My first week of classes is done! Coming abroad, I wanted to take courses that expanded my cultural knowledge about East Asian culture. I looked for courses that will deepen my Korean cultural understanding to get the most out of the classroom experience, where I can apply the knowledge to my adventures while abroad. Here are a few things I learned from my courses:
Psychology of Fashion:
In class, we explored unique ideas that fashion extends beyond clothing and can incorporate cars, hairstyles, and even dog choices. Fashion is typically associated with clothing due to the nature of the industry. Clothing is easier to design, manufacture, and afford; this is unlike other industries like cars or furniture which take time to design and manufacture each good. As a business major, I am intrigued by the idea that different industries impact design, manufacture, time, and affordability and how that impacts our perception of what is considered fashion.
Hangul was created by King Sejong to help those with limited education learn to read and write as the Chinese language can be quite complex to understand. Influenced by China, Korean is heavily influenced by the Chinese language, which I had not realized prior. This class is opening a door where I can explore more about my own Chinese culture and more about the Korean language.
Intercultural Communication and Leadership in Seoul:
Culture extends beyond the ethnicity we are born into. It entails geographic location and socioeconomic status among many others. I had an insightful conversation with my classmates who moved around the US throughout their lives. Given the US’s vast culture, it is a place where individuals from different backgrounds and geographies can learn from one another. From the east to south to mid-west to west coast, each portion breathes in a different kind of culture. The East coast is more fast-paced and has more direct communication, while the west coast moves slower and breaths in tech…just thinking of California here. Like the comfort food, the south coast lives up to its southern hospitality. This brings a new perspective to understanding how geography impacts culture.
Entrepreneurship in East Asia:
While we have not officially begun the class, the professor had each student introduce him/herself, so he can learn more about his students. We shared our desires and goals for the course; many of whom wanted to learn about the process of entrepreneurship, specifically how the different cultural environments affect entrepreneurship in East Asian countries. As for myself, I took the course to learn more about the strategies involved with being an entrepreneur and how successful startups vary from East Asian vs. Western countries and cultures.
Overall, I am happy with my courses as I have many opportunities to learn more about Korean and East Asian culture. I am excited to further explore my curiosities. With that, I end with two questions that have impacted me this week: How does moving change who we are and how we adapt? How does living in countries we do not remember impact us today?
Image 1: Pictured is a study cafe I occasionally go to when I attend my online classes
Image 2: Me pictured in front of a famous university statue