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South Korea Exchange

My third month in Korea

Third month in Korea

Hello, Currently it’s 2:30 here in Korea while I am writing this blog. Three months have went by so quick and It’s crazy to know that in about 22 days I will be leaving Korea. I know that I have not been here for long but Korea feels like home to me. Before, coming to Korea I was somewhat a homebody. I was too comfortable with what I did and where I was in life. This was my first time being independent and away from family and friends. Now that I am here I love being my own person and making my own choices without needing to ask for permission.
  When I was a little girl coming to Korea has always been a dream of mine. I only saw Korea through K-pop and dramas. Experiencing Korea in person is different from what I had imagined… I was living my fantasy through a small screen. There was and is still so much I have to learn about the Korean culture that you can not simply get.  I had became close with a Korean student in one of my classes and he told me that Koreans never have debatable conversations with their close friends because you do not want to make them upset, and that blew my mind. With that said, him and I had a deep conversation about gun laws, abortion, legalizing gay marriage etc. To my surprise he had really enjoyed talking about these topics . He had also told me that friendship here in Korea is held very high since families only decide to have one or two kids. He will be going to America for a year and wanted to know more about America; including slang. As an Asian American, we both are so different yet similar to one another. I am happy with all the international students that we have here in Korea. We have a group of diverse students from all over the globe. I have met so many and with each encounter I have with them it’s always something that increases the dendrites in my brain. They have pushed and molded me to become the best version of myself, sometimes we clash but we learn so much about each other and the culture.

Adventure time

Last month I did a lot of traveling around Korea! When you realize you are running out of time you want to make the most of what you have left. Thankfully, Korea has a good transportation system which makes it so efficient to travel. Hwaseong Fortress which is located in Suwon is beautiful. This fortress expands throughout Suwon and even goes up in the mountains but the end results of climbing up the stairs will give a spectacular view of the city. Busan was the most exciting trip that I had been since I have been here. The beach was beautiful especially at night.         (Hwaseong Fortress)
       (Busan)                
   (Global day – Texas booth)

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2nd month in Korea
 

South Korea blog #2

Taking classes at Soonchunhyang University has been easy (if you study and show up to class). Right now I am taking Korean writing and speaking, history, documentary, and lastly the scholarship program class; this class is somewhat similar to communications at Concordia. We had just finished up with our midterms and let me tell you, it is DIFFERENT. We have a curfew at 11:30 for our dorms but when midterm\finals happen they extend the hours to 1:00am. Koreans do not play when it comes to studying! All cafes, spaces in the library, lounge, restaurants etc. are all filled up with students with all of their textbooks from whenever class ends to 5am in the morning. My roommate stays at the library until 5am, takes a nap then heads to class (with her make up done with a cute outfit on). Also, to add another important factor Koreans do not get study guides nor do they have any idea what that is. Maybe I have been to spoiled in school to always think that I would get a study guide each time. Their schedules are so packed some have classes from 9am all the way till 6pm (or later) with little to no room to eat. When we do group projects at Concordia there really isn’t someone who has a “leader” role but in Korea the person who is the “team leader” has the MOST important role in that project. The team leader has to meet up with the professor either once or twice a week, sometimes they drink together. You’re probably thinking about how crazy that sounds when a professor drinks with their student but it is normal here. They also have events here called MT which stands for “membership training”. These are usually overnight and this is when everyone that is in the same major gets to know each other better…… by drinking. I have never been in a dorm before but I enjoy it (so far lol). Being on campus makes it easier to make friends and know the school better. Overall I feel like I have done so much walking here than I have ever done in my life. Our campus is on a hill with so many staircases. In Korea not many students have cars but they use buses, taxis, subway. I usually tend to stay away from buses\taxi when I am Minnesota because for one it is dangerous (in certain areas) second it’s way too expensive and thirdly because I have a car. Sometimes I wish I had my car to take me from place to place because or campus is so far away from everything. Shopping…… has been difficult. I love Korean fashion but it has been a tough and long journey. Most clothes come in free size which really isn’t that helpful especially if you’re on the thicker side of the scale. I am around  size 7-8 in pants but trust me you will not find anything, maybe if you’re lucky or in a bigger city (they try to cater to the tourist). Also, you can not try on anything that is either free size, a shirt, or dress. I love it here and I wish I could stay longer but time is ticking so I have to make the best of it.

