I’m going back in a few weeks barely. I said I would, but this time as a teacher. I made another blog so if you want to follow my adventures here—> http://akwonders.tumblr.com/
So this is my final post, since I already updated mostly everything from when I was in Korea. Even though I was there less than 2 months, I learned a lot about Korea, others, and myself. It was a great experience. It was my first time flying that I can actually remember. My first time out of the country, living in a dorm, having a roommate, and many other things.
When I first got to Korea, I felt like I was at home. I didn’t feel weird, I did not have culture shock. I guess because I already know the culture pretty well from watching different Korean shows, k-dramas, listening to k-pop for over a decade (yes really), and etc. I loved Incheon’s International Airport when I finally got there, and met some people there that was with the program. When we got in and went to get dinner, I didn’t feel weird, just wished I knew a little more Korean. I must say the stairs and hills were killing me, my legs cramped up the first two nights really bad, I wanted to cry in the middle of the night T_T but half way through I was fine and was proud of myself.
I loved everything about Korea, the food in which my stomach loves more than American food, subway system (I hated coming back to drive everywhere, so expensive~!), all the random music that I actually knew, shopping areas, the historic places such as palaces, random artwork, and just about everything else. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like besides maybe the humidity? I even got use to that at the end. The only problem that I could not get rid of was…my roommate, but it just made me decide to enjoy Korea even more.
I focused on my classes and did really well (an A+, A, and a B in which I’m still kind of upset over). I loved my teachers so I’ll keep in contact with them. I made a lot of friends from all over the world. I actually stayed out all night studying at a cafe with basically everyone from one of my classes and it was enjoyable (I’ve never done that before. I know shocking and I graduate in a few months :O). I went to the DMZ, stepped into North Korea, I saw actors and actresses, the sets of some of the shows/dramas I watch. I saw a lot of singers and went to MBLAQ’s concert (was up close in the standing section and got them to wave! Joon was super hard to get -.-). I finally made it to Jeju Island, our tour guide Mr. Mun was amazing hanging with Courtney and I for over 8 hours. He was super sweet, I’d recommend him to everyone. Jeju is seriously a paradise! *sings T-Max’s song Paradise* (it’s from Boys Over Flowers OST-Original Soundtrack check it out!)
I visited various palaces, I love how Korea is so advanced with some of the fast internet too yet traditional at the same time. It’s a perfect balance. There was always something to do, so much that I’m going to have to go back to finish out my list of places to visit. I love how I was able to buy cds that I actually listen to. It was like my own personal heaven.
Even though I didn’t take the Korean language I picked up a lot more phrases and can even read Korean a lot better. I thought that was weird, but I guess that’s what happens when you are immersed in the culture. I picked up more than some that were actually taking the classes. Korea is easy to get around even with limited Korean skills.
I loved Korea University the campus was beautiful, the domestic students were really nice. It was located in a wonderful place, there were so many restaurants and shopping places around it, I still didn’t get to explore all of them! It was also close to a lot of places that I’ll never forget including my favorite Korean BBQ.
For myself, I realized that I could do a lot more than I gave or give myself credit for. A lot of people said I was brave to go to a country and not know the language well. I don’t think so. I knew some phrases and just took a chance, plus I’ve always wanted to go since I was 9. I know that I can balance intense school work while still going out to have fun. I didn’t let the language barrier stop me from anything. If anything it was more of an adventure. I didn’t freak out getting lost I enjoyed every bit of it and had a story to tell in the end. I grew as a person. I felt more responsible and mature knowing that I can take care of myself in another country.
I want to thank everyone who followed me and even looked at my blog. I just wanted to show Korea for what it was for me. It’s just as adventurous as any European country, Japan, China, Australia, and etc. Korea is like a hidden gem that people ignore. I never understood why and hopefully others who want to visit Korea or even find out something about it will learn something from my experiences.
For me it’s an experience that I know I’ll never forget. I’m still talking about everything and I’ve been home 3 weeks now. I miss Korea like crazy. Now I want to find a way to move over there. I’m thinking about teaching English or finding something with my degree when I finish school. I must say it was a trip well worth it.
So I was coming from graduating the program tonight. I didn’t want to go out it would just make me more teary eyed about leaving. I end up in the elevator with the dean she was super nice. Walking out I was just thinking I wouldn’t be walking the campus next week this time and started getting all sad.
Then what happens? I run across some girls saying they had an assignment. I’m like ok whatever I can spare 5 minutes….Never again! They pull out the bible and start talking about all this stuff and God the mother etc. I’m like ok….5 minutes is up. They keep going on and on about this stuff videos of mess and a magazine showing people in the states believing it. By this point I’m hardly listening to anything I just wanted to enjoy the walk back to the dorm in peace. But they keep talking and acting like I can’t read English….so frustrating.
I just get up, bow and say sorry. My patience was gone. I walked away fast then bam! Half way to the dorms 4 more chicks saying “Excuse me, we want to talk to you about God the mother” I say no and walk past them but they followed me and was joined by two other chicks who were trying to stop me too. I’m all O.o *runs* sadly it was uphill so that killed me. I’m upset they had the nerves to keep trying and chase me about that stuff after I told them no and walked away. Korea Korea….
I forgot to post this on here (Aug 9, 2012) it was graduation day. Everything was all emotional and then this happened. Worse experience. Sadly we just talked about these cults a few days before in my Korean American class. So seriously be careful of people like this. Now I’m weary about helping people with “assignments”. :/
We finished out our day by going to our favorite BBQ day that we went to our first full day in Korea (with Elle and Ivy). It was bittersweet. One of the guys knew us pretty well and gave us a lot of free stuff, that’s when Courtney and I got super sad and started tearing up. We knew it was our last time there…for now and was trying not to cry. The food was great like always, but we couldn’t help but cry some as we ate. I can’t believe how attach we got to Korea in general.
Last day in Anam and Seoul in general. Went around with Courtney and her roommate Shirley. We visited a palace and some other places.
Last day of classes and graduation at KU. Narai and I was working hard on our final paper for Mass Media but most of our group didn’t turn in their things on time making us wait until the last minute to get everything together. So we took a break since we were waiting on someone’s files and we got lunch! We were starving. Later we went to graduation, it was kind of sad, because we wouldn’t see a lot of people after that night.
Eating with Narai, we ended up studying later for our final that was the next morning, with basically the rest of the class. We went out to a cafe and stayed until like 2am. Julia, Jeff, Daniel, and Sam (not in the pics since he wasn’t there yet we thought he wasn’t going to show up) went to the 24 hour library to keep studying while Narai and I went back to the dorm to work on other stuff and try to sleep a little. It was fun though.