HOLY MOLY I’M GOING TO KOREA

on

Chung-Ang University near Seoul in South Korea, to be exact.
I’m participating in a four-week summer program that is open to any international student with the aim of teaching us about Korean history and culture. Additionally, you can choose an outside course that takes up the majority of your study time. Since I study Linguistics and have an interest in languages, I’m learning Korean language. 🙂

I thought I’d add some little drawings here in an attempt to make my jumbled thoughts and random ideas more coherent and a little interesting.
(P.S. please don’t show them to my Advanced Higher Art teacher or I’m pretty sure she’ll take my qualification off me.)

GOALS I WANT TO ACHIEVE

1. Actually make it to South Korea.
This is my first time travelling by myself, so understandably I’m a little nervous about getting to the airport and on the right plane and all of the usual worries that come with flying. I think everything will be fine – I’m only slightly concerned about the weight of my luggage. The bus driver on the way up to Edinburgh told me to take it easy because I’m ‘a very small person with a very big suitcase’.
Hopefully my noodle arms manage to drag it to the airport without falling off. I’ll keep you updated 🙂

*INSERT SUPER TOURIST-Y PICTURE OF ME AT THE AIRPORT*

2. Experience the culture.
Korean culture is completely different to any culture I have experienced before, not least the one I grew up in. Obviously, the tradition, cuisine and behaviours are different (there can be up to five different ways to say something depending on how formal/informal you want to be help I don’t want to offend anyone) and it will be interesting to find out what’s different compared to what I’m used to and also how well I’ll adapt to it during my stay.
_20140619_211510
(Hanbok is the traditional Korean dress that is worn during special occasions and refers to the style of clothing worn during the Joseon period, which is famous for it’s vibrant colours and simplicity as well demonstrated in this drawing. 😉 )

3. Make new friends and connections.
I’ve met a lot of amazing people from around the world already since starting university, but I’m looking forward to meeting more people who are all going to be in Korea for the same reason and experiencing something new together. Whether it’s the visits to different Provinces, group work in class or the Boryeong mud festival at the end of July, I’m sure we’ll bond with each other over some unforgettable experiences.
I’m a really big K-Pop fan, and just a guess, but there’s probably going to be more people who listen to Korean pop music in Korea than there is in Scotland. I’m not saying they have to be a really big SHINee fan or know any parts of EXO’s dance routines to be my friend of course but it might help.
_20140619_202600(my head is very much in proportion with the rest of my body unlike what is suggested here.)

SKILLS I WANT TO DEVELOP

1. My organisation skills.
I’m a fairly organised person in general, but I feel like there’s a certain skill (that I don’t have) when it involves travelling and knowing what to bring and what not to bring with you. I’m going away for a month, so it’s a lot different to packing for a few days away.
I can buy toiletries when I’m there, and there are services for washing clothes at the accommodation, but I have the same trouble every time I pack in deciding what ‘extras’ to bring.
For example, I have this awesome penguin-shaped torch that when you squeeze it’s wing, it charges so there’s no need for batteries.
This was my thought process when it came to deciding, crucially, whether it made the cut.
_20140619_202548
It’s totally in my suitcase.

2. My Korean.
I’m going to be taking a Beginner’s Korean language course while I’m there so I tried to get a little bit of a head start. Unfortunately, it got as far as ‘the pen is on the table’ before exams interrupted (and I had to learn how to say that in Gaelic instead Tha am peann aig a’ bhòrd). However, I did manage to get a fairly decent understanding of Hangul, the Korean alphabet. So, I know how to read and pronounce nearly every word in Korean but I have no idea what any of it means.
All I want to do is learn enough Korean…
_20140619_211454
I can’t rely on 2NE1 lyrics to aid me through everyday interactions with Korean people. ‘Hate You’ is a very good song but I can’t see that working out too well.

3. My confidence.
My confidence has increased so much since I started university as well, but I feel like if I manage a trip to halfway around the world by myself for a full month, nearly anything is possible. It’s going to be a huge learning experience for me and I’m really nervous for it but also beyond excited.
I have everything I need, and I’m all ready to go!
And I’m definitely taking that torch out my suitcase…

…really, I am.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jules Cham says:

    WOW! I am so proud of you! I can’t wait to hear all about it and hopefully soon, even though internet access may be restrictive in Korea? I’m not sure. I think you’ll love it though. I’ve never been to Korea but Hong Kong. If it’s anything like Hong Kong, it’ll be busy and fun. Always bustling! You’ll have a great time. Don’t sweat too much about the lil things like plane journeys, plenty of people willing to help you out 🙂 If you need anything for travel wise from Lush, hit me up girl! Take care and safe journey xx

  2. Michelle Macdonald says:

    Hey Nicole, hope you land safely! Let us know all the things you get up to 🙂

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