Friday, March 20, 2015

Overall Impressions of Seoul

Overall I have to say that my experience in Korea was nothing short of spectacular and I will easily go back in a heart beat if I could. I will always remember this trip as one of the best ones that I have ever taken and I say that as someone that has been fortunate enough to travel the world many times and has been on more planes than I care to remember. I will always remember the delicious food, the hospitable people and the adventurous feeling each night when I went out. I had no idea what to expect because I had never gone to Asia and the majority of the places I went to were either in Europe or the Middle and I was ready to get out of my comfort zone and experience a whole new part of the world. Now having returned to the states I can say that I love everything about my experience in Korea from the people I met, to the food I ate, to the places I saw, I loved it all.

               From the delicious octopus bibimbap that made me feel like I was in heaven from the first bite to the last to the spectacualr view of the Seoul tower, I felt extremely thankful that I made the decision to sign up for this class and to do my first Study Abroad program in Korea. I felt like everything I did made me a more open minded, confident and independent person because I was so far away from home in a place that I had never been to before, placed in a culture that I wasn't sure I could adjust. I found that I was able to not only adjust to the culture but I did so much to the point were I'm now having withdrawals as I found myself bowing slightly to a Starbucks barista.

I had a very interesting learning experience in almost every activity that we did from seeing the National Museum of Contemporary History to visiting the DMZ to  hearing the stories of the North Korean refugees to seeing Korea University. I felt like everything we did enhanced my knowledge about Korean culture, politics or both.

One of the things that I loved about Korea was just how big the nightlife was, there is always     something to do and always something see and I was never ever bored. Everywhere I looked there were markets, restaurants, bars, night clubs, karaoke bars and so much more that I could write paragraphs about and the best part was that they were almost all in walking distance of the hotel.

This was a big difference between American nightlife, which is pretty much off limits to anyone who is under 21 and you usually have to go looking for something to do and need to drive to find it. I had a blast experiencing the night life and getting to know my fellow classmates a lot better than I would have if this course was taught completely in the classroom. I had fun meeting and going out with students at KU and most of all, SINGING KARAOKE. 

Since coming to the U.S I've experienced somewhat of a reverse culture shock and I always want Korean food. I honestly feel like this one post does not do the trip or my experiences on it justice at all. I feel like I got the most out of my first Study Abroad experience and I can't wait to do another one and have it hopefully be in Korea. To end my post, I want to say that the biggest thing that I enjoyed about my stay in Korea and that I feel made the trip for me was the kindness and hospitality of the Korean people, whenever I needed help with anything I felt like I was assisted in the most genuine way possible. That for me made the trip because I've visited other countries that were not as kind to foreigners as Korea was, with that being said I will definitely head back in heartbeat.

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