52 days left.

 

Enjoy some average photos.

   

(coffee hour, Gwanju concert, cherry blossom, fish market, exchanges)

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Spring Month One
Well, that school vacation flew by! For the first part of the vacation, I had the opportunity to work in SCH’s Winter English Camp as a Classroom TA, which meant that everyday for three weeks I would work 8:30-5 with a class of 13 students. Basically my job was to manage the classroom so that the three different teachers (9 teachers overall, 3 different per week) could teach nine different subjects. I ate lunch with my students, and well, did everything with them for 3 weeks! It was a wonderful experience to see how smart and hard working these Korean kids are.  For the rest of vacation, I just studied for my upcoming TOPIK test (Korean Fluency test) and hung out with my friends. And now, here we are, one month into the spring semester! I cannot believe how great of a time I am having this semester! One great thing about this semester and this school is that the school is known for being beautiful during the spring! So I have been lucky enough to experience a spring for the first time EVER! (looking at you Minnesota who snows in April) There were blooming trees everywhere and now flowers are popping up all over the place!   My friends and I have been spending a lot of time outside, enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery around up. I’ve been meeting a lot of wonderful people from around the States and Europe, who are making my time here so much more enjoyable! And my exchanges this semester are becoming dear friends to me as well. So, so far so good! I’m excited to see how the rest of the semester goes and to enjoy every last second I have before I come home.  

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Kaylee's first Korea blog
       

       SoonChunHyang University 

Today is March 25 2019, This is my first blog since I left Minnesota and since then I have been in Korea. Honestly, this is one of the best decision I have ever made. SoonChunHyang is in the city of Asan and in South Chungcheong province. When I first arrived in Incheon  it was about a two hour drive to arrive on campus. All intentional students are placed in “Global Village”, there are four international students in my suite and seven Korean female students as well. How is communication different with people from another culture?
  • Something that I can think of right now is how Koreans have their hierarchy system. Younger people have to always bow to their seniors and speak politely, if not people look down on them. Even though I have met some Korean people who do not care of this rule there are still may who do.
When it comes to food the most convenient way is walking to your local GS25, CU, Seven Eleven etc. When I am running low on money I pick up a Gimbap which cost roughly around $2-3. They also have bento boxes, they are a bit more expensive ($4-6) but it taste pretty good. This is a photo taken on our campus recently. Cherry blossom season is coming up and our school is famous for its cherry blossom on campus. They are not fully bloomed in this photo because it is still chilly here in Korea but cherry blossom season is around the first three weeks of April . I was comparing the weather between Korea and Minnesota and Korea is colder than Minnesota right now.                                                    I have not traveled that much yet but I have been to this lake located about an hour away from campus. This was very peaceful, not many cars or people; a good place to bring children. There were many aesthetic looking cafes and trails. My roommates and I rented bikes ($1 = 1 hour) and this was a better experience to see everything that wrapped around the lake. Unfortunately, it was a bit cold this day an we did not stay as long as we had planned to.   In Korean Kimchi jjigae is popular and at almost every restaurant you will be able to find this on their menu. This dish is not new to me but I find this is be very tasty. Sometimes, this dish can be spicy or they could put different meats; most likely find pork. Another dish that is very popular is Samgyeopsal (not pictured)f  , this is when you get to barbecue your own cuts of pork and eat it with lettuce.            The photo onto the left is the international students in my suite + Nara who was one of the Korean who used to dorm with us. Everyone is so sweet and outgoing. The photo onto the right is two international boys Jordan (Canada) and Kenneth (Iowa) and two Korean boys. Most Koreans that you will meet have a good understanding of English so it makes it easier to communicate. This photo was taken in Onyang. The farmer market only comes out every day that ends with the 9th. There were a lot of older people selling their fresh produce or food. In Korea fruits and veggies are expensive, for example a little bowl of strawberries would cost around $5 and apples would be $5-7. For transportation Korea has the train, subway, bus, or taxi. All of these options are pretty cheap and affordable. Before you could take any of these transportation you need a T-money card which is equivalent to a Metrobus card in Minnesota. When you take the taxi its better to go in a group of four to make the cost cheaper.

