CAPTION: Kim Hyo-jin (left) poses with her German friend at
Having lived in
Needless to say, the thought of going back and reviving all those blissful moments drove up my anticipation level when I decided to choose the
However, when I first arrived in the
In addition, I was surprised to see a predominant number of ethnically clustered groups on campus, despite my expectation that everyone would be coexisting in harmony. Because of the large number of Korean students in Toronto, the fact that I could hear Korean every now and then also added to my confusion, sometimes making me feel as though I had not entirely left Korea.
Through many events hosted by the school’s International Student Centre, however, I had a number of opportunities to meet international students and other exchange students like myself. There were students from virtually all parts of the globe and I found myself surrounded by all these people whose personalities were as colorful as their diverse backgrounds.
My major being International Studies, I had learned about the rather vague notion of being a “global citizen” in one of my classes but had never fully grasped the meaning of it. Now that I was building up this global network of friends, I gradually began to understand what it meant to have a “global identity,” in that I was perceiving myself not just as a Korean within the boundaries of my own country but as a citizen in a larger global community. In a sense,
It has been a little over a month since I have come to the
Although I had my period of disorientation having been thrust into a completely new environment at first, I am now quite well adjusted and relishing each and every second of my time here. While bracing myself for the infamous Canadian winter, I am also looking forward to seeing more of what
Kim Hyo-jin (International Studies, 3) is currently studying at the University of Toronto, Canada for a year as an exchange student.