Here’s one of the biggest regrets of my life.
When I was in university, I studied Japanese. I was into the culture, the music, the movies. I loved watching all the media i could online and with each song, drama and movie, I was sucked in more and more.
I took Japanese 101, and studied the basics. And any time I heard a word on a show that I knew, it tickled me with excitement. I was so happy that I understood something. And… that was about it.
Unfortunately, my university didn’t have many international students, so pretty much all of my exposure to the language and culture was limited to online videos and music. I was having fun, but it was sad that I learned the most from cartoons instead of real humans.
So during my 2nd year in university, I considered going on my school’s study abroad program. It was for the whole summer, and it sounded like tons of fun. It was a full package with language courses and cultural experiences. Of course, delicious food was included, and there were programs for meeting locals. You know… the actual people that I wanted to talk with?
But for some reason, I kept finding all the reasons not to go….
So instead, I ended up taking an English class during summer school, and all I remember was how bored the professor and the whole class was. We studied 19th Century American literature, but I still remember how we spent a whole class discussing how the type of cereal we ate was representative of our personalities. Now if THAT’s not a waste of time, I don’t know what is.
It was expensive, but my parents later told me they would have gladly supported me to have a life experience like that. All I should have done was ASK.
And little did I know that I would end up living in Japan later on in my life. That study abroad program could have improved my language skills exponentially. When I went to live there later on, I was essentially illiterate (Kanji/Hanja/Chinese Characters take hard work and dedication!).
All my friends that went to the study abroad program came back fluent. They made life-long local friends that they now visit whenever they’re in the area. They were able to get actual, real-life, hands-on experience, eat delicious food, and make awesome life experiences by actually being in the country they were studying.
And I was debating cereal…
If you’re studying Korean, I really urge you to go out and study in Korea this year. Get your butt on a plane to meet local Koreans, get real-world practice and eat delicious foods. If you’ve been telling yourself you’ll go to Korea “someday,” I just don’t want you to realize one morning that you spent the entire summer discussing breakfast foods.
Our friends at studytrip.com have organized a 3 week trip to Korea from July 17th to August 5th.
Here’s what’s included in the trip:
The classes start at 9AM and finish at 12:15PM, so that leaves the rest of the afternoon for you to explore Seoul. There’s also organized trips to some of Korea’s top attractions, such as:
It’s a great opportunity to look into, and I don’t want you to regret it like I did.