It has been a little over three months since I’ve arrived in Seoul, and it’ll be two months since the Spring semester has begun in another two weeks. Classes here at KU for me personally are set up quite differently compared to the courses I would be taking at home right about now. They’re still very rigorous and rich in discussion, but the expectations and formatting of my courses are somewhat a contrast to what I am used to. However, I’m very thankful that my classes here are “laid-back” in a sense, so that I’m able to experience Seoul as much as possible.
Midterm week is finally here and I can definitely say it is something I wasn’t prepared for! Midterms at home usually don’t entail much besides the usual unit tests and regular assignments. On rare occasions, I might have a professor prepare a midterm exam. Here in Korea, they take midterms quite seriously. Three out of my four classes have written midterm exams, the other requiring a midterm paper. While I’m not extremely worried over my midterm exams and assignments, I do feel that the pace of my classes is changing significantly. Things are picking up and moving faster compared to how the semester first started off. Due to this, I’m finding myself having to make adjustments to my day to day routine while I’m here. It’s not as easy to do as much lately because my classes are requiring more of my attention, so I have to be intentional with my weekends to ensure I’m exploring and taking advantage of Korea as much as possible.
After midterms week, my end of the semester projects will start to come up and will require even more of my attention. This will include a lot of group work and heavy research. The “Study” part of “Study Abroad” is not to be taken lightly; especially when you’re studying abroad for a semester. It’s easy to get caught up in all the sights and activities that are readily available when you’re abroad, but studying should always be a top priority when you’re away.
Despite the stress from midterms and classes becoming more demanding, I was able to take time to appreciate the beautiful flowers during cherry blossom season. The cherry blossoms came and went very quickly, but they were magical and I can’t believe I was finally able to see them in person. The parks and streets were filled with passersby taking photos and stopping to admire the blooms.