Before I went overseas, I was always in my comfort bubble. Most people throughout their life don’t leave their comfort bubble because they are either to scared, or most people have no desire to go outside the country. Doing a study abroad experience was probably one of the best experiences of my life. It was honestly life changing. Sometimes when we go outside our comfort bubble it can be both exciting and scary at the same time.
When I first arrived in South Korea I was scared and excited. I was going to a country where I didn’t know the language or the culture very well. I choose South Korea because I wanted to go outside my comfort zone. This was probably one of the best experiences that I have done in my whole life. I have heard that Koreans can be cold and come off as rude to people.
Doing a study abroad will open up new experiences and lets you meet new people. I had the luxury of working during my study abroad experience. I worked around Koreans and also got to learn the language. Making new friends overseas is a really cool experience. These are friends who can introduce you to the culture and help you understand their country a little better. Another benefit of making international friends, is these friends can become your life long friends. If you ever want to go back to the country you did a study abroad in, you can visit your friends again. Making friends opens up new opportunities to come back to the country you went to.
I think one of the most important things about doing a study abroad, is it can help you mature in a certain way. Going to another country and actually living there causes people to grow up in a way. You are in a country on your own, so you have to learn how to survive in a way. You start to do task on your own and become more responsible with daily tasks.
South Korea to me is a really unique country. The people and the country have had a long hard-fought history. They have had a bad history with Japan, so sentiment towards Japan is really negative. South Koreans have endured a lot. The people are really proud of South Korea. They are nationalistic and are proud to show off their history because it has been invaded multiple times. My friends were always proud to be Korean and they were proud of serving in the military.
There are many old buildings in Seoul. The neatest building was Gyeongbokgung palace. This palace was huge! It was the size of several football fields. This palace was where the Joseon king once ruled over all of Korea. The palace has a library and the interior of the palace is full of ancient paintings.
Overall my study abroad exchange was one of the best things that has happened in my lifetime. I recommend that if you get the chance to do it, you should.
Jacob Hendrix is majoring in Education (History) and spent Summer, 2019 interning in Seoul, South Korea through ISA. Jacob had the following to say about study abroad, “Studying abroad will change your life. It will open up new opportunities for the future. It is a experience like no other.”
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