To go to other countries as an exchange student was one of my dreams in my life and I finally achieved that dream. I studied in University of Nottingham for nine months as an exchange student and life in Nottingham was one of the best experiences in my life.
There were some reasons I wanted to go abroad as an exchange student. First reason was to improve English ability, especially speaking. Second reason was to experience cultural differences, meet various people. The last reason was to find myself and my dream.
My English obviously improved. When I first arrived in the U.K., I could not understand almost every conversation among my British flat mates. I lived in a flat next to the entrance of the university with three native
speakers and two Asians. I tried to talk to them to get used to listening and speaking in English. I also could not understand what lecturers and other students said in seminars and lectures. To understand them, I had to read a
lot of articles and books. I could not prepare lectures and seminars perfectly because I read so slowly and the amount of reading was too heavy. At first, I was very frustrated because it seemed my English was not getting better, and I could not speak anything during seminars. As time went by, I got used to listening and speaking in English.
I met a lot of students from various countries. I was surprised because a lot of Asian students there liked Korean culture very much, and some of them were aware of Korean pop stars more than I was. Because of this, I could easily be familiar with them. Of course, students from western countries did not know about Korea at all. I taught Korean culture and history to them. It was amazing to learn other cultures, teach Korean, and be friends with other people.
From Nottingham, it takes only a few hours to go to London and Scotland. Because of this, trip to other cities in the UK is very easy. There were a lot of group trip chances for students. So I went to almost every famous
place in the U.K. by myself or with other students.
It was amazing to be in the U.K. as an exchange student. Even though my English didn’t improve as much as I expected, I learned a lot from life in Nottingham. I am sure that this experience will be helpful in my life.
By: Seo Eun-hye (‘05, History Education) spent a year at the University of Nottingham.