Come Monday morning, I will be in Seoul, South Korea where I will spend five weeks studying the culture and visiting some friends. Usually, when I mention that I am going to Korea, I hear one of two questions: “South Korea, right, not North?” or “So why Korea?” First of all, yes, I am visiting South Korea, not North.
Now that I have that out of the way, for me, the trip to South Korea was an obvious choice. Since freshman year of college, this country has grown close to my heart. My interest in the culture was first peaked by Korean pop music and dramas and by my roommate's experiences in the country. Throughout my time at college, I met several foreign exchange students from South Korea who became close friends. These friendships helped me develop a deeper curiosity and appreciation for the culture of South Korea and for its relationship with America.
Now that my trip is finally becoming a reality, I am beyond excited! I am looking forward to a chance to develop a better understanding of Korea and its history, to gain a fresh perspective on the world, and to meet new friends.
I plan to keep you updated on my trip, and in preparation for my trip, I would like to share a list of goals for my time in Korea.
1. Try a new food.
Thanks to my friends, I have tried a few Korean dishes at restaurants, but I know there will be plenty of new foods to try.
2. Learn a little Korean.
I know a few simple words and the written alphabet, but I am not a Korean language expert by any means. Sadly, I am a very slow learner, but I would like to learn a couple new phrases while I am there.
3. Attend a Korean church service.
My dad pretty much cemented in me that when it's Sunday, you go to church. I am looking forward to the opportunity to worship in a different language.
4. Take more pictures.
I must admit, I'm bad at sharing pictures and remembering to take pictures in the first place. So for this trip, I want to change that!
5. Learn more about the relations between North and South Korea.
North Korea has been on the news a lot lately, especially with the threats of nuclear weapons. I will be interested to learn about the South Korean perspective on North Korea.
6. Try Korean karaoke.
I have heard a lot about this from my friends, and it sounds like a lot of fun!
7. Learn about Korean literature.
As an English major, literature is an obvious interest of mine, and this is an area of the culture I know next to nothing about.
8. Survive the airport and customs without freaking out.
I tend to worry needlessly, so this is a big one for me. Even though I have flown before and traveled overseas before, this is my first time going alone.
9. Visit a home.
10. Visit a place of historical significance.
11. Visit a place of current significance.
That's all for now! I’ll try to keep you updated on my progress with my goals and with my adventures in Seoul. 안녕!