Summer in Seoul

Hi everyone! My name is Joanne Lee, and I am a rising sophomore intending to pursue a degree in Microbiology with minors in Chemistry and Computer Science. This July, I will be studying in South Korea for a month at Seoul National University!

At the beginning of freshman year, I knew I wanted to do some sort of study abroad program this summer. There were a few countries that I had in mind, but ultimately, I decided that I wanted to study in South Korea. When I was deciding between the programs, I had two main things in mind: I wanted to immerse myself in a new culture and wanted this experience to be somewhat affordable. Out of all the countries I had on my list, South Korea seemed to fit the best (I totally wasn’t swayed by all the videos I watched on Korean food and my KDrama addiction ;p).

Ultimately, I decided to apply for the International Summer Program at SNU. Although there are many institutions in South Korea that offer similar summer programs for international students, I choose SNU ISP because the course options seemed the most interesting to me. They also offer many opportunities to go out and explore by having field trips and cultural programs every week.

This summer, I will be taking two classes: Art and Politics in Contemporary East Asia and Korean Food in the Age of K-Pop. These classes will be for credit and are pass/fail. I’ve always been interested in East Asian studies but never gotten the opportunity to formally take classes, so I am quite excited to immerse myself in a new field!

This trip will definitely be one of new experiences and personal growth. I’ve never traveled by myself internationally, do not know a single person in South Korea, and can only speak at most twenty phrases in Korean – ten of them being the names of dishes. Overall, I’m pretty optimistic about this trip and am ready to face whatever obstacles that come my way.

So excited to update you guys with new experiences next month!

Signing off,

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