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Zachary's Story: Experiences in South Korea

[Blog written by Zachary]

Zachary's February Update

Hello everyone!

As I write this, it is still winter vacation in South Korea, but classes will begin again about two weeks. Actually, the first academic semester begins here in March, as opposed to beginning in September like in western countries. I want to share my recent trip to Seoul with you, and also some updates on classes and what I plan to do next semester.

My friend and I visited Hongdae (one of the many precincts) in Seoul, the capital city, and I was able to try a Korean karaoke room for the first time. Since it is very popular, there are many karaoke rooms along the streets! It was a very interesting experience, and even though I can't sing, it was still fun despite the embarrassment. We also checked out Lotte World! It is a famous Disney World-style amusement park in Seoul. Unfortunately, we were unlucky with the weather, so we stayed on the inside part of the park, but waiting in lines for those rides took hours, anyway.

At this point, I am very comfortable speaking Korean and can order whatever I want without any help. This is in contrast to when I first arrived and felt rather uncomfortable and hesitant to order anything. I also had some difficulty understanding when other people spoke. I feel great change!
Anyway, it was very crowded, probably due to it being around Valentine's day. The entrance to the park is connected to the underground subway area, so you don't actually enter it from the outside. It is a little hard to explain, but it is very interesting. Also, of course, there are great shopping areas around there, which are along the underground malls.

Moving on to what’s in store for the next semester...

I have job interview next week for the International Writing Center that I mentioned a while ago. Now that I have traveled quite a bit and gotten over the initial amazement of being here, it will probably be my main focus along with classes. If chosen, I can receive pay and also academic credits. The classes I will be taking are Anglo-American Law, Korean Language II, Modern Korean Society, Fundamental Microbiology, and two other elective classes. I will try to get Physics I and Calculus I for electives, because I feel almost certain that changing my major to Physics will be a good move for me. It would be nice to get an edge on that learning so when I return to BSU I can shoot for going to graduate school.

I am very excited to be able to meet new people here once again and have more great experiences as my time here draws to an end.

These days, I am missing some aspects of the United States. The general comfort level, openness, ease of communication, and all the dear people I already know. I also can't deny that I miss good old genuine American cheeseburgers and pizza. However, just four more months, and I will be returning.


I attached some photos of food which includes meat dumplings - delicious! As promised, I went to downtown again in Daegu before Christmas time (with my friend), and while there we went to the cinema and saw the new Star Wars movie. In Korea, most of the movies are in English (Hollywood movies) but have Korean subtitles. Also, you've never seen my friends I have made over here at the university, so I also have a picture with them! Lastly, I wanted to show the certificate for my Korean government scholarship - very proud. 

Being here in South Korea so far has been life changing. I've met so many awesome friends, experienced great things and eaten lots of food, of course! Not only am I discovering more of the outside world, but I am also discovering myself more. After the second half of my first semester here in Korea, I began to really think about what I want to do in life, and I think it is also representative of me changing as a person.


When I first entered university, I thought I wanted to be in Computer Science for sure. But, then I realized I don't have quite a passion for sitting down and mainly programming a lot that I had before. Before I was a shy, timid, and not a very active being in retrospect, and now I am growing more to be outgoing and I am gaining the ability to truly experience the world. Then, I think I had a realization that I want to live a life where I am working actively with other people and striving for something. Preferably not for a corporation, or strictly for money's sake. 
Language, the outside world, politics and government among my interests, I gave Political Science/International Affairs a good look and I also felt something passionate about it in me, given my current experience. I'm still thinking about it, but I feel it would be an interesting path for me. Earning a Master's degree in that field in South Korea as well would complement it perfectly, and I may develop as a leader and gain more experience once I return to BSU and apply for the study abroad ambassador program, and perfecting my language skill along the way. I feel as though I want to learn all about the world, and be involved in it, especially here in South Korea. 

Thank you to all who have made this experience possible for me, I am so grateful!

Read more of Zachary's adventures!







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