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Korea: Month Two
Fall was in full force by the end of October, which was strange for me because of how short fall is in Minnesota compared to here. I remember at the start of October getting photos from my friends and family of the snow back home. This month we had Midterms. Which the whole campus was under a “study” type of haze. You could feel the pressure and stress the Korean students felt. I was lucky enough to have half of my midterms done the week before actual midterm week. So all of my classes were done on the Wednesday of midterm week. Since I was being stressed out as well, I decided to take a  solo getaway to Seoul.  I took my time exploring the large and beautiful city. I explored not only the more tourist spots, but also found some very interesting museums and small, but beautiful parks. I went to the Seoul  Museum of Art as well as the War Museum of Korea. Both of them were thought provoking and extremely interesting. The war museum had so much about Korean history, I could have stayed overnight, just reading and learning.  But I did have to get back to campus. Once back on campus, we had our second “Coffee Hour” which is an event held once a month for all of the students in our program to get together and play games and socialize. This Coffee Hour was Halloween themed, and many people from all different cultures dressed up and came to celebrate! We also had Global Day, which is a school wide festival that happens every semester celebrating and sharing the many different cultures and countries that SCH hosts and homes. I was able to help with the India booth for a few hours. In that time I gave henna tattoos to people who would play a game in chance to win a tattoo. It was very exciting to see the different nationalities come together to learn about each other. Still, overall, Korea is wonderful. I am actually experiencing a fall and very much so enjoying my time here. 

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The adventures of South Korea
October was pretty hectic. Midterms, dances, performances, and so many places to go to. I would say this was the most eventful month. I honestly felt like I could not get a breather. So this month we had to prepare what was called global day where people who were from different parts of the world would do a booth explaining about their country/state or do something like a game. So my days consisted on preparing for midterms, getting ready for our dance performance, and global day. I was honestly very surprised on how intense preparing for midterms were. Many Korean students we basically living at the library and  rarely got any sleep and I noticed I was picking up on some of their studying skills. I noticed that the teachers do not really tell you what will be on the test so you have to overall study every single thing you have learned. Now because of midterms, dance practice was really hard because many people were absent for practice because of it. So we were very worried we were not gonna make it for global day but we ended up doing a great job and everything went according to plan. One thing I will say is that I am super happy that I joined this dance group because it’s so diverse , and we all work together to understand each, even when there is a language barrier, we still work together to get through it. I have also been trying to use Korean a lot more comfortably, but it’s still nerve wrecking because I forgot certain phrases or the specific words but basically every Korean person that I have met has really helped me understand and helped me use the correct grammar and they were also very patient, because they really want you to learn and they want to help you understand. For Global day I worked at the Hawaii booth and we did a photo booth and surprisingly it was very popular, we played Hawaiian music, had flowers and props for people to use for the photos. But unfortunately we were not able to go to any of the other booths. Everyday has been a different experience still and I am happy that I am constantly able to meet new people and get new experience and go to different places. I honestly thought by now I would be bored and there would be almost nothing for me to do. These last couple of months is gonna be very hard but very wonderful at the same time.

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First Month in South Korea
This first month in Korea has gone by so fast, the only way I have been able to remember anything is by looking at the pictures I’ve taken! One thing that surprised me about life here at SCH is how every year, there is something that I can only explain to be like a “Welcome back to School” festival. This festival lasted three days and everyday there were different performers. The second day was the most “hyped” up day because a more famous group, iKon, was coming to perform. As well as iKon, there was my FAVORITE Korean band, Epik High. I could not believe my ears when my roommate, Minseon/Bella told me that they were coming! So this festival not only had more famous performers, but also more food trucks then I’ve ever seen all selling different Korean street food! This festival I was able to enjoy with my roommate and some of her class seniors as well as with the friends I have made here. Living here in Korea has been such an exciting adventure, everyday there is something different, new, and fun to do. I was able to visit a nearby lake and park with my roommate and one of our mutual friends, Trace, who is from Vietnam. Living in Global Village has given me so many opportunities to meet and converse with people from all around the world! Bella and I have become close and enjoy spending time with each other, we eat together a lot and even will just go for walks and exchange out cultures. The classes I am taking have all been very engaging. One of them is Taekwondo. Actually during Midterm we have our first test, which if we pass will mean we are able to go up a belt. Another class is Intercultural Dance. In this class we have learned dances from all around the world. I included a picture of me and my friend Kyra from Tennessee in our traditional Korean skirts which that day we learned the traditional dance that the King and Queen used to perform for their people as a way to bless them since, as we learned, most Kings and Queens were also Shamans. Overall, the first month here in Korea has been very fast paced but also filled with many fun memories, laughter, and great friends. I cannot wait to see what October holds for me.
안녕!
안나 <3
     

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The end of an era..

