If Study Abroad has taught me anything so far, it’s that a positive attitude makes a world of a difference. When I left home, I worried that travel might make me ill-humored. I was also terrified that the South Korea I imagined in my mind wouldn’t live up to the real country. Boy was I wrong.
The past two weeks here have shown me that your mind is the strongest thing that you possess.
The first week of September was one of the most stressful weeks I have ever experienced. When I signed up for the list of courses offered in English that I wanted to take, I had been told that the professors might change their mind last minute and decide to teach the whole class in Korean. I had accepted the fact that this might happen to at least one of my classes, but I wasn’t prepared for it to happen to all of them (not including my Korean language class). By the start of the second week of September, the ISA staff Jaehoon Shim and Yena Ko, my Study Abroad Adviser Katie McCormack, my adviser for my major Dr. Swanson, and the Department Head of Biology Dr. Symington, helped me to register for a whole new set of classes. When I got kicked out of my classes I was definitely embarrassed and disappointed but I didn’t let the negativity affect me entirely. In the back of my mind I was afraid that I might have had to return home if I couldn’t get registered for at least 12 credit hours with classes that worked with my degree. However, I didn’t let this thought occupy my mind and I put my faith in the ISA staff. And I’m so glad that I did! I kept my mind open and thought positively and in the end everything worked out!
I am now in love with the classes that I’m taking! I’m taking some courses that I never thought I would ever take, like Political Party and Environmental Soil Physics. –Shout out to my Soil Physics professor, Professor Kim Seong-Joon: I will “go to lake, and get latte.” *stares and shakes head* Cactus…?
Keeping a positive attitude at all times is essential to living happily! Contrary to my initial thoughts, I haven’t turned into an ill-humored traveler and the real South Korea blew my expectations out of the water. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing it is here! The culture, city, and people are so refreshing and so alive! The city and culture are a beautiful mix of tradition and innovation. I’ve made an awesome group of friends (the Bingsu crew) and I’ve connected with a lot of international students. I’ve gone to some amazing places already such as Insadong, Myeongdong, and Itaewon, and done some amazing things like cheering for the visiting AND home teams at a Korean baseball game and practically mastering the Seoul subway system. And there’s more to come! This coming weekend I’ll be heading to Busan, a city located on the South-Easternmost point of the Korean peninsula!
If I were to sum up the five things I love most about South Korea, the five things that keep me positive and loving every minute of my time here, they would be:
1. Banana Milk
2. Adorable ajummas (complete with the perm)
3. Cute Korean babies
5. And a great group of friends!!!!! <3 Bingsu Crew