I am where I am supposed to be. After months of overwhelming stress and endless tears, I am where I am supposed to be.
Being in Korea is such a surreal experience because I have been wanting to go for so long. There have been countless of times where I said to myself, “Is it really worth it given the amount of stress it is putting on you?” Yet despite the urge to just give up, I continued along because I knew this is what I wanted to do.
And finally I am here. I am sitting in my dorm room waiting for the night to come – because that is where the fun starts. I have experienced so much within the first week of being here. More stories than I can count on my hand. With that in mind I have some advice for future students who want to study abroad but are having doubts: Please do it. Don’t ever believe you are not right for the experience.
I have not been in Korea for a long time, but I already know that I should be here. Consider this as a challenge that you can further your academic and educational achievements. When you arrive it may not be what you expected, and it would be so much easier to just stay in the States, but in time you will adjust and learn to live and love. Open yourself to the culture of the place you decide to stay, and it will open itself to you.
Overall, my time here so has really confirmed that I was meant to be here. For one thing, I am a night person. I am more productive at night and I like exploring under the lights. Luckily for me, the city life is even busier at nighttime than during the day. I was walking down a bright alleyway where I was able to take a really decent picture of myself.
I believe that I am adjusting quite fine. I have come across extremely helpful people who, despite not knowing any English, were ready to help me when I looked like a lost tourist. The food is really affordable and there are no taxes! When I walked into a four-story Daiso (for those who don’t know it is a store that sells things cheap – there are at least three branches in San Diego) I knew that you would have to drag me out of the country. Korea has a huge coffee culture, and a lot of the coffees they sell are inexpensive. I do admit their Starbucks is a little on the pricier side, but when there are tiny cafes all around, why settle for comfort?
I was even able to go to a free K-pop concert in Incheon! I wouldn’t say Korean culture is the only reason I came, but it is a major factor. Going to the concert was an exciting time because I got to see three of my favorite groups. This trip is truly going to be the best! Until next time, enjoy some pictures I have taken so far!
Erica McGee is an English major who aspires to teach abroad. She is studying at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea for a full academic year.