South Korea Experience

February 26th, 2024
Luna van Son
South Korea Experience

For my Semester Abroad, I lived in the bustling capital of South Korea for 5 months. Although I found it quite exciting at first, I really enjoyed my time in Seoul. The level at university in Korea was lower than at Radboud, which gave me a lot of time to explore the city and learn everything about the culture. The courses I took at the University of Seoul taught me about the economic development of South Korea.

Seoul has been very modernized in recent years, but still shows a lot of history. So besides shopping, singing karaoke and climbing Seoul Tower, I also visited famous palaces and the districts with traditional houses (Hanok). What I find particularly special about the city is the contrast between the modern buildings and the palaces. Furthermore, I enjoyed the view every day. Because Seoul is surrounded by hills and mountains, you often have beautiful views.
Since it's usually cheaper to go to a restaurant, I've never cooked. Seoul has countless convenience stores where I often bought a quick snack or breakfast. I most enjoyed getting food from the street food stalls and markets, where there is a lot of atmosphere and variety in dishes. I tasted a lot of traditional food such as kimchi and Korean BBQ.

I had to get used to the spicy food, but especially to the safety in South Korea. There are cameras everywhere and people simply leave all their things behind when they go to the toilet, for example. You don't see anyone doing this in the Netherlands, so it was nice to see these kinds of small cultural differences. One of the nicest things I thought was the amount of photo booths that Seoul has. Especially during an evening out, it is nice to capture these moments with a photo and the free attributes that you can use.

Because the semester in Korea ended earlier than at Radboud, I also traveled to Tokyo and my family visited Korea. During the semester I also traveled to other cities in South Korea in my spare time.

In short, I had a great time during which I made many new friends and gained special experiences. I definitely recommend a Semester Abroad. Another tip I would like to give is that when you go abroad, to see as much of the country as possible and not just stay in one city.

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