Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Saying goodbye is never easy. However, I never knew it was going to be this hard to say goodbye to people I only knew for 5 weeks. It felt like we knew each other for such a long time yet we felt as if we just landed yesterday at Incheon International Airport. For the last two weeks of the University of Seoul's International Summer School 2010 program, students went on trips to Beijing, Japan or southern cities in South Korea. I chose to go to the southern cities in South Korea and although I had a fun time, I regret not going on the Japan trip. My buddy and all my close friends were in Japan while I was in Gyeongju and Andong for four days. Nonetheless, it was a fun trip aside from the hot temperature and the massive amounts of temples, Confucian schools and traditional houses that we went to. We went rafting and the hotel we stayed in was beautiful with a gorgeous view (pictures will come soon, I promise!).
During the last week, no one wanted to acknowledge that the program was coming to an end. We didn't want our time together to end. It seemed like we just got to begin these relationships. How could they end so soon? At the airport, many of us cried. We promised each other that we'd see each other on the other side of the world, in New York and we'll do the same for them as they did to us - be amazing tour guides to our own city and just to spend time with them. Finals Day came and went - classes were very interesting and even I picked up a bit of Korean language. I can read Korean but I don't know what it means since there are words and an alphabet system.
Coming back home feels strange. I feel a little empty inside. We're trying to keep in touch with everyone on Skype and through Facebook but it doesn't seem like it's enough. For any of you who are reading this and wondering to yourself, should I study abroad? My answer is yes. You might question yourself and ask, "Will I fit in?", "What if I don't know the language?", "Will I regret it?", "Would it be too much money?" and other worries. My answers are, depending on the country, no, you won't fit in. In South Korea, I fit in cause I was Asian and many people took me for a native Korean. However, Chris and Jesse, who are Caucasian, did not fit in. However, that should not stop you from taking this opportunity to go study abroad wherever you want. Yes, it may be uncomfortable and yes, people may look at you but in a few days, you'll get used to it. If you don't know the language, that's fine. In South Korea, I knew NO Korean but that didn't stop me from having a good time and making a lot of wonderful friends. Will you regret it? Absolutely not. I was afraid that I would be wasting 5 weeks in Seoul studying abroad and boy, was I wrong. It was the most amazing summer I've ever had. If you're worried about financial issues, University of Seoul's International Summer School is very, very, very wallet friendly. I spent less than $3,000 and that includes my $1,900 roundtrip plane ticket. Dorming was absolutely free and food is INSANELY cheap - I'm talking you don't pay more than 10 USD for 3 meals a day cheap! I hope that through this blog, many of you decide to take the chance to study abroad or at least heavily consider it.
Since this post is sort of long and I have way too many pictures I need to post, I will do so in the next post tomorrow. Until then, enjoy and let's hope I get some sleep tonight. Good morning!