Hello, Everyone! This is Samanta at Hallym University in South Korea. I have been at Hallym University for almost a week now and my classes begin tomorrow! One of the great things about Hallym University, is the buddy program where they pair you with a Korean student to talk with and occasionally show you around. These students also helped lead the international student orientation by touring us around the school (which you above). Before coming to Hallym, I thought that everyone, especially my buddy, would be annoyed by my lack of ability to speak Korean and my constant questions but everyone is really nice. Even the taxi driver that I took to arrive to campus from the Chuncheon Bus Station spoke to me with the minimal English he knew. Restaurant owners are also patient with our butchered Korean and even translate the menu for us when we need it.
If there was two things, I learned being in South Korea this week it is that ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ make a big difference and that you should always have KakaoTalk downloaded if you are in South Korea. KakaoTalk is a messaging app that almost everyone in South Korea uses to communicate with each other. It also has a map where you can track where you are and where you are going, it allows you to purchase concert tickets, and also allows you to purchase food. But it is mainly used as a form of free communication, using WI-FI. So, for any future travelers to South Korea, those are my first two tips for your journey.