visa, find housing, apply to classes, and support you while you're here as well. For example, if I need to go to the doctors, a director of my program will accompany me. This is especially helpful in a country where English is not the native language.

What do you have planned for the rest of your time? Is there something in particular you are looking forward to?

Over winter break, I want to travel to Japan and possibly also Taiwan, since I might not have a similar opportunity to do so again. I look forward to living alone during break and being more independent than I was at Brandeis.

Learn more about study abroad programs at Brandeis

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