Third and Final Week in South Korea

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It is the last week now. The time flew by. It went by so much faster than I could have imagined. Although the this week was eventful (I went to Busan and Lotte World), I didn’t get to to do everything I wanted to do. This week has been focused on our Korean language class. Our final is this Thursday which means I have some studying to do. I’m not sure how much my Korean language skills have improved during my time here but my communication has improved significantly. I have learned how to understand basic conversations. Something that I feel like I have really missed from this experience is the amount of interactions I have had to interact with locals. I realized we didn’t really speak to locals until a group of us tried to make friends with a group of Korean students behind us in line at Lotte World. We had the longest conversation we had ever had with a local. A few of the students spoke English so we were able to speak to them while occasionally throwing in some Korean phrases. They taught us a lot about South Korea and what it was like being a Korean going to school in South Korea. This made me wish I had sought out more interactions with locals during my time here. I understand I could have sought out these interactions on other occasions, but it is difficult to form a friendship with a stranger especially when there is a language barrier. It is also difficult to find the right time and place to strike a conversation with a stranger since most of the people we encounter are busy with their commute or spending time with loved ones. This makes me more upset that our time is almost over. There are places I still want to see and things I still want to experience. I wish my time here didn’t have to end, but I am also ready to go home. I think this new life abroad will help me see my life in the United States in a new light once I return. It is difficult to reflect on my normal life since I am not living it at the moment, but I expect a lot of personal restructuring and a large mindset change once I return. I believe I have achieved my academic goals here but I do not think I have fully achieved my personal goals. I wanted to get a clearer picture of what kind of person I was but I do not think I have fully answered this question during my time here. In fact, I think I am more confused. Although I was not able to achieve this goal during my time abroad, it does not mean that I will never be able to achieve it or that I have given up on it. I will continue to explore and put myself in uncomfortable situations in order to figure out what kind of person I am and what kind of person I hope to be. I am going to miss South Korea very deeply and I hope to return in the future!