I will study in South Korea in Spring 2022 for one exchange semester! Hi, I am Aura from Finland and I’m studying Industrial Management at the University of Vaasa. My fascination for Asia grew during my high school years. When I discovered BTS later on, I became obsessed with the boy group and inevitably with Korea, too. When my plans of studying abroad in Norway got cancelled due to COVID-19, I was first devastated. But then it turned out that life had planned something different for me! Find out more about my decision of studying abroad in South Korea in this article.
How I got interested in Asia
We had this school exchange between the Keio Futsubu high school in Tokyo and our school in high school. One of the students stayed with my family and the other way round. I have always loved Asian cultures, so I immediately jumped for the opportunity to spend a couple of weeks in Tokyo. We attended the classes (even Judo), roamed around Tokyo, tried the traditional cuisine, and visited Kyoto. Everything was so different compared to Finland – and I loved it! I was in awe of the Japanese culture and the busy metropolitan life. This exchange experience had a lasting effect on me. Today, I would say that this is the root of why I am going to South Korea now to study abroad.
Detours can lead you to your (actual) goal
Before the pandemic happened, I was supposed to leave for Oslo, Norway, to spend my semester abroad there. Then the lockdown crossed my plans. Consequently, I cancelled my stay in Oslo. I was sad at first, but now I couldn’t be happier that I did it! I would love to say that I got into South Korea because of the old and exciting culture, beautiful nature, etc. But in reality, I got hooked on watching videos about seven guys whose names I wanted to learn. So, one thing led to another. And now I’m leaving to spend my semester abroad in Seoul with Asia Exchange!
How I found the perfect university in Korea for me
Unfortunately, I couldn’t apply to study in Seoul through my home university, so I immediately started looking around for other options. I simply googled study abroad in Asia, and I landed on Asia Exchange’s page. Asia Exchange offers three different universities in South Korea. Two in Seoul and one in Busan. I decided to go with Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS), as the university’s location was ideal for me, and the courses sounded super interesting! The application process was so easy and straightforward. In under two days, I got the confirmation that I’ll be going to Seoul.
Would you be interested to study at HUFS? Click here to find out more!
Why I started learning Hangul
Last year I started learning Korean to interact with locals and understand the culture more when arriving in South Korea. It feels safer in some way going there with a bit of knowledge of the local language. I would advise everyone to learn at least the alphabet and a couple of useful phrases, like Thank you and Hello. Watching K-dramas helps! When it comes to living in Seoul, I opted for a dorm. I was a bit sceptical at first about sharing a room with someone. However, I found my future roommate through Asia Exchange, and we’ve already gotten to know each other well!
South Korea, I can’t wait to visit you!
What I’m most looking forward to in my semester abroad is to get to know so many people from all over the world, enhancing my language skills, travelling around the country, singing my heart out at noraebangs, and making many unforgettable memories that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. I’d be lying if I didn’t mention seeing K-pop artists and their concerts too. All in all, without the pandemic happening, I wouldn’t be leaving for Seoul next spring and be ready to experience the best time of my life!
Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in the Asia Pacific for students from all around the world. Want to get travel tips and new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly student newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact us! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
This blog post was written by our intern Aura!