My name is Noelle, and this is my second blog post regarding studying abroad. In the past, I have travelled to Ghana with the school. This year, I am in South Korea for my final year of university. I am a Marketing major, soon to be starting class at Sung Kyun Kwan University (성균관대학교).
I chose the opportunity to study in South Korea because I travelled here three times in the past and really enjoyed the people and the country. Seeing as how this is my final year of university, I really hoped to spend it abroad. After much debate, I was able to finalize everything and book my flight to Incheon.
Previously, I have travelled here for weeks on end but never beyond a period of eight weeks. This time, I’ll be able to stay in Seoul for approximately four months. As a result, I hope to fully take advantage of my time here. I aim to improve my Korean immensely. I will be taking courses at the university and will take the time to use what I learn in daily conversation. I will also take the time to learn more about Asian history. I will be reading more into the history regarding Korea and its surrounding countries.
Before coming here, I was aware of many cultural differences. Etiquette in South Korea is much more important and common than it is in the United States. Bowing and honorific speech is important to take note of upon arriving. Dining etiquette is also major here. For example, it is important to lay the chopsticks down and never place them vertically in any dish. However, being a foreigner you will likely get a free pass. In subway cars, the seating for the elderly is likely never somewhere you want to chance sitting unless given permission to do so. More often than not, the right side of escalators are for standing and the left side are for walking. These are a few details I became aware of after a bit of research and simply trial and error.