I MISS KOREA A LOT ;-;

Hey everyone! Nothing really has been happening lately but I decided to post because I’m having a really emotional moment 😦

I recently made a friend in America who read my blog and wanted to ask me a few questions. We’re talking about student exchange right now and so I decided to look through my old blog posts and now I just want to cry because I MISS KOREA SO SO MUCH!!!

I don’t even know why I miss it so much but I guess it’s my second home. I miss going out at night and having fun and I miss Iola and Ekelien and I miss Hongdae and ALL OF KOREA JUST ALL OF IT

Yeah that’s really all I have to say, I guess this demonstrates how much of an impact my exchange had on me, even though I only went for 5 months and not a year :/

Until later,
Skye

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Little Update~

Happy New Year everyone! I meant to write a post after I came back from Korea but the time flew away and now it’s the middle of January and I’ve been back for like, a month…

I was sad I didn’t have more time in Korea, I would’ve liked to catch up with more friends and maybe spent some time with my host sister. But I was so glad that I could go back and see everything and show my mum all the places I loved and mentioned in my blog posts.

The lady that first interviewed me for my exchange comes into my work sometimes for a coffee, and I got to tell her I went back to Korea and so was so happy for me so that was really nice~

The one thing I wanted to focus my post on (if I had done a post after I came back) was that going there on holiday made me realise how different student exchange is from going there as a tourist. It felt like a completely different place because I wasn’t living there, I was staying at a hotel and sightseeing every day.

When I was on exchange I kind of thought of myself as better than tourists (don’t judge me haha), kind of like ‘ooh well I actually live here while you’re just on holiday’ type of thing and I felt like my korean school uniform set me out of the tourist category. This time I was the tourist, and being a tourist in a place I think of as my second home really didn’t go down well with me- I’m just telling it like it was.

I really realised how different living in a country is to just visiting and so I’m so so so glad I decided to experience living there. Going back to Korea really made me appreciate my student exchange more.

Another thing I realised is what amazing friends I have over there. When I left Korea I felt a little bit disappointed that I hadn’t really made any really really close korean friends over there (it was a bit silly of me to think that I would make really really close friends with me only being there for 5 months and my korean being very limited when I got there) but when I went back I messaged some people and some people messaged me and I realised that I really did meet some amazing people over there and this year I will definitely try harder to keep in touch with them more.

If I think of anything else I realised whilst in Korea this time I will edit this post~

Lastly I just wanna say thanks to all of the people who read my blog. I’ve received a few comments recently saying that they’ve read all my posts or my blog has helped them learn about student exchange and it actually makes me so happy that people can learn from my experiences or just enjoy reading about them. I LOVE YOU ALL ❤️❤️❤️

Until later,
Skye

I’M IN KOREA YO

So I’m back in Korea!
It feels completely different to last time-it just goes to show how different student exchange is from a holiday. I really don’t like being a tourist in the country I feel is a second home!!
I’ve messaged my host family and am meeting up with them in a few days, I’ve also messaged some of my closest friends so we can catch up. It’ll be good to see them again.
I’m also going to Jeju Island, an island south of Korea. I didn’t get a chance to go there last year so it’ll be good to see something new!
I also can’t wait to go to Hongdae again, ugh I love that place.
Until later,
Skye

Anniversary <3

One year ago today, I arrived in Korea. Iola, Ekelien and I are going to have a little Skype party and eat ramyeon and go through photos and memories. We all really miss Korea and going places together. 

And some good news! I’ll hopefully be able to go to Sydney in my September school holidays and stay with Iola for a week! And my mum and I are still planning to go to Korea in December! I’m really excited to go back and see everything again. Especially go to Hongdae 😀

Until later,

Skye

Remembering Korea #2

When I was in Korea Iola, Ekelien and I went to the Korean War Memorial. Before we looked around at everything we went to a cafeteria-type place to get lunch. There were lots of army men having lunch in the cafeteria and I paid Iola 4,000W ($4) to ask one of them if they knew Leeteuk from Super Junior xDDD I couldn’t believe she actually did it…

Until later,

Skye

Remembering Korea #1

One of my favourite things to do in Korea was go to Hongdae on a Friday or Saturday night. 

On those nights the atmosphere would always be the best because of the buskers that would line the streets. You go out from the train station, walk down a little bit and you’d see heaps of people crowded around lone singers or bands that were always so so talented.

