This is a guest blog written by Jenna Scull.
“Jenna, you’re going where!?”
“North or South?”
“For how long?”
In the months leading up to my study abroad trip to South Korea, everyone asked me these questions. Some then proceeded to share how nervous they were for me, being that close to the most controversial country in the world. Others were excited for me, predicting that this would be an amazing and unique experience.
So, I went. With a bit of nerves, but absolutely no regrets, I traveled 7,000 miles to a country I never envisioned myself visiting…and I’m SO glad I did.
All in all, I took classes that expanded my love for Communication Studies. I hiked mountains. I ate octopus that was still moving. I swam in the Sea of Japan one day and found myself shaking hands with presidents of major PR firms the next.
Thinking about studying abroad? Consider Seoul, South Korea. Here are a few reasons why I’m glad I did.
- The cost. Though the plane ticket to get half way across the world was pricey, the American dollar goes far in South Korea. Throughout my trip, I never paid more than $15 for a meal.
- The location. For me, I wanted to study abroad in a city. It wasn’t my intention to study abroad in the fourth largest city in the world (by population), but hey, it happened! Travel right outside of Seoul to find beautiful sandy beaches and mountains that touch the clouds.
- The career opportunities. Many of the largest international PR firms have offices in Seoul, including Weber Shandwick (who I got the opportunity to meet with), Ketchum, and of course Edelman. If you are interested in public relations, marketing, or technology, then I would highly recommend pursuing your career interests in Seoul.
- The sports. Yes, that’s right. Basically, you haven’t lived until you’ve experienced a baseball game in Korea. The fans sing…for the entire game. Also, did you know the 2018 Winter Olympics will be in Korea? I got the opportunity to visit the new venues in PyeongChang and it was one the highlights of my trip.
- The culture. South Korea is a country of new and old. In Seoul, modern sky scrapers loom over 600 year old palaces. Younger generations still hold onto old traditions, taking off shoes before entering dorm rooms and keeping quiet on the subway out of respect for elders. Yet, Seoul is also home to the K-Pop industry, a large computer gaming culture, and insanely fast Wi-Fi.
Throughout my time in South Korea, I found out I loved everything about K-Pop and karaoke. I also found out I hated the taste and smell of kimchi. But most importantly, I found out that studying abroad is the greatest way to travel. Take the opportunity, study abroad. (And consider South Korea!)