Exchange programs are an excellent opportunity for students to experience an entirely new way of life. It was an immense pleasure for me to get the chance to visit Seoul National University (SNU) as an exchange student. Before coming to SNU, I didn’t know any Korean at all. I was very impressed to see how hardworking the Korean students were in general and the amount of effort they put into academics. Naturally, the courses were intense. Having some classes with local students sometimes was honestly very competitive. I was discouraged after the midterm, but the challenges encouraged me to stay motivated and work harder throughout the semester.
The process of learning to navigate new administrations and pedagogical styles, living alone in a new environment, making new friends, I sometimes wondered if all of this was worth studying abroad during the pandemic period. But when I booked and planned the next adventure with friends in Korea, I made lifelong friends from all over the world during our time there and genuinely enjoyed our experiences.
Besides, their exchange student group, SNU Buddy, was incredible. You get to integrate with local and other exchange students from all over the world. The local students tried hard to put together fun events so that everyone could mingle together. Thus, we still needed to be cautious of the risks of getting infected, but none of us regretted seizing the opportunity to study in Korea.