After almost a year of studying abroad in South Korea, I had to say goodbye. I’ve been back home for two weeks, and luckily, I am well adjusted to the time zone, after struggling for a week! Reverse culture shock is definitely REAL, and I almost can’t believe I’m actually back in Minnesota now. Honestly, I did happen to cry once I landed at the MSP airport!! I don’t know..there was just a surge of confusing emotions. Was I..sad? happy? relieved? I couldn’t exactly pinpoint my feelings at that moment! Studying abroad is like a dream, or more so like you’re living a second life. My life in Korea was totally different than my life here back in Minnesota, and being re-connected with one, but having memories of the other is just..so..weird? There’s no other way to put it. It’s like I’ve lived two lives! 

It’s funny how my life has drastically changed while being in Korea, but once I arrived home, nothing has changed and everything is the same! It’s just an interesting realization..but also so bizarre. I don’t know! It’s something you need to experience for yourself. This did make me realize that there’s a whole world out there outside of Minnesota, so I hope you all take advantage of that!! 

Oh, and here are some study abroad tips that I highly recommend you all take into consideration! 

  1. BE OPEN MINDED. 
    it’s definitely easier said than done. You’re in a new country, and you probably know nothing of it besides the things you read and see in the media. That’s only a fraction of what the country really is, so be prepared for anything!!  Also, be mindful of the cuisine in the country you’re studying abroad in. Being in South Korea, I know some exchange students were not as adventurous and nervous to eat Korean food, but know that the culture’s cuisine helps you connect with the country and people, and you’re studying abroad!! so you should be prepared to try new things! Granted, you don’t have to try everything, but I advise you all to at least try the basic, well-known food items in the country that you’re studying in! It’ll definitely enhance your experience! 
  2. LEARN THE COUNTRY’S LANGUAGE
    Now, i’m not telling you to stay in your dorm and study 24/7! But, you should definitely take the time and energy to learn enough of the country’s language to get by. (especially if the primary language isn’t English) Sure, most people can survive the country with having no knowledge of the language..as TOURISTS (joking!), but as someone who lives in the country, whether it be four months or a year, I think it’s beneficial, and you will definitely feel more connected to the country you’re studying abroad in! // Also if the country you’re in has common curtesy gestures you’re not familiar with, definitely learn that as well! 
  3. RESPECT THE COUNTRY YOU ARE STUDYING ABROAD IN
    Please be mindful and respectful of the country as a whole, and try not to get into any serious conflicts while abroad! I know specifically in Korea, there are some places where foreigners aren’t allowed in because of a past event or conflict having to do with foreigners. Sure, you may think some things are strange or not right, but remember, you’re a guest in the country, and any disruptive things you do will not only reflect you, but your nationality, host school, and home school. So, just be mindful! 
  4. HAVE A GREAT TIME AND EXPERIENCE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!!
    Studying abroad was the best experience ever, and I enjoyed it so much. It was also so easy being able to study abroad through Concordia as well, so I really hope you all take advantage of studying abroad as a university student!! 


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A Year Experience Away From Home

It’s been about two weeks since I arrived back to Minnesota, and I have to say that it feels like nothing has changed. I feel that coming back, it’s the same as usual, and that my year in Korea went by too fast. Even though, I did many different and fun things during my year away from friends and family. 

After finals ended, I went on another out of country trip; this time it was the Philippines. I went to Palawan because one of my global village friends suggested it, since she also solo travelled a lot too. It was exciting to travel alone again, but I was more nervous because Palawan is still developing. But it was so beautiful, and I definitely don’t regret it. I did island tours in El Nido, and I met other solo travelers too. This trip allowed me to do more self discovery and also relaxation; it served as a great getaway for me. 

