This New Korean Life! 🇰🇷

“Why Korea?!” was the most common reaction when I told my family and friends about my desire to study abroad in South Korea. But honestly! There are many reasons to why I chose to come here.

During high school I was able to meet a few Korean international students who I became really good friends with. My friends were eager to learn about American culture and my Mexican culture just as much I was to learn from them and get a peek at the other side of the world. I was introduced to the tangy flavor of kimchi and their colorful cuisine, and got also invited to spend some family dinners with them and talk about life in Korea and places to visit.

Before I knew it, I was in love with their culture!

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Women All Around the World

Did you know that the two highest IQ scores in recorded history belong to women?

The month of March is known for celebrating women all around the world, their achievements and what they mean to us. Being a woman myself, I cannot stress how much this part of my identity influences my daily life and is something that I celebrate in my everyday life. In honor of the many women who influence my identity and also devote their lives to making the world a better place, I have decided to devote this post to them through an analysis of the different ways they are celebrated around the globe.

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From Venezuela to the U.S., Violence Casts a Long Shadow

A daily routine like going to class is becoming harder and scarier for the younger generation in this country. Young people are being shaped by an environment that has become more stressful and painful than enjoyable and rich. This year in the U.S., there have been more mass shootings than days itself.

I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, one of the most dangerous cities in the world. It’s a place where violence is experienced daily in everyone’s life, or at least to someone related to you. Over the past few years the wave of emigration from Venezuela has been abrupt due to high rates of violence and crime, mixed with political problems that have deteriorated the quality of life in every way possible — and even violated the human rights of most Venezuelans.

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Black History Month, From an African Perspective

Having lived in different countries, my perception of Black History Month has shifted a lot depending on the countries I’ve lived in. The idea of celebrating black history in this way was first introduced to me when I moved from Senegal to Canada and I quickly realized that it was a very important topic to many.

Going abroad however made me realize how particularly important this topic is in the United States, in comparison to Canada or Senegal. Here, Black History Month is the celebration of the achievements by African Americans. During the month of February, this celebration reminds us of the important role of African Americans in history.

But this celebration differs from society to society.

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From Known to Unknown

I was really amazed by all the papers you need fill out just to graduate in the United States. Back in my country it is as simple as can be.

To say a bit about educational system in Russia, it is way different than here. First of all, all of our classes are mandatory. We could not arrange our schedule, or choose to take class in one semester or in another. Our schedule is made by our department and you must attend every class.

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My First Christmas in San Diego

There’s probably nothing worse then spending Christmas — or any holiday — away from your family. For me, studying in the U.S., it was actually the first time that I had to spend Christmas away from home and away from my family. Although I first thought that this would be an unpleasant experience, I was really surprised by the multiple things San Diego offered during Christmas time that made me feel less homesick.

It is really hard not to notice all the things that are missing when you move to a new place and how everything is different. For me it was quite an interesting experience because I spent most of my Christmas holidays in my native Senegal and then started celebrating them in Canada when I moved there for school.

My first Christmas in the United States was thus very different from my previous experiences in Senegal and in Canada.

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The Beginning of Adulthood

To start from the beginning, my journey in the U.S. started in January, 2016. I was enrolled in pre-master’s language class at the American Language Institute (ALI) to prepare for my Graduate Record Examination. However, such place is good only if you are ready for studying on your own, because you are the only one who needs it. Without any extra effort you can get a certificate from Language School easily, but it does not give you a chance to pass other exams needed for applying to grad school.

People there were nice. Teachers were all adorable, interesting people, who were always ready to help you with any question.

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Appraising My Semester Abroad

Here we are: last week of school and last article of my journey writing for SDSU Be International. It has gone by so fast!

I am leaving full of memories, to give space for new international students that will come next semester. So, in order to sum up my journey here in this last article, I will give them a hint of what they should look forward in their semester abroad, from super legit to incongruous:

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