One of our area high school students, Valerie, is currently studying Korean in Seoul, South Korea. We asked her to say a few words about her experience:
Hello! I would like to thank the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh for awarding me with an apprenticeship that eventually yielded me the opportunity to study at Sogang University this Summer in Seoul, South Korea. So far, it has been an extremely rewarding experience and I haven’t experienced much culture shock yet in these past 2 weeks that I’ve been here because everything is so new and exciting. It is a completely different world studying abroad here because it is such a homogenous country.
Every day on the subway I’m stared at because many people here in Korea rarely see a waeguk-saram (or foreigner). Many people also automatically ask me why I’m here. They aren’t ever rude, just genuinely intrigued that a foreigner would come to study Korean! I find it sort of fun to think that I actually stand out amongst such a large amount of people! I have never been thrown into a situation where everyone around me was speaking a different language than I knew, but this full-immersion experience in school and with my host family has been extremely useful in my language-learning skills and life-experience.
I still have a ways to go and so much left to see, but so far, studying abroad has been the best experience of my life! I would like to encourage everyone to study abroad because honestly, despite how scary it can seem to drop everything and leave the country, it is a thrilling and life-changing opportunity that you won’t regret!
Related Breaking News: South Korea is struggling with record-setting amounts of rainfall this summer, causing a landslide that left more than 30 people dead. For more information on this, please click here.