Being back home, everything is the same as how I left it. Not much has changed, and I don’t feel too sad about leaving Korea, surprisingly. Many of my friends are sad to have left, but I’m okay with it. Being abroad a year, I feel that I experience Korea so greatly, that I know for sure that I’ll be back. Something I’d tell to future students who want to study in South Korea, is to have fun but be responsible. South Korea is GREAT for us younger folks! There’s so many fun things to do and meeting people, but learn to be responsible and know that it’s ok to say no in front of peer pressure. Also, I urge that all students should keep an open mind and be understanding of people of different opinions. Even if you experience some ignorance, try to educate others and be the bigger person. Also, don’t be afraid to do things by yourself! Travel to other countries with friends or solo, either way if you keep common sense with you and be safe, it will be worth it. Anyways I’ll be ending my blog here, and I hope you enjoyed reading my experiences abroad! Thank you for reading!



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My Korean Home Experience

Shortly, after midterms were over, my friends and I realized how many weeks we have left until the semester was over. It feels like it was just yesterday when we arrived here in Korea. It’s amazing to see how close my suite mates and I have gotten within these few months and it is sad to know that I only have a couple weeks left with them.

My suite mates had become my family. We enjoy doing things together, making fun of each other and supporting one another. A few weeks ago one of my Korean suite mate invited me and a few foreigner suite mates to her home in Suncheon which was about 4 hours south from Sinchang by bus. I definitely enjoyed my weekend there. Her parents were so nice and sweet, they gave us their room to stay in because there was a bathroom in their room. She also has two dogs, Maru and Geumdong. Although throughout the weekend, Maru did not really like us as much because he kept growling and barking at us from time to time. Geumdong however, loved us as he kept playing with us and coming over to us to pet him. While being in Suncheon, my suit mate took us to The Suncheon Bay National Garden. It was beautiful and took us an entire day to go through the entire area. I thought about my mom as I was there because I knew she would have loved the gardens there. 

Adorable Geumdong!

It was definitely easier to play with Geumdong!

There were many gardens designed to be a certain culture or country. This was taken in the French Garden.

Very beautiful flowers (and people too)!!

This past weekend I went to another Korean suite mates home along with my other foreigner suite mate. Her hometown was in Pocheon north of Sinchang and took about 2-3 hours by bus. Her family owns a restaurant so we were able to eat some of their dishes which was delicious!

Being able to go to my suitemates home town is definitely an experience to remember! I feel like we are able to do more things and go to places where we would have never thought of going. It was really cool to experience different kinds of Korean homes. Plus, eating home made Korean food!! It was also really nice to interact with my suite mates parents as well. They were all really kind and made us feel welcome. If more people were able to receive the chance of staying with a family, definitely take the opportunity! It is a wonderful and memorable experience.  



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My third month in Korea

Third month in Korea

Hello, Currently it’s 2:30 here in Korea while I am writing this blog. Three months have went by so quick and It’s crazy to know that in about 22 days I will be leaving Korea. I know that I have not been here for long but Korea feels like home to me. Before, coming to Korea I was somewhat a homebody. I was too comfortable with what I did and where I was in life. This was my first time being independent and away from family and friends. Now that I am here I love being my own person and making my own choices without needing to ask for permission.
  When I was a little girl coming to Korea has always been a dream of mine. I only saw Korea through K-pop and dramas. Experiencing Korea in person is different from what I had imagined… I was living my fantasy through a small screen. There was and is still so much I have to learn about the Korean culture that you can not simply get.  I had became close with a Korean student in one of my classes and he told me that Koreans never have debatable conversations with their close friends because you do not want to make them upset, and that blew my mind. With that said, him and I had a deep conversation about gun laws, abortion, legalizing gay marriage etc. To my surprise he had really enjoyed talking about these topics . He had also told me that friendship here in Korea is held very high since families only decide to have one or two kids. He will be going to America for a year and wanted to know more about America; including slang. As an Asian American, we both are so different yet similar to one another. I am happy with all the international students that we have here in Korea. We have a group of diverse students from all over the globe. I have met so many and with each encounter I have with them it’s always something that increases the dendrites in my brain. They have pushed and molded me to become the best version of myself, sometimes we clash but we learn so much about each other and the culture.

