All Goods Things Must Come to an End

Programs for this blog post

Arts + Sciences

Authored By:

Hailey B.

My time here in Seoul has been full of experiences I will never forget. My intercultural competence and tolerance has been challenged and pushed, but through the lessons I learned here I have been able to overcome differences. It is terribly sad to be writing my final blog post, but it just means there is now a new adventure ready to start.

Throughout the entire semester, CIEE has been nothing but a positive. I want to express my gratitude and genuine like towards the program and staff. I believe that CIEE is the best study abroad program to choose for anyone coming to Seoul. From the beginning there was always a feeling of comfort and support, even before getting to Seoul. When I have spoken to students in other programs outside of CIEE, there is always uncertainness and not knowing who to reach out to in case of emergency or for general questions. However, the CIEE team spends time making meaningful relationships with their students reassuring that they will be able to help with anything. With an online orientation before arrival and three day in person orientation, CIEE makes sure their students are prepared for surviving in their new environment. 

Along with this, CIEE offered many activities and opportunities for students to participate in cultural activities and excursions. These almost always being free. My favorite activity CIEE offered was the ceramics trip to Mungyeongsaejae. This trip allowed students to see the beautiful countryside and meet one of Koreas national treasure and create a piece of pottery with him. Afterwards we were taken to a delicious restaurant and walked around a nearby palace. It was an all day experience where we learned about Korean culture and its history. On this trip two of CIEE's staff joined and interacted with the students, making sure everyone had someone to talk to and having fun. This is just one instance of the CIEE staff members going above and beyond by creating a safe and comfortable space for their students. 

I also enrolled in the CIEE course, Intercultural Communication and Leadership. Throughout this course I learned valuable skills for dealing with a new culture and how to react to it. It was very helpful with my ability to adjust to the culture in Seoul and deal with feeling different. The class was always one where we engaged in conversation and expressed our difficulties with being in a new culture. Thanks to this class we all were able to approach our differences better. 

CIEE is definitely one of the reasons I was able to have such a memorable and amazing experience here in South Korea. My friends and I met through CIEE and some of our best memories are at CIEE events. We all love the staff and are so thankful for their hard work. I could not have had a better experience. I want anyone who is uncertain about studying abroad through CIEE, don't be, you will have the best time, trust me.