I’m currently sitting in the airport in London after an 11 hour flight from Seoul. I didn’t really sleep the past two days because I was very busy
clubbing so it went by quickly, thankfully.
I think it’s maybe a good idea to go back to my first post in which I drew some ridiculous pictures that depicted what my wishes and goals were during my trip. Did I achieve them? You bet.
Make it to Korea
I most definitely did. I couldn’t have made up any of the crazy things we did or seen. And if it all was just a dream, then it was a really great one.
(I’ll even miss these stairs… kinda…)
Experience the culture
Most of our field trips were culture-oriented and I definitely learned a lot of things about Korean culture both today and in the past. We got to see temples and participate in tea ceremonies and even wear hanbok, but we also had K-Pop dance and visited modern day markets, so it was a good mix of both!
Make new friends
I didn’t get to talk to everyone that came on the trip but I spent quite a lot of time with some amazing people. It’s not possible to mention every single person without forgetting someone
but I’m going to try it anyway.
Firstly, my very special little Singaporean 언니 Doreen.
My waffle-munching, ‘I’m-going-to-crush-your-puny-skull’, VIXX-loving friend Cassie.
My theme park-loving & Seoul touring buddies Fiona, Brigette, Erica & Sophia.
My lovely, drama-obsessed room-mate Yvonne.
Beautiful Hyunah – I hope you get to explore Europe someday.
My Taeyang-singing, nice 아저씨 Jay. Please don’t ever stop laughing!
All of our amazing group leaders and international staff, especially the handsome and apparently very drunken Chansol. Go Group 7! Speaking of which, all of our group because we’re all amazing.
Also everyone in Basic Korean B class and our awesome teacher.
Finally, Ms. Yoon-Sun Choi, who without, I would never have made it to Korea.
While I’m here, I want to thank the International Office in Edinburgh for providing me with this amazing experience. I will be eternally grateful and promise not to send you any more weird essays in hopes of getting scholarships. This trip (and my trip to Canada) has made the past few weeks the best summer of my life. I’ve learned so many things about the world and myself and made so many new friends that I’m sure I’ll be speaking to for life. Thank you!
I went with a 16kg suitcase and came back with one weighing 22.8kg (the limit is 23kg). If that’s not great organisation to avoid expensive baggage fees I don’t know what is.
Korean language skills
I definitely know more Korean than I did before I got here, but not enough to really have much of a conversation with anyone, unless they want affirmation that there are definitely three bowls of kimchi on the desk. But I can ask questions and count and conjugate verbs so it’s a really good base to start from to improve and learn more (which I really want to do!).
I think my confidence has improved a lot – I asked a lot of questions on the trip and tried to be as friendly as possible. I’m just a shy person by nature but I think I have more confidence in myself. Everyone on the program is so diverse from all our different cultures and seeing other people who were passionate about sharing things about their country made me want to share more about mine and try to express myself better.
Here’s some pictures from my last week at Chung-Ang University ISP 2014! 🙂
Tour of the National Assembly building
Kukkiwon International Taekwondo Centre
Pajeon for dinner
and also maybe makkoli
Fish market in Busan (D:)
This is it! I’m so sad that the time passed so quickly but so happy that I had the chance to participate in this summer program. If you ever get the chance to do this, please do, because it’s the most exciting, tiring, terrifying and rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life. And you’ll be crying so much on the last day that someone will give you a balloon in an attempt to make you feel better.
Thank you for sort of coming on this crazy journey with me. I’ll never forget my time in Korea and really hope to visit (or stay for longer) sometime in the future.