Originally, I intended on producing a blog post about Korea’s national holiday that took place on March 3. However, I will take a step back and set something strait. Life in Korea is difficult, but I also find it rewarding. As a matter of fact, I want to stay here for a longer amount of time. Right now, I am attempting to transfer out of my home university in order to stay in Seoul as a degree seeking student. Yes, it is correct that the internet interface for the class add/drop system is a living hell and people do treat me differently as a result of me being a foreigner. Despite these difficulties, I believe that my activities in Korea will in fact make me a more clever, successful, employable person in the future.
First things first, I am attending one of the best business schools in all of Asia, if not the world. Instead of bragging about the wealthy benefactors or the highly qualified faculty, I will instead briefly mention the curriculum. As a finance person, looking at the classes taught at this business school makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. Available are tons of hard core finance classes that are not taught at my home university. For example, I want to stick around this place long enough to take classes such as futures and options, fixed income securities, risk management, corporate finance, etc.
Second, my dream is to be able to do something that not many Westerners can do. That is to be able to be proficient in Korean. It is true that many Korean people can speak English well, but few want to speak English. Why should they speak English? In order to get the goods and services that I seek, I need to at the minimum attempt to speak Korean. If I do, I am giving myself an advantage. Language is one of those naturally occurring barriers that if I can overcome, will expose me to many opportunities that are out of reach for others.
In am not sure what I want to do in the future, yet. However, I am aware that being a bi-lingual person that has some finance knowledge is a good start. Those two skills can be picked up in Seoul. While not impossible to pick up these skills at home, it would consume so much resources that it wouldn’t be practical.
Finally, I believe I am being am more thrifty, resourceful person as a result of living in Korea. I have learned to live with less. This is not a result of Korea being a poor country, but rather me being a poor student. For example, I have learned how to live without a mattress. Right now I sleep on the floor. I feel fine. In fact, I think doing this is straitening out my back. In addition, here I have learned to live without having appliances such as a coffee maker, clothing dryer, or printer at my disposal. I have learned to live with less. Below I will share a pic of the room where I live, in addition to a friendly cat that I met on campus!