Skip to main content


News & Events

Adapting in a New Culture as a Military Brat

This semester I have the pleasure of studying abroad in Seoul, South Korea. Their school system is slightly different here so unlike my fellow classmates back in the United States, I started my semester a bit later. I actually just started this past week, but I've been here a little longer to get accustomed to my new environment and have orientation. Even though my semester hasn't been long yet, I can say that there are some things that could pose a challenge and I will have to overcome. One of the hardest challenges that I have encountered and expect to continue to face is trying to negotiate cultural differences. Being a military child, I have encountered multiple different cultures and I have lived in multiple countries, but South Korea was never one of them. I am used to adapting to new cultures and doing my best to blend in and not stand out as an "obnoxious American", but South Korea culture is a whole new world to me. Luckily, I came here knowing a little bit of the language and some basic mannerisms already, but there is still so much more for me to learn. The culture here is more conservative and quiet compared to what I'm used to back home, so I have to keep that in mind while meeting new people and also when I'm out in public.
They are also not as open as I am used to being back in the US. In order to overcome this challenge, I plan on studying more on Korean customs and culture and I will try to make Korean friends to help me learn more and get accustomed to life in Korea. While I am here, I am taking Korea language courses as well as Korean History and Korean Religion. I am also paired with a partner at the school's Korean Language Education Society so that will help me learn more about the culture and language as well. This challenge isn't something new to me, but it's one that I haven't faced in a while so it may be a bit challenging for me to get used to it. Regardless, I am super excited to be here and this challenge just makes me more motivated to learn about this amazing country and get the most out my time here!