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Journals from South Korea, Yonsei University

2009-08-31 June, 2009: TIK - This is Korea! ( My Reflections)

How quickly this semester went by. I feel like Ive just started to really get into living here, and now Im packing all my things up to leave! Luckily, Ill be staying with my family for an extra couple of weeks, so I dont have to leave Korea so quicklybut a huge aspect of my life in Korea has been built within living in the I-House (International House) and interacting with the people at school, so when that comes to an end, so does a major part of my Korea experience. Im surprised at how strongly I feel towards the people Ive met here: they are dear friends, and I wish I could pack them up to come back to Oregon! Weve gotten through a lot here: theres something to be said about going into a foreign country and having that common experience with the others that are also there. We all learned the language and the culture together, and if we made some social faux pas, or needed help in charades-ing our meaning to a native Korean, we were always there for one another. The camaraderie that I felt while living with my fellow exchange students is something that Ill never forget. I think Ill also miss the language quite a bit. I came with a small knowledge of the Korean language, and while I am not anywhere near fluent, I constantly surprise myself during conversations that I (attempt) to have while speaking with other Koreans. Im almost always able to get my ideas and thoughts across, I can understand quite a bit of what is being said to me, and Ive even gotten the chance to learn Korean slang. Not to mention, being able to walk down the city street"with its infinite number of store signs and advertisements"and understand where I am and what the signs are saying makes me feel so much more at home! While Im happy to be going back and seeing all of my friends and family, I know I will miss Korea greatly. Ive spent about five months here building a home"leaving it will be hard, but Ive already decided on coming back. Hopefully you enjoyed reading these entries, and to any student who decides to go to Korea for their study abroad: get ready to have the study abroad experience of a lifetime! And as always: TIK! This is Korea :) Jenny

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