Travelling alone to a new city for the first time can be daunting, especially when you don’t know the language and everything is foreign. Fortunately, Seoul happens to be a very safe, tourist friendly place so I settled in quite easily. And that brief moment of fear I had as I landed was quickly replaced by the wonderment of this bright, bustling city.
I arrived a week earlier than when my semester started, and I’m glad I did. It gave me time to explore the city on my own – do some seoul searching. And I loved it! Coming from an asian background and having been born and raised in Australia, it just makes sense for me to love the fusion of the traditional asian and the modern culture that is representative of Seoul. It’s a big city though and I barely scraped the surface in the first week but I managed to take in some sightseeing and do quite a lot of shopping. Korea is the land of cosmetics and so naturally, I splurged. So cheap!
Surprisingly, I haven’t had any major culture shocks. The biggest thing is probably the prevalent drinking culture. But I expected that because the nightlife here is crazy! And I’m proud to say I’ve picked up quite a bit of Korean. I’m especially confident in my taxi and ordering food talk. And segueing into food – the food is amazing! I love asian food so this is perfect for me. There are so many restaurants, bars and cafes that line every street of Seoul. You will never be hungry and never not be satisfied.
Now about Sogang University! Although I’ve only attended a week of classes, I believe it’ll be a good semester. The courses I chose are difficult so I do have work cut out for me but it shouldn’t be that bad. Everyone has been very welcoming, so admin-wise it’s been easy. The classes here are much smaller than in UTS, and the professors; much stricter– at least in my subjects. And I think this system is better for me personally, as I work better when there’s more pressure on me.
Living in the dorms is an experience. Honestly, my body has not adjusted well as my bed is very hard so my back hurts all day and there’s a lot of walking and I’m not very athletic, so there’s that. The paths here are generally very turbulent and hilly so I’ve fallen down quite a bit and my knees have suffered. BUT please don’t let my first world problems deter you. The new friendships I’ve made with people from all around the world and the new study experiences that I am and will be a part of is very exciting and I very much look forward to it. I am very happy I chose Seoul and Sogang University, and I know I will miss it when it’s all over. Until then, I hope everyone has a great time on their exchange!
Kathy Nguyen 99141956, Business