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By: Bamkul

Going to another country and studying there is challenging, perhaps as a result of the language and cultural differences, but doing so will give you the opportunity to see and experience a lot of new things, which will help you mature. This time around, I’m in Korea, and I’ve learned a lot there. I’ll talk about my time there in this blog and how it made for an incredible 10 days.

“Studying abroad is about experiencing a foreign country — and the most beautiful, important part of a country’s culture is its people.”

Alexander Kolker

I truly have a desire to go on an “exchange” to try studying or living for a short time is a common goal. To comprehend the culture and way of life in that country. At the same time, it faces the task of adapting and managing everything on its own, under the management system custom and among those who did not know each other before. So, those who go on an exchange may have different lifestyles and perspectives on the world than the original.

CHUNG ANG UNIVERSITY, SEOUL

How did I join this program?

Hello everyone, welcome to my blog. First of all my host university is Chung-Ang University in Seoul, South Korea, as you can see from the video above. The campus is very pretty. Some of you may know this University. I joined this program through the Office of International Affairs, at Thammasat University. The program I joined is CAU Winter Program 2023. I thought I would see snow if I go there in winter but unfortunately, there is no snow.

I went abroad when I was young and that is the beginning of why I really want to go exchange, I love exploring new things, especially the culture which is why I decided to join the program. I have met many people from different countries, including Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, and Indonesia, they are all so nice and adorable and I have had a chance to meet them again, we have had such an amazing 10 days together that I cannot forget about it.

In this exchange study, the subject studied was Korean. Even though we only study for a short time, there is a final exam to assess our Korean. I would say it is really difficult. However, it’s worth it because I can earn credits overall 3 credits which is great. There are two study sections here, and the daily timetable varies. Sometimes we learn Korean in the morning and afternoon, and other times we learn Korean and participate in a cultural activity in the afternoon. I particularly enjoy activity one.

How did this experience change me?

Let’s talk about how my Korean improve, honestly, I love watching Korean dramas, so some phases that say in drama I remember and know the meaning of, such as Hello (안녕하세요 an-nyeong-ha-se-yo) and Thank you 감사합니다 (gam-sa-ham-ni-da) / 고마워요 (go-ma-wo-yo). The worst problem I have is that I can’t read Korean, even though it’s incredibly important. I am limited to speaking only words and sentences. Although learning Korean is really difficult for me, I believe I have the potential and would like to visit Korea to study the language. It has taught me to be patient, practice a lot, and compete with myself. I believe this is because Korean education includes a lot of competition in many areas, which motivates me to do my very best to practice Korean. I believe that attending there has improved my ability to concentrate, and I am aware that competition with oneself is the most beneficial of all. Only you can know your strengths and weaknesses and work to gradually improve them.

me studying for an examination at night

10 reasons why I choose to go exchange in Seoul

  1. I love Seoul, and to be honest, I really want to study there. The weather is nice and the people here are very kind.
  2. To broaden horizons and learn about different worlds. The biggest reason many people want to go out and see what the outside world is like. Is it as beautiful as we see in the media or not? For me, I want to see on my own something that is not available in Thailand, such as the winter season, snow, festivals, tourist attractions of that country, and more.
  3. To have the skills to live with others. I have the chance to practice living with people who speak a different language from me. Learn to live with people with different cultures, ideas, or lifestyles. In the end, it aids me in helping them acquire adaptable skills so they can get along with others.
  4. Get out of my comfort zone. Actually, my comfort zone is my house because I have a lovely pet who is my best friend. Being abroad makes me away from him. I would say I really miss my dog but however, but I also want to live on my own as well.
  5. To improve language and communication skills. Going abroad to study is a great opportunity to force me to speak Korean in order to be able to communicate with others as some Koreans don’t understand English.
  6. To learn to adapt to different situations. When you go abroad where cultures are different, you may experience Culture Shock. This will be an opportunity for students to learn to adapt and be able to live with any culture. or even dealing with various problems that come into play
  7. Having more responsibility
  8. To have friendships with friends and family abroad
  9. To have higher endurance
  10. To know how to plan your life systematically

“Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself”

Holstee Manifesto, The Wedding Day

Culture Shock in Korea

  1. Let’s get drunk till 6 A.M. Many people have probably heard that Koreans drink heavily and have great socialization because Korea has a very intense” drinking culture”, and eats this life has never eaten soju before. And it’s not just finishing eating at one restaurant, getting drunk, and then dispersing to go home because Korean people eat until the sky is bright! It’s called a “drinking culture” that never ends. Continue with karaoke, go on and on, and end up at a hangover soup restaurant open 24 hours.
  2. Everyone dresses up in all black. In the Hongdae area, most Korean teenagers wear all black and their style is very similar.
  3. Couple Culture or the culture of lovers is something that Korea plays a major role in the most! Wherever you go, you will see a lot of couples flirting together. The important thing is that they like to dress alike, like a match, with the same shirt, same socks, and same shoes. Sometimes I also hang a keychain of cute dolls. That’s adorable.
  4. Many Karaoke rooms in front of the university.
  5. Curfew!!! There is still a curfew for University students who live in the dormitory which is questionable to me.

Cultural Activity that I have a chance to do in Korea ><

Making Korean traditional stamp & N Seoul Tower

With the program, I have spent the ten days learning about korean traditional events. I have a much better understanding of Korean culture as well. I’m grateful for the chance to try a lot of new things. Well, there are roughly 7 things I did in Korea. It was a very enjoyable experience.

  1. Making Korean traditional stamps, on the first day I made Making Korean traditional stamps, on my first day I made a seal of my name (in the picture above), it is very traditional because Korean used stamp or seal to sign their names on personal document, official documents, or contracts to show legal consent and authorship. My stamp is made from jade as you see in the picture.
  2. N Seoul tower or Namsan tower, located in the center of Seoul, is one of the landmarks in Seoul that everyone should go to. You can overlook Seoul at glance from the view of Namsan tower. For this activity, I can see a beautiful view, and it is more pretty at night. Also, there is also a locket where you and your lover can hang together.
  3. Hanbok Palace tour, so the place I went is Gyeongbok Palace, or the “Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven”, where I wear a hanbok dress, it is very pretty and blinks, literally, my first time wearing (a Korean traditional outfit). For this activity, I have a chance to walk around the Palace and feel the traditions of the Joseon Dynasty and feel like I was back in that time.
  4. Skiing, at first I don’t like this activity because I am afraid of heights, but once I learn how to ski, I start to like it. I feel like this activity really test my patience because ski shoes are very uncomfortable but once I try to ski it gets better. For this activity, I take a ski lesson and then I start skiing on my own, so much fun.
  5. K-Pop dance lesson!! In this activity, I learned how to dance to K-pop songs which is very unforgettable memories. The song I dance to is Candy by NCT DREAM.
  6. Nanta Show is a show that shows culinary skills, and blends acrobatics, material art, and music. In this show, I really enjoy the show because the skill of performance is very good at sliced and diced to percussive perfection. I got very goosebumps while watching the show.
  7. The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, which is called MMCA, is where a lot of exhibitions are held. I feel like this activity very open me to explore many artworks, I really enjoy Korean modern and contemporary art in Korea.
Hanbok Palace Tour
SKIING DAY!!
K-POP DANCE LESSON
K-POP LESSON, NANTA SHOW, and National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

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