About My Study Abroad Program
Major/Minor: Computer Science
Program: Yonsei University (International Summer School)
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Term: Summer 2021
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
Traveling the world has always been a dream of mine. When I learned about studying abroad at Carolina, I knew I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. Not only did it perfectly align with my aspirations, but it also allowed me to pursue quality education in an international setting. Especially after spending an entire year taking classes online, what better way to get out of the house than by traveling to another country. Frankly, the program I ended up choosing was not my first choice when I was first looking to study abroad. It wasn’t until after I consulted with my study abroad advisor, Derek Shepard, that I considered studying in Korea. Our meeting guided me to discover Yonsei International Summer School, which I discovered that they offered relevant courses while falling under my budget. Nevertheless, I’m so fortunate how things came to be because I honestly can't imagine having a better experience studying anywhere else.
What did you learn about yourself?
My study abroad experience was a true journey of self-discovery. With this being my first time living away from home, I learned a great deal about being independent and doing everything on my own. Moreover, I always considered myself to be pretty introverted, so I never knew I was capable of putting myself out there the way I did this past summer. On top of that, having to navigate a foreign country with a language barrier amid a pandemic strengthened my ability to adapt to unfavorable circumstances. All of these factors together have made me more confident in who I am and an overall better person.
What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
This is such a difficult question because I’ve made so many lifelong memories while studying abroad in Korea. If I had to choose one, it would have to be my weekend excursion to the city of Busan. From riding the bullet train, tasting the fresh seafood, strolling along the beaches, to singing karaoke with friends at night — it was a complete experience.
What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
Going into the summer, I was a bit skeptical of traveling to a foreign country without knowing anyone else or the language. Nevertheless, my worries quickly disappeared, and I ended up having one of the best experiences in my life. I believe it’s totally normal to be anxious, but it’s important to focus on the positive things and step out of your comfort zone. Immerse yourself in the local culture by trying activities or foods that you wouldn’t normally try. You should cherish every moment while abroad because you’re going to miss it immensely once it’s all over.