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Adapting while studying Abroad

As of today, I have been in South Korea for a little over a month. Time has really seemed to pass quickly. On one hand I feel like I'm almost a resident here, and on the other hand I feel like I just landed at Inchon Airport yesterday. I am enjoying my time here very much and I can already tell I'm going to miss Korea when I have to go back home. I have been able to adjust pretty well and fairly easily compared to some of my classmates here. I already knew some Korean before I came here and I have made a few Korean friends as well so that has helped. At the beginning of the semester, though, I was pretty much on my own. I had to rely on my past experiences and my own abilities to adapt to this completely new environment. I have never been scared of traveling on my own since I have lived in Europe for most of my life, and literally, my backyard could be a different country.

I get excited thinking about new places and all of the fun experiences they hold. Coming to Korea brought out the same feelings I have whenever I move to a new place: determination, excitement, and confidence, I have been "the new kid" multiple times in my life and this experience wasn't completely different from those times. Granted, this is a completely different country where English isn't a primary language, so that did bring up some challenges, but nothing I didn't believe I couldn't handle. I am very open-minded from growing up in multiple countries, so learning and adopting to Korean customs and culture was easy and fun for me.

It's also very interesting to learn about what makes your host country unique so I enjoyed picking up local mannerisms and customs. Meeting new people is also something that comes pretty easily. I am always meeting new and interesting people at military instillations, so I just put those skills to work here. I have met so many people from so many different places in the study abroad program, made Korean friends, and some of the local restaurant owners here even know who I am now.

Being a military brat prepares you for so many experiences in life and I love the life skills I gained from my past experiences and the independence and confidence I feel in new environments. Being open-minded allows me to connect with the local people and my fast adaption skills from constantly moving made it easy for me to get used to life here and fit in as best as I can. Studying abroad is such a wonderful experience and I encourage everyone to do it; it is so rewarding and you learn so much. I love studying abroad here in South Korea and I'm so happy I had my past experiences to help me through the harder challenges.