New chapter, new horizons - Hello Seoul!

Authored by:
Linda Z.

Linda Z.

So, uhh...it begins. Hello! Honestly, when planning my studying abroad journey, I initially was not expecting to do so while in a pandemic. But here we are! Going as far back to my highschool days, this has always been at the top of the list of things I want to accomplish as part of my college experience.

As a theatre major, the options for an abroad program is very limited, so I switched to the next best option - choosing a program that allows me to further explore my minor while knocking off some gen.ed credits on the side (because multi-tasking is great and I'd like to graudate on-time).  

The prospect of studying abroad is very exciting and seeing other students' experiences (and hours of youtube vlog research) left room to imagine whatever I hoped to accomplish during the journey. There were serveral check marks that I knew were a must for my program of choice: being able to learn a new language, great food, and bustling performing arts scene. And the Seoul program offered exactly what I wanted! Maybe it's slightly analytical, but it did dramatically narrow down the amount of destinations presented. 

Fastforward to mid-Feburary, as I got off my wonderful flight with Korean Airlines (thank you attendant for the cozy blanket), immigration folder in hand, I shuffled along with the crowd towards customs. Perhaps it's from the long wait, or the fact that it's been a while since I've been abroad, I rehearsed over and over all the basic korean phrases I've prepared, flipping through my documents anxiously.

After a while, I manage to smoothly go through customs with some assistance here and there. On that note, although the staff were super attentive, though it's still better to at least know a couple of korean phrases. The Korean government took extra care to ensure everyone follows the covid policy, thus I ended up downloading 2 covid syptom apps: one to report to the specific immigration officer, the other to the general government for the duration of my quarantine. At the end, the officer pointed me to the direction of the quarantine taxi pick-up area and sent me on my merry way. The quarantine food was pretty ok; it's not as hyped up as soical media makes it out to be, but hey - it's still good meal. 

I do have to say though, after some time being and adjusting (I think I'm adjusting) in Seoul, it's a great change to start the year somewhere new and getting to meet new friends!

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