October 24, 2019
It’s the fourth week of October. That means that this week is midterm exams week. The first three weeks for me were just the usual of attending class, homework, studying, and hanging out with friends. Usually if I want to travel out of the city, like to Seoul or Busan, I’d prefer to go over the weekend and spend a night or two over there and take more time to explore those areas. This eventually transitioned to studying for exams and less time going out.
Not too long ago one of my Korean friends invited me to eat lunch with her and her two friends who are in the same major together. Since it was around lunch time, most restaurants down the hill are packed with students. She met with me first while her other two friends went to grab a table at the restaurant. I introduced myself to them and told them I’m from America. They asked which part and I told them Minnesota. The guy immediately reacted and the girl who sat next to him told me he’s a huge NBA fan, so he’s heard of Minnesota before. We then proceeded to talk about our cultures. Although they know some English because they are required to take English classes, I could tell they wanted to ask me many things about America because they kept taking out their phone to translate a question to ask me. My Korean friend, who was sitting beside me, also helped translate things we said to each other. After we ate lunch, we grabbed drinks at Gongcha, which is nearby the restaurant. My friend told me that her friends enjoyed chatting with me and that they want to have a meal together again some time soon. They even told me that I can bring my other international friends so there’s more people.
Because it’s a different country and culture, I’m afraid to make cultural mistakes or any mistake at all. Sometimes I’m hesitant to do something or look confused, but once the Korean friends I’ve made notice what’s wrong, they help explain to me what to do or how to do something. After being in Korea for about two whole months now, I’ve noticed changes in how I do things. An example would be like handing things over a certain way. In Korea, if you were to hand someone something, such as paying at a cashier, you would use your other hand to support the hand that is holding the object (or hand the object over with two hands). It’s considered polite this way.
The week before midterms, most students are usually studying. At this time it’s more quiet around the dorms since people want to study and you wouldn’t want to make a lot of noise to disturb them. Walking around campus you see the lounges and studying spaces are more filled with students and their textbooks. I finished my last midterm exam about an hour ago. During exam week, based on the classes I’m taking, we go to class, take the exam, and leave once we finish. Similar to classes back home.
Here are some photos I took from this month. When I hang out with Korean friends or language exchanges we sometimes go to cafes or get a quick lunch together. There’s some stray cats on campus and I managed to get a photo of one. The toast was also really good.
Last modified: October 24, 2019