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Journals from Spring and Fall, 2012 South Korea

2012-04-22 The City Filled With S(e)oul!

  "! (Pronounced: An-nyung-ha-se-yo) or hello, how do you do?  This is one of the many basic Korean phrases I have learned so far on my semester abroad program in Seoul, South Korea.  We have been here for approximately two months now.  During my stay so far, I have been exposed to many different Korean customs and mannerisms.  There are very distinct differences between Korea and America I have noticed so far.  I am in one of the college districts called Sinchon, which has a lot going on at all times.  Every street you walk in that area is filled with massive crowds of people and you get used to running into people!  This is very different than what I am used to at the small Linfield College.  The Korean people I have met so far are very warm and hospitable for the most part.  Because Seoul is about the size of New York City and is the Korean version of that metropolis, I was surprised by the number of people who are willing to help a foreigner and give directions as best as they could.  

This is a very interesting time for Korea in their political arena.  As a Political Science major, I am fascinated by the election process and reactions to different events such as the KORUS Free Trade Agreement with the United States and Korea, as well as the failed attempt to launch a rocket from North Korea, happening at this time.  It is a very important period for the Koreans because so many changes are occurring.  I can’t wait to see what the second half of my semester brings!

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