Second Week in South Korea






It has been easier to adapt to Korean life than I originally thought. Although I am considered a foreigner here, I feel extremely comfortable being around people who do not look like me. I have never felt so comfortable in such an unfamiliar place. It is making it difficult for me to want to leave. At first, the issue was that I wanted so desperately to go home, now I don’t know how I’m supposed to leave. The strange thing is that I do not think I have really accepted the fact that I am actually here. It just feels like I am in a different part of the United States with a high Korean population. It feels like a dream. Public transportation was a foreign concept to me until I arrived here. I am from a very small town, so public transportation isn’t widely used especially since it is very difficult to get to places in nearby cities using public transportation. Everyone in South Korea takes the bus the subway. I really enjoy using public transportation. I use an app called Kakao Maps on my phone to navigate. All of the stops are written in Hangul but thankfully I am able to read Hangul which makes using the app that much easier. Everything is so clean and everyone is quiet and respectful. Commute time is a time where I can just sit (sometimes stand if it is very crowded) and enjoy the ride. It is strangely therapeutic and relaxing except for those few times where the driver suddenly hits the brakes. Public transportation is also very reliable and punctual. If you miss one bus or subway, you can just catch the next one. There are even screens nearby that tell you how far away the next bus or subway is. Our Korean language class has also been a great experience. I have been able to improve my reading, speaking, and writing skills and actually apply them in real life situations. It hasn’t been too difficult communicating with people since a lot of people speak some English and I know some basic Korean. Translation apps are helpful as well but it’s more satisfying to communicate on my own. All in all it has been a very rewarding and educational experience. I have been forced to solve issues I have never dealt with before and use new resources to solve those problems. I have also learned to be more independent and do things that make me happy and not just follow what everyone else is doing. There are times when I have left group settings to pursue my own internets. We have also begun to explore cultural sites in South Korea like the Gyeongbokgung palace and the national Hangul museum. Next week we will be going to Hybe Insight and Hyundai Motor Studio. Learning about Korean culture and history has made it easier for me appreciate South Korean people even more. They worked so hard to be the country they are today. It’s extremely admirable to see all that they have accomplished. I look forward to seeing what next week will bring!