This time I’ll try and keep it short and sweet:
As my days here in South Korea dwindle down and my friends leave one-by-one, I can’t help but feel nostalgic as I reflect upon the amazing experience I had here as a student. Going into this study-abroad experience, I knew that the semester would be short, but I didn’t anticipate that time would fly by quite so fast, nor did I anticipate making such great relationships with people that I would be saddened by the thought of leaving. I came to Korea hoping to gain more knowledge but ended up gaining so much more: new friends and life experiences. I enjoyed these short few months here so much that I didn’t even realize how quickly the time was passing, and before I knew it, it was time for me to pack my bags as well. So in memory of the amazing experience I’ve had here, out of gratitude for the dear friends that I made, and in the hopes that more Longhorns will come study here in the future, I figure the best thing I can do now is show you a recap of the moments and memories I made during my studies here in Seoul.
Now without further ado, I present to you a collection of gifs I made that capture glimpses of what it was like to live and study in Seoul, South Korea. Enjoy~
My friends & I went on outings to the Han River, where we rode bumper-boats, biked, and went sight-seeing.
We competed at the SNU Buddy Olympics…
…and hiked on the mountain behind SNU.
We tried out the latest fashions…
…as well as the hottest street food;
And we ate oh-so-much delicious Korean-barbeque
(and some Southern barbeque as well—to spice things up a bit).
We also checked out Seoul Fashion Week…
…and did a temple-stay at Bongseonsa Buddhist temple.
Later, we laughed at larvae at the Lantern Festival…
…and de-stressed from midterms at the multimedia plaza of one of SNU’s libraries.
Once midterms were over, we took a weekend trip to Busan…
…and a few weekends later, made dinner at our Airbnb.
That same weekend, we explored Gangnam…
Then sometime during our finals weeks, it snowed.
With the icy winter settling in and with our work set in front of us we studied for our exams and wrote our papers.
When it was all said and done, all that was left was to enjoy the last few days we had with each other by celebrating the many friendships we’d made, the love we’d shared, and the lessons we’d learned.
Again and again, we tried to catch ‘em all…
…and gave up, gaming at other arcades.
Finally, when it was time to say “goodbye” to our new friends…
…we parted ways after noreabang-ing the night away.
So, after all the fun and enjoyment, what was it that I learned? Many things, but to name a few…
I learned that regardless of the differences that our societies sometimes condition us to believe exist between us as people, there are so many things that we as human beings share with one another—regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, etc. Whether this be something as simple as a shared sense of humor on the individual level, or something as complex as shared aspects of culture on the societal level, there are countless things about us that we share (or have the potential to share) with one another when we forget the boundaries we sometimes create in our minds and learn to relate with one another.
To name another (although this may sound entirely random): the importance of sleep and rest. After attending a university that is essentially the Korean equivalent of Harvard and witnessing firsthand how things such as sleep deprivation and extreme stress can be detrimental towards a person’s health—both mentally and physically—I’ve realized how incredibly crucial it is for you to take care of your health. To not do so is to not only harm yourself, but to also stunt your potential or prevent yourself from contributing to your community/society/nation/world’s betterment; however, to care well for yourself is to set the basis in your own life to not only grow as a person, but also make a positive impact or “change the world.”
And finally—the importance of every one of us as human beings. Though life is oftentimes (if not always) a struggle, and great stress or suffering may sometimes fill our days, there is so much that each of us has to share—so much that is unique about each of us as people.
For example, I cannot imagine what my study abroad experience would have been like had I not met the people that I did and gotten to know them over time. The friends I made here definitely made a positive impact upon my life (and I’m hoping I in theirs) …and I guess the same goes for life as well: each person we meet makes an impact upon our lives in some way or another, and us in theirs. While the impact that other people (and/or society) make(s) upon us may not necessarily be within our control, the impact we make upon others—whether it be positive or negative—is in our control.
So, I close by saying to anyone that is considering studying abroad, living, or even just visiting South Korea (or any foreign country, for that matter): do it. Even if your aim isn’t to travel abroad to study, per se, you might be surprised at just how much you can learn about life from interacting with different people in a single day.
Signing out from Seoul, South Korea, & sending you much love for the holidays,
This post was contributed by Kason Kebaso, a 2018 Global Ambassador. Kason is majoring in International Relations & Global Studies and minoring in Korean.
Don’t get left behind. Read more about Kason’s experience at Seoul National University>>
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