Having just turned in my last final, it feels crazy to say that I have officially completed my first semester studying abroad! I have been living in Seoul, South Korea, for four months and to say it went by in the blink of an eye is an understatement. That is why I am incredibly grateful that I will be studying abroad for the spring semester as well. Since I am at the halfway mark of my international adventure, I thought it would be the perfect time to revisit the top three goals I set for myself for my study abroad experience.
1. Develop basic Korean language skills
Before coming to Korea, I had zero knowledge of the language, but that is no longer the case! This past semester I took Korean 1 and have started down the path of learning this complex language. I now know how to read Hangul and can understand basic questions that are asked to me. However, learning in class is much different from using those skills in the real world. One of my best friends I made while abroad is fluent in Korean, so when we go out, I generally let her do all the speaking because I get nervous. For the spring semester, I want to gain more confidence in using the Korean skills I have developed. My new revised goal is to continue to learn the language while also practicing whenever I go out to explore.
2. Push myself out of my comfort zone and fully immerse myself in Korean culture.
I can confidently say that I have continuously pushed myself out of my comfort zone throughout this first semester abroad! Back in the US, I never traveled or ate alone, but that is something that I have pushed myself to do here, and it has been incredibly rewarding. I’ve also immersed myself in Korean culture through learning more about its history. For the spring, I want to continue to immerse myself, specifically by going to more museums and trying new foods that I have yet to try.
3. Make long-lasting relationships with other students/people I meet abroad
When I first came to Korea, I didn’t know anyone, and I was very nervous about making new friends. I am happy to say that over the course of this semester, I have made some of the greatest friends that I could ask for. While some of them will be leaving because they are only here for one semester, I can confidently say that that doesn’t mean we will stop being friends. Living together in a totally different country and environment has allowed me to bond with my friends in ways that I haven’t experienced before. For spring, I want to continue cultivating these friendships and hopefully make some new ones along the way!
While the fall semester has come to an end, I couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come. These goals have carried me through and reminded me of why I wanted to study abroad in the first place. I can’t wait to continue working towards achieving these revised goals in the spring semester!
*My friends and I at Everland (an Amusement park like Disneyland!)
* The greatest gals <3