My family came to Korea in 2012 for my dad’s job. I was in 11th grade and was studying in Yongsan International School of Seoul. It was my first time living outside of my home country, India. I was both excited and nervous at the same time. The first obstacle I faced in Korea was the language. It was difficult for me and my family to convey ourselves among Koreans. One of my teachers suggested that I take Korean classes. I took them with my sister and we quickly learnt how to read and write the Korean alphabets. Because we could not speak Korean well, we could barely understand the language. I learnt how to say numbers in Korean. My mom used to take me with her to the market and I used to help her shop.
Gradually, I made Korean friends in my school. I asked them to teach me some Korean culture. It was the first time I came to know about K-pop. I realized there are many Korean bands with unique names and members. The first group that I came to know about was EXO. I listened to “EXO:Growl” and began liking the tune although I could only murmur “Erureong erureong” in the song. Later I got to know about Crayon Pop, Girl’s Generation, Psy etc. I liked how they danced so well while singing. Also, I had problems in adjusting in my new school. People already said that I was having a “cultural shock” as I was new to this environment.
My friends taught me about the Korean food too. I remember the first food that I tasted was kimchi. Being accustomed to the taste of Indian curry, I didn’t like the food at all initially. It was a bit hard for me to eat Korean food in the beginning but later on I started to like the food.
I went to the hangouts with my friends and they introduced traditional Korean cuisines, which I liked very much. I liked how Koreans eat side dishes with the main course. I learned Korean food prevents many health related disorders. The dish I liked the most was samgyetang as it tasted very good. My friends also taught me some Korean phrases like “fighting” and I learnt some more by watching Korean dramas.
In vacations I visited Jeju Island with my family. I was surprised to see the volcanic tube and how well maintained it was by the Korean Government. I also went 44 feet under sea via submarine and saw a ship that was sunk during the Korean War. I also went to Busan and enjoyed the big aquarium. It was my first time experiencing something like that. I liked how the Korean government maintained the main attractions of Korea for people.
Later in 2014, I graduated from my high school and went back to India to study Korean language and culture. I was influenced by the living style of Korea. I used to tell my Indian friends how Koreans work hard till Friday and have fun for the entire weekend. I wanted to study in Korea and fortunately in 2015, I got an opportunity to study at Ewha Womans University, which is one of the esteemed universities in Korea. Till then I could speak Korean better than my school days.
Now, I am an undergraduate freshman in Division of International studies, living in the dormitory and experiencing my life in Korea. I am here to study and learn new things that can shape up my life well. I miss my family and friends but now I help out my friends who are new in Korea. I hope that my four years will teach me more about my upcoming adventures and add up new events in my life.
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