Starting from 2019 Fall, semesters in KAIST will start and end a week later than usual. The change was made official when the KAIST Academic Calendar was updated at the start of the year. The changes indicate that the semester will begin in the first week of September and not in the last week of August as it has been for previous semesters. This also means that the end of the semester will be postponed by a week to just five days before Christmas.
Previously, KAIST’s academic calendar was always a week ahead of most universities in Korea. For example, the Spring semester this year started on February 25, while universities such as Seoul National University, Yonsei University, and Korea University started on March 4. Furthermore, the end of this semester for KAIST is planned to be on June 14, a week earlier than the aforementioned universities. This discrepancy, although minor, was a problem for undergraduate students who have friends in other universities in Korea.
However, with the new modification, KAIST undergraduates will start and end their semester at the same time as non-KAISTians studying in Korea. Moreover, from the Fall semester, major events such as midterms and finals will also be delayed by a week to match those of other universities.
“Personally, I really like how we will now end the school term at the same time as others,” said Jongchan Park, an undergraduate student in KAIST. “This would make it easier for me to make plans to hang out over the summer with my friends outside of KAIST.”
Some, however, do not welcome the change. “Flights are cheaper because we avoid a peak season over the holidays,” said Minha Baek, a third-year student in KAIST. “I imagine that this will also be a pain for foreign students hoping to go back to their home countries with a cheaper fare.”