Why South Korea? Why Ewha Womans University? How does it feel for you to be here? Questions I am constantly asked about for the last eight months of proudly being a full time and western student in Ewha Womans University. While fall semester and my second as a freshman is along the way, perfect time has come for me to share my experiences and why it is undoubtedly amazing and difficult at the same time to be an international student in a Korean university.
Introducing a bit of my background to begin, my name is Susana, I am French and all through my life, I have been living on a French island named Corsica. Seoul was then my very first metropolis to live in, and what a city! I chose South Korea for many reasons, essentially for the culture, people, safety and a "coup de Coeur" as we say in French, for the overall atmosphere of this country. South Korea is known to offer a high level of education, and I cannot feel less proud to have the honor to be a student in one of the most beautiful and prestigious universities we can find here.
Firstly, it is important and also my duty to talk about the difficulties and non-attractive parts which exist within infrastructures as big as universities. Most Ewha international students I have had a conversation with, if not all, have encountered multiple inconveniences, which I also do, concerning a lack of or a proper access to diverse information related to our university. Another type of difficulty is the reduced chances we get to participate in school activities such as University Clubs which are narrow to just a few for non-fluently Korean speaking students, which can to some extent low down our feeling of belonging to Ewha.
On the other hand, Ewha is overflowing with charms, more than being externally a pleasure for the eyes, filled with nature and a beautifully existing contrast between modern and gothic-style architecture, I have an immense feeling of safety, common respect, community and attachment to our university. Ewha, whose reputation is firmly established, offers us, the opportunity to learn from high ranking and outstanding professors, who deliver qualitative courses and are truly invested for the well being and learning of their students, I think it is an immense luck for each of us and a good balance with the cost of our studies. Ewha is a formidable place for students and there is a unique feeling to be here.
Being an international student has probably taught me way more than I could ever imagine. It goes beyond simply being culturally different, it is an everyday challenge, a big step in adult life and maturing at an accelerated speed, since I am alone here at more than 8000 km away from my family. However, Seoul had rapidly become a home, a unique adventure I would never regret to have taken the path. Even with the difficulties, I wake up every day with the feeling of accomplishing something huge, which just a bunch of people would have the courage to do. Thus I have the feeling people will expect a lot from me, which is a good way to push me to constantly go beyond my limits, and to become a well-prepared woman for my future into the business world and better as a person.
I am thankful and amazed to be able to spiritually travel by talking to students from all over the world, to learn and experience so much, to see how large the world is but yet how much similar we all are, to learn the Korean language, understand more about Korean culture and about people who live here as well as discovering new scenes and landscapes. Some of the most important needs in a human life are to be well surrounded, having the sense of belonging, safety, and self-development. Up to that day, I have had the chance to meet amazing people here and made true friendships for life, being an international student in South Korea brought me all of this, and I will always be extremely thankful.