Hi to everyone who studied abroad, will study abroad, or is interested in anything related to studying abroad! Currently, I am here in Seoul, South Korea studying at Dongguk University as a Business-Management student for two weeks now. Everything is happening so fast. I am enjoying all the new faces and environment. I met so many people since I first arrived in Korea. Many Korean people here are very friendly if you just talk to them. So being in a new, completely different country where you cannot speak the language sounds scary, but is not so bad once you overcome your fears of spontaneously meeting and talking to new people. I have spoken to many Korean students who rarely knows English, but are still nice to try to communicate with me.
My first experiences since I been in Korea:
-Riding the bus
-Riding the subway
-Taking a Taxi
-Trying Korean BBQ
-Trying street food
It was great that I got to experience all of that here in the city of Seoul. From time to time, I would miss my car, but I got used to walking everywhere.
A few things I learned about the country and the people:
-Seoul has A LOT of HILLS and STAIRS, especially at Dongguk University
-When it gets crowded anywhere, and you start to bump into people, it's natural to say "excuse me" or "sorry" BUT a lot of people do not mind or say anything to you. They are used to it.
-Be careful when crossing the street in busy traffic, the cars here will continue to go even if they have a red light. So, the crosswalk lights are your best friend. Do not jaywalk unless there are no incoming cars. Even in some narrow streets, cars will still try to squeeze in and you will be forced to get out of the way. They like to drive really close, but won't necessarily hit you, hopefully.
-When meeting someone, they will tell you a time such as 2pm, in Korean time, that means it can be 2 minutes BEFORE 2pm or 2 minutes AFTER 2pm. Being on time is very flexible here.
-A lot of Korean students are very dependent. Therefore, most of them are still living with their parents, which is not a bad thing! :)
I am very lucky with the classes that I chose to take here at Dongguk University. All my professors spoke descent English with all the materials written in English. My first day of classes, I was very nervous of how the professors, students, and the way the class will be like. I imagined all my professors would end up teaching the classes in Korean. However, after my week of attending all my classes, I felt very relaxed due to all the friendly students and helpful professors who were able to speak in English. I cannot wait for when the semester picks up and I will be able to study again. I have been on break from classes since the beginning of December of 2013 (End of the Fall semester at UMKC).
I hope to write again!
Here is a link to see all my pictures from my fun and exciting adventures in Korea: