After semester holidays you are refreshed to face the new term at DIT. Conveniently you receive your timetable: all settled for you when and where to listen to which lecture. It’s NOT that easy in Korean universities. There, students must sign up for the lectures they need for their studies themselves – first come, first serve that is. So, let me explain what scenarios take place during every semester because of feared course registration.
1. Adding to cart period
At around the end of the holidays you detect potential courses for you from the course list for the upcoming semester. During a set period you may then add these classes to some kind of wish list on the university’s course portal. It helps you to have all of the courses you are interested in in one place and you can also arrange them in order, which is very helpful. For somewhat successful course registration these preparations are vital. Also, you might want to get familiar with the portal itself, especially when the set language is Korean like in my case. As the adding to cart period is not particularly time-sensitive you only need to pay attention to complete it within the timeframe.
2. Course registration
This is when things get serious and you have to make your preparations count. On that day at an exact time sharp the course registration section on the portal opens and then all you can do is just power-click all of the ‘sign up for course’ buttons you can get. Many courses will fill up within seconds and that’s why preparing the wish list is important. Also, you can only register for classes that won’t overlap in your schedule and you want to try to sign up for as many courses as possible. You will be able to drop them later if needed. Moreover, there will be three additional dates for further course registration after gradually more seats will be made available. So you might need to undergo the process a few times until you can make it into all of your classes. By the way, you do not need to worry about server crashes or unstable internet connections. The online infrastructure is first class in South Korea, so you should be fine in that regard. The only obstacle is really in fact clicking faster than your competitors.
3. Add & drop period
If the above paragraph intimidated you, the add & drop period is another chance to get into courses you might have missed. During the first week of the semester, students might drop some of their registered courses to choose others instead. Also, this is the only opportunity for you to register for classes with prerequisites, depending on the remaining available seats. Therefore, if you are lucky you can still get into all of your desired classes.
I am writing this from the perspective of an exchange student who has never before experienced course registration in the way it works at Korean universities. Korean students however are literally pros at course registration. Some would even practice methods on how to register as quickly as possible, e.g. using multiple tabs etc. To be fair, the course registration at my partner university was surprisingly successful for me but my stress level during these seconds honestly went through the roof. So wow, now I am grateful for the settled timetables we get provided by DIT every semester.
Julia Zitzelsberger is a Business Economics student who joined DIT in October 2020. Having a constant growth-mindset she likes to try out new things, like participating in the DIT blog. Currently, she is spending a semester abroad in Seoul, South Korea.