Adventure time

Last month I did a lot of traveling around Korea! When you realize you are running out of time you want to make the most of what you have left. Thankfully, Korea has a good transportation system which makes it so efficient to travel. Hwaseong Fortress which is located in Suwon is beautiful. This fortress expands throughout Suwon and even goes up in the mountains but the end results of climbing up the stairs will give a spectacular view of the city. Busan was the most exciting trip that I had been since I have been here. The beach was beautiful especially at night.         (Hwaseong Fortress)
       (Busan)                
   (Global day – Texas booth)

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2nd month in Korea
 

South Korea blog #2

Taking classes at Soonchunhyang University has been easy (if you study and show up to class). Right now I am taking Korean writing and speaking, history, documentary, and lastly the scholarship program class; this class is somewhat similar to communications at Concordia. We had just finished up with our midterms and let me tell you, it is DIFFERENT. We have a curfew at 11:30 for our dorms but when midterm\finals happen they extend the hours to 1:00am. Koreans do not play when it comes to studying! All cafes, spaces in the library, lounge, restaurants etc. are all filled up with students with all of their textbooks from whenever class ends to 5am in the morning. My roommate stays at the library until 5am, takes a nap then heads to class (with her make up done with a cute outfit on). Also, to add another important factor Koreans do not get study guides nor do they have any idea what that is. Maybe I have been to spoiled in school to always think that I would get a study guide each time. Their schedules are so packed some have classes from 9am all the way till 6pm (or later) with little to no room to eat. When we do group projects at Concordia there really isn’t someone who has a “leader” role but in Korea the person who is the “team leader” has the MOST important role in that project. The team leader has to meet up with the professor either once or twice a week, sometimes they drink together. You’re probably thinking about how crazy that sounds when a professor drinks with their student but it is normal here. They also have events here called MT which stands for “membership training”. These are usually overnight and this is when everyone that is in the same major gets to know each other better…… by drinking. I have never been in a dorm before but I enjoy it (so far lol). Being on campus makes it easier to make friends and know the school better. Overall I feel like I have done so much walking here than I have ever done in my life. Our campus is on a hill with so many staircases. In Korea not many students have cars but they use buses, taxis, subway. I usually tend to stay away from buses\taxi when I am Minnesota because for one it is dangerous (in certain areas) second it’s way too expensive and thirdly because I have a car. Sometimes I wish I had my car to take me from place to place because or campus is so far away from everything. Shopping…… has been difficult. I love Korean fashion but it has been a tough and long journey. Most clothes come in free size which really isn’t that helpful especially if you’re on the thicker side of the scale. I am around  size 7-8 in pants but trust me you will not find anything, maybe if you’re lucky or in a bigger city (they try to cater to the tourist). Also, you can not try on anything that is either free size, a shirt, or dress. I love it here and I wish I could stay longer but time is ticking so I have to make the best of it.

52 days left.

 

Enjoy some average photos.

   

(coffee hour, Gwanju concert, cherry blossom, fish market, exchanges)

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Spring Month One
Well, that school vacation flew by! For the first part of the vacation, I had the opportunity to work in SCH’s Winter English Camp as a Classroom TA, which meant that everyday for three weeks I would work 8:30-5 with a class of 13 students. Basically my job was to manage the classroom so that the three different teachers (9 teachers overall, 3 different per week) could teach nine different subjects. I ate lunch with my students, and well, did everything with them for 3 weeks! It was a wonderful experience to see how smart and hard working these Korean kids are.  For the rest of vacation, I just studied for my upcoming TOPIK test (Korean Fluency test) and hung out with my friends. And now, here we are, one month into the spring semester! I cannot believe how great of a time I am having this semester! One great thing about this semester and this school is that the school is known for being beautiful during the spring! So I have been lucky enough to experience a spring for the first time EVER! (looking at you Minnesota who snows in April) There were blooming trees everywhere and now flowers are popping up all over the place!   My friends and I have been spending a lot of time outside, enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery around up. I’ve been meeting a lot of wonderful people from around the States and Europe, who are making my time here so much more enjoyable! And my exchanges this semester are becoming dear friends to me as well. So, so far so good! I’m excited to see how the rest of the semester goes and to enjoy every last second I have before I come home.  

