First of all, I became a more active student. I noticed that UQ had quite a different atmosphere compared to Ewha. UQ students seemed to be freer, yet more passionate. They were very eager to learn what they wanted to study and constantly asked questions during class and in discussions. I found it impressive because Korean students are usually shy, trying not to stand out in class. I used to be one of them, but UQ students inspired me to become a confident student who actively pursues her study.
Experiences at UQ also helped me to broaden my perspectives. As Australia is a famous international country, I had the chance to meet people from all over the world and experience different cultures.
There was one time when I had trouble with a Japanese friend. Later I found out that it was because of a cultural misunderstanding; so I tried to understand and respect her culture in order to gain our friendship back. Even though the relationship did not work out in the end, it taught me a lesson. In a global society, I have to accept differences regardless of whether I agree with them or not. I believe that this lesson will help me cope better with people from different cultural backgrounds in the future.
In addition, Australia’s land itself was very interesting. I learned unique Australian nature in a course called, “Australian terrestrial environment.” Australian flora and fauna have thousands of species that are found nowhere else, including kangaroos and koalas. I could go to an animal farm to see kangaroos and koalas and wild animals like possums at the college backyard. It was amazing seeing such unique animals with my own eyes.
Being one of the oldest lands on earth, the country features vast deserts, sublime valleys, and many other kinds of great landscapes which fascinate me. While staying there, the nature had always impressed me and I still feel lucky to have seen them.
In a number of ways, I was privileged to have been an exchange student at UQ. I hope for more Ewha students to have the same opportunity.
* Kim Da-som (English, 4) spent a year at the University of Queensland in 2009.