As you can imagine, panic has finally settled in. Not only do I only have two weeks left in Korea, but I have to spend most of it studying for finals, packing, and preparations for next semester. Korea has become another home, I’ve built a bond with the school, the students in my classes, and overall I’ve built friendships. I’m worried these last weeks will be so hectic, I won’t be able to reflect on all the people and places I’ve bonded with. I’ve had my ups and downs here in Korea, but overall Korea has been a positive and amazing experience. I’m not going to lie: I miss my family and friends back home so much! I’m excited to get back home to California, and then Virginia for school, but I know I will begin to miss Korea. I wonder what it will feel like to be back in the US. Continue reading
On November 16th, Korea University held their annual International Cultural Festival. This festival is held to give all international students opportunity to share their culture with both the Korean and other international students. To share one’s culture, it was asked to provide food and drinks mainly. Each culture that volunteers for the festival is given their own booth. It was encouraged to decorate and/or provide fun games about their homeland. With permission and help from the KUBA team, the students meet up and plan what they want to serve the students and what products they will need to fulfill their plan. As advertised, the Facebook announcement expressed it as a “opportunity to share and experience cultures from all around the world”. Continue reading
Christmas is my favorite season, but it honestly doesn’t feel like the Christmas season until you go through Thanksgiving. I hadn’t realized how much I depend on Thanksgiving to transition to Christmas until now. Thanksgiving with my family is a very traditional one. My entire family (extended and all) gathers at one home for turkey and pie. Our family gatherings are always so fun and never entail family drama. Though we are close, we have never been the ones to go around the table and say what we were thankful for. We may not vocally say what we are thankful for, but we spend the whole day catching up on each other’s lives. Since I wasn’t able to celebrate with my family, I was lucky enough to spend the day with new friends. Continue reading
For this blog, I had originally wanted to go in a more fun and lighthearted direction. Being currently sick and last minute events have caused my post to take go in a different direction. The beginning of last week was very laid back, nothing more than just a few days of hanging with my friends. Though nothing exciting happened, I always enjoy just hanging with friends at our favorite cafes during the week. I believe most of our conversation was on the topic of Thanksgiving, making plans for celebration. Though we may have to celebrate Thanksgiving a little differently this year, the fall scenery has made up for it. Fall has been extremely beautiful here and has put me in the best of moods. Though I am currently getting back to these great spirits, it has been an anxious few days. Continue reading
I’m here to take you on my diet journey. So technically, I wouldn’t say I’m a vegan, but for about five years I’ve cut out red meat and prefer to choose dishes without animal products. This decision was made to improve my overall health, specifically my heart. I began making my own meals and developed a preference for the different replacements. It goes back to one Lenten season, a Christian tradition, taking place six weeks before Easter. My sister and I went vegan. After Lent was over, I didn’t realize I had developed a preference for vegan replacements and meat wasn’t as delicious as it was before. Until I came to Korea, I hadn’t realized how easy it was to be vegan in America; and even easier in my hometown in Southern California. Spending summer in California didn’t necessarily prepare me for the diet change I would have to make in Korea. Continue reading
It feels like it’s been years since I first applied and got accepted to study abroad in Seoul, South Korea. Midterms were last week which made me really think about how far I’ve come. I’m finally at the halfway point of the semester, and I guess you could say I’ve survived! I’ve prevailed! I’ve- whatever you wanna call it! In between studying of course, I would spend the week reflecting on how my lifestyle has changed from the first weeks to now. When thinking about my experiences here in Seoul, I couldn’t help compare it with a new relationship. This may sound strange, and I’m not saying I’m literally dating Seoul, but I think it fits perfectly as a metaphor. I’ve gone through three stages of the relationship so far. First stage, the awkward phase, second, the lovey dovey phase, third, the comfortable phase. There may be better names for these phases, but I’ll use these for now. Continue reading
I was sitting with my friend Keli at one of our favorite campus restaurants, when we stopped talking and started people-watching. I would like to say I’ve creeped out many people by staring at them, but most of them are just on their phones distracted. That is my point of this blog: human interaction. Continue reading
The big Korea Vs. Yonsei University rivalry games finally arrived! These games are known to be one of the only huge college rivalries in the country. The games consist of five sports: football (soccer), rugby, baseball, basketball, and ice hockey. The games took place on the fifth and sixth of October. The games are not part of the regular season schedule, it’s just a traditional weekend of competitive and fun games. Not only do current students participate cheering on their school, but all alumni come with their families to join in the tradition. Continue reading
Having been interested in Korean culture way before I decided to study here, I had noticed how much Koreans love going and staying out late with their peers. What I now have been trying to comprehend is just how much they do go out. For anyone who doesn’t have any knowledge of Korea at all, let me inform you that Koreans go out no matter the day, or the hour. Continue reading
This week was the week of the national holiday Chuseok. For a quick explanation of Chuseok, it is basically the Korean Thanksgiving. It is a big harvest festival that takes place in the span of three days. It is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar. This year it landed on Sept. 23-25th. Continue reading
As an international student, I am automatically put into a group called KUBA. KUBA stands for Korean University Buddy Assistant. They are a club/group of Korean KU students that desire to give the visiting students a great time during their stay. Originally, at the orientation, they told us they plan events for us every single Saturday, which to be honest seems excessive. I’m impressed that a club would go through such lengths, but they have. Since there are 800 international students, they split us into nine groups with multiple Korean student leaders. Continue reading
For me, classes started on September 3rd so I was able to have a long summer, but the semester finally arrived and I was ready for classes! My Monday class was cancelled till the 10th of September so my first class was my African American Literature class on Tuesday. I know it seems kind of random to be taking this class abroad and to be honest it wasn’t my first choice to take a class in Korea that has to do with America. I was very interested in how my professor would approach the subject. I always wonder, while trying not to care, how and what other countries learn and know about Americas history & present. I was also curious on what my classmates would get from our readings including what they had to say about them.
After being here for about three weeks, for most of the time, I was pretty much just an average “tourist”. My main purpose in the country was to experience the culture, visit museums, and eat their delicious food. Whenever I was roaming different areas of Seoul and saw another foreigner (non-Korean), I wouldn’t think much of it and just assumed they were here doing the same things I’m doing. It wasn’t until I went to Sunday mass that it started to get me to question why foreigners are here in South Korea, the same, this very moment too. Continue reading
So for most people maybe Myeongdong isn’t the best place to tackle on your first day in a new country where you barely know the language, but for some it may; for me it was. As someone who absolutely loves shopping and has almost made a sport of it had figured that I could do it successfully anywhere. If anyone knows, Myeongdong is a a huge area (maze) filled with everything imaginable. They have clothing, makeup, skincare, health, food, shoe stores etc. Continue reading
I honestly do not know where these last few weeks have gone. One second I remember walking through the streets of Melbourne on a warm fall day and the next I was picking up my luggage from baggage claim at LAX.