Hi everyone! My name is Myla Nguyen. I’m currently a Marketing senior at University of South Florida (USF). This summer, I have had an opportunity to study abroad at Yonsei University through Yonsei International Summer School (YISS) program in Seoul, South Korea for six weeks. I extremely look forward to sharing my exciting experience as an exchange student to anyone who is interested in studying abroad in South Korea through this site.
First of all, I wanted to take this moment to thank USF and Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship for such a precious opportunity and for adding new memories to my undergraduate journey. Without the guidance and support from USF world advisors and staffs, I would not be able to pursue my educational abroad.
To start off, I departed from Tampa to Seoul approximately two weeks ago. Even though an 18-hour flight was extremely boring (especially for a person who had never travelled alone before), I was able to pull it through by watching a few movies, reading some books, and sleeping. My initial plan after arrival was to head to Jeju island in South Korea the next day with other students from YISS but unfortunately the entire trip got cancelled because of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome breakout. The good side of this incidence was I could explore Seoul for three days and get familiar with the city before my program started.
After several times of being directionless and getting lost, I’ve learned that many Korean people are approachable and friendly. They always smile when I speak basic Korean greeting words and are willing to give me directions in details. Of course I cannot understand what they say most of the time but based on their helpful hand gestures, I were able to make it home safely. Although the traffic jams in Seoul are common, people who live in Seoul are able to get away from them by using bus or subway. Speaking of public transportation, I was so amazed by how organized the Korean subway system is. There’re English directions for the convenience of foreigners everywhere. In addition, the transportation expense from places to places that I have spent so far is very affordable. From what I’ve keenly observed, everyone is polite and has great manner when it comes to saving seats for the elders, children, and pregnant women on the subway. I must admit that I’m very pleased with the living environment here in Seoul.
I checked in to my dormitory on June 25th. The transition went smoothly as I expected. I live in a double room with a roommate, and we get along well. I’ve been able to make new friends who come from different countries too. The great thing about YISS is not only would I be able to learn Korean culture but also other cultures as well. I’ve also started to have summer classes since this Tuesday. I’m taking the Korean cinema course and a Korean language course for beginner. Currently I am still in the “add and drop” week and quiet busy with the fast-paced courses at Yonsei. On my next post, I will talk more about my classes at Yonsei and places that I have had a chance to explore. Of courses, a series of pictures will be posted next time.