Literally every time I was in Hongdae and had to catch the train back home because one of my friends had a curfew we’d get caught up watching the buskers on the way to the station and end up saying ‘5 more minutes…’ 

I also remember watching a guy swallow a balloon O.o 

Until later,

Skye

Skye

Pros & Cons of Student Exchange

PROS

  • If you learn a new language, you can learn how the native speakers actually speak – none of this textbook stuff that is sometimes unnatural.
  • You make so many amazing new friends & international connections
  • You learn what it’s like to live in another country and in a different culture, it’s not just a holiday
  • You become more independent and more able to take care of yourself
  • You get to try lots of new foods and cultural experiences that are different from your life at home
  • You can get away from day-to-day life at home that never changes
  • You become a stronger person able to deal with situations of loneliness, homesickness, etc.
  • You get a second family
  • Everyone is nice to you because you’re the new, interesting but scary foreigner!
  • There are scholarships available, if you get one of those the price will be significantly lower

 

CONS

  • The cost – I had to pay YFU $8000 and then you also need money for living expenses and other things
  • You can’t see your friends or family
  • Your education might be interrupted, resulting in you maybe having to repeat a year or just become generally behind in school
  • If you are unable to communicate properly with people it’s a little difficult to make good friends (definitely doable but a little difficult)
  • (This is from personal experience, because of my personality) At the end of my exchange I started to feel a little bad about myself because I felt like I wasn’t as good at Korean as I should’ve been (I was kind of expecting too much of myself). Because of this I didn’t talk very much and didn’t really contribute to group conversations and became a bit shy at school.
  • The Homesickness Phase- there are days where you just wanna go home and you regret going on exchange at all. You gotta push through though, you can’t let homesickness ruin your exchange. My homesickness days were pretty limited so I was lucky ^^
  • (For Korea) The school day is a lot longer and it was difficult to deal with sometimes.
  • It gets a little bit frustrating not understanding what people are saying (it’s motivational, though). Some days you just can’t be bothered and just want to shout SPEAK ENGLISH but you gotta push past those moments too.

 

This post is sort-of a work in progress, if I think of anything else I’ll add it in. Hopefully this is helpful to everyone!

Student exchange is such an amazing opportunity and if you are really committed, go for it and have the time of your life.

Until later,

Skye

Updated MY STUDENT EXCHANGE – Summary Posts

Woop woop I’ve been updating a lot recently…well, kinda.

I’ve now put links to all my summary posts that I’ve done and intend on doing on my page called MY STUDENT EXCHANGE – Summary Posts.

These posts range from me talking about arriving in Korea to making friends, learning Korean in Korea and living with a host family. 

The posts are a summary of my exchange meant to give advice to other exchange students.

As always, if you’ve got any questions that I haven’t covered in these posts or anywhere else, feel free to contact me! You’ll find my email at the bottom of the page ^.^

Until later,

Skye

When You Arrive In Korea As An Exchange Student

When you first arrive in Korea on exchange there are a few situations you need to encounter and a few things you need to sort out.

FINDING YOUR WAY THROUGH THE AIRPORT

I was so worried when I go to Incheon Airport, I had never been by myself in an airport before and it was so big! I remember I had to catch a train to another side of the airport and I was so scared I was going the wrong way. Just keep calm (i.e try not to cry because you’re lost and you miss your family or scream from excitement) and follow the signs (that are in English, don’t worry). At the airport I was met by a man from YFU, and he drove me to my host family’s house. Your host family could also come and meet you at the airport, though.

MEETING YOUR HOST FAMILY

I was so afraid this was going to be the most awkward thing. I first met my host family at their apartment – my host mum and host sister came down the elevator to greet me, and then I met my host dad and host brother inside the apartment. I tried to be friendly and talk and ask questions a lot and my host family was also very talkative. I also gave them presents from Australia and they were really grateful~ When meeting your host family remember that they are sharing their house with you so make sure you express your appreciation. Be yourself as much as you can, don’t try and pretend to be someone you aren’t because, well,  you’re living with them.

T-MONEY CARD

I will bet anything that in Korea you will be using public transport practically every day, so it’s a really good thing to get a T-Money card. This is a card you can use for trains and buses and even buy stuff from minimarts. Ask your host family if they can help you get one and get the student discount (sooo much cheaper if you get the student discount.) Another note on transportation, it’s a good idea to download the Smarter Subway App, which helps you plan how to get to places using the subway. SeoulBus is a good way to find out when your bus is coming, too.

ALIEN REGISTRATION CARD

You won’t have to worry about this as soon as you get to Korea, but sooner or later you will be told you need an Alien Registration Card to stay in the country. You have to get one if you’ll be living in Korea for more than 90 days. It involves a bit of paperwork, maybe 20,000W and a trip down to an office where you can get your picture taken (kind of like a passport photo but in a little booth thing) and wait for ages until you meet with someone to file your application. Your card will get posted to you a week later. I felt so special having mine, I went around telling everyone I was an alien (HAH i’m so funny no i’m really not). You can’t keep it when you leave Korea, though. I was very upset 😦

This post is kind of a work-in-progress thing, if i think of anything else I’ll add it here~

Until later,

Skye