This Is Why I Studied Abroad
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Student Life

This Is Why I Studied Abroad

And hopefully, it will be why you decide to go abroad too.

This Is Why I Studied Abroad

The following is the body of an email I'm sending to a person I met last week. That person is a grad student who is applying for a scholarship to study and obtain her master's degree in Korea, and having gone there myself to study for even a brief summer session she wanted any and all input on my experience there, particularly 1) why I chose Korea, and 2) how it impacted me. I thought it would be a good, authentic way to inspire others to find ways to be able to study abroad, and so I decided to share it here.


My name is Josh, and I'm one of the people you gave your business card to at the Korea table at the Study Abroad mixer last week. And so this is my "testimonial" about studying in Korea.

I particularly chose Korea because of my personal interest in the culture. As a foreign language buff, I started learning the language before actually getting interested in the culture itself. Since language is very closely tied to culture, however, a few years in I started getting hooked on what Korea had to offer - music, food, style, history, all new perspectives to me. By the time I had started freshman year, I knew that I wanted to study abroad there. Fast-forward to this past summer, I got the chance to for but six short weeks.

In such a short period of time, however, I gained many new experiences. I had already stayed in China for a month in the past, so I had a vague idea of what to expect (namely a humid, monsoon season environment with good prices for food). What I had absorbed about Korean culture from my own cultural exploration and from my language classes were still very enlightening and proved very beneficial in literally living there for a month and a half. What I couldn't get from that more general surface-level information was the experience itself. I met new people that became new friends. I tried new foods I had only heard about, saw places firsthand that I had only seen in pictures. From an educational standpoint I learned about new ways of thinking from professors at my hosting university. In a nutshell, I had no culture shock per se, but I was still shocked by how much culture I was missing out on, only knowing about the country from secondhand information. Besides souvenirs, I also took home with me both new knowledge and wisdom to apply to my life that I would probably learn much later in life here (if ever!!) had I not gone at all.

That's my condensed, flowery, vaguely-positive version of my experience there, I guess. If anything I definitely don't regret going at all, and my friends and I would definitely go back in a heartbeat (albeit without classes to worry about). If you would like any more detailed information, don't hesitate to ask; this is definitely a topic I'll never get tired talking about!!

Good luck with your application!

- Joshua Laroya

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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