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Kaylee's first Korea blog
       

       SoonChunHyang University 

Today is March 25 2019, This is my first blog since I left Minnesota and since then I have been in Korea. Honestly, this is one of the best decision I have ever made. SoonChunHyang is in the city of Asan and in South Chungcheong province. When I first arrived in Incheon  it was about a two hour drive to arrive on campus. All intentional students are placed in “Global Village”, there are four international students in my suite and seven Korean female students as well. How is communication different with people from another culture?
  • Something that I can think of right now is how Koreans have their hierarchy system. Younger people have to always bow to their seniors and speak politely, if not people look down on them. Even though I have met some Korean people who do not care of this rule there are still may who do.
When it comes to food the most convenient way is walking to your local GS25, CU, Seven Eleven etc. When I am running low on money I pick up a Gimbap which cost roughly around $2-3. They also have bento boxes, they are a bit more expensive ($4-6) but it taste pretty good. This is a photo taken on our campus recently. Cherry blossom season is coming up and our school is famous for its cherry blossom on campus. They are not fully bloomed in this photo because it is still chilly here in Korea but cherry blossom season is around the first three weeks of April . I was comparing the weather between Korea and Minnesota and Korea is colder than Minnesota right now.                                                    I have not traveled that much yet but I have been to this lake located about an hour away from campus. This was very peaceful, not many cars or people; a good place to bring children. There were many aesthetic looking cafes and trails. My roommates and I rented bikes ($1 = 1 hour) and this was a better experience to see everything that wrapped around the lake. Unfortunately, it was a bit cold this day an we did not stay as long as we had planned to.   In Korean Kimchi jjigae is popular and at almost every restaurant you will be able to find this on their menu. This dish is not new to me but I find this is be very tasty. Sometimes, this dish can be spicy or they could put different meats; most likely find pork. Another dish that is very popular is Samgyeopsal (not pictured)f  , this is when you get to barbecue your own cuts of pork and eat it with lettuce.            The photo onto the left is the international students in my suite + Nara who was one of the Korean who used to dorm with us. Everyone is so sweet and outgoing. The photo onto the right is two international boys Jordan (Canada) and Kenneth (Iowa) and two Korean boys. Most Koreans that you will meet have a good understanding of English so it makes it easier to communicate. This photo was taken in Onyang. The farmer market only comes out every day that ends with the 9th. There were a lot of older people selling their fresh produce or food. In Korea fruits and veggies are expensive, for example a little bowl of strawberries would cost around $5 and apples would be $5-7. For transportation Korea has the train, subway, bus, or taxi. All of these options are pretty cheap and affordable. Before you could take any of these transportation you need a T-money card which is equivalent to a Metrobus card in Minnesota. When you take the taxi its better to go in a group of four to make the cost cheaper.

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Korea: Month Two
Fall was in full force by the end of October, which was strange for me because of how short fall is in Minnesota compared to here. I remember at the start of October getting photos from my friends and family of the snow back home. This month we had Midterms. Which the whole campus was under a “study” type of haze. You could feel the pressure and stress the Korean students felt. I was lucky enough to have half of my midterms done the week before actual midterm week. So all of my classes were done on the Wednesday of midterm week. Since I was being stressed out as well, I decided to take a  solo getaway to Seoul.  I took my time exploring the large and beautiful city. I explored not only the more tourist spots, but also found some very interesting museums and small, but beautiful parks. I went to the Seoul  Museum of Art as well as the War Museum of Korea. Both of them were thought provoking and extremely interesting. The war museum had so much about Korean history, I could have stayed overnight, just reading and learning.  But I did have to get back to campus. Once back on campus, we had our second “Coffee Hour” which is an event held once a month for all of the students in our program to get together and play games and socialize. This Coffee Hour was Halloween themed, and many people from all different cultures dressed up and came to celebrate! We also had Global Day, which is a school wide festival that happens every semester celebrating and sharing the many different cultures and countries that SCH hosts and homes. I was able to help with the India booth for a few hours. In that time I gave henna tattoos to people who would play a game in chance to win a tattoo. It was very exciting to see the different nationalities come together to learn about each other. Still, overall, Korea is wonderful. I am actually experiencing a fall and very much so enjoying my time here. 

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