I am Alvina Liyandra from Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia. I am currently majoring in Communication Studies, Faculty of Social and Political Science. I am grateful to be presented with the opportunity to visit Korea as an exchange student at Hanyang University. Moreover, I am also thankful to be one of the awardees of the Global Korea Scholarship. The four months I spent in Korea have been such a blessing for me. I experienced amazing cultural exchanges in South Korea in both Hanyang University and outside of campus life.
During my stay in Korea, needless to say, I learned a lot of things. First things first, of course, the education. The teaching system in Hanyang University is quite similar to that in Universitas Indonesia so I had no trouble in adapting to the system. The lecturers are experienced and open-minded to the students’ suggestions. Before I came here, I thought I would have difficulties in understanding the lectures because of the language barriers. But there are a variety of classes in English that we could choose to take. I took several classes in English with excellent Korean lecturers that speak English fluently because they had taught abroad previously. I was in the Communication and Media major there, but sadly, there weren’t many classes in the major that were held in English. But worry not, there was a variety of elective classes that we could choose from. For me, I picked a class called Cultural and Ethnic Diversity in South Korea that broadened my perspective about Korean culture and its relation to several sensitive issues; one of which was about LGBTQIAP in both the Korean society and the world. I was delighted because here in Indonesia, this issue and some other sensitive ones like this one were considered too taboo to be talked about, let alone to be taught in classes in Indonesia. Besides the elective ones, I also took the first module of Korean Introductory and slayed it.
During my stay in South Korea, I have made quite many Korean and non-Korean acquaintances from the classes I took and the buddy group arranged by the Hanyang Global Lions. Some turn into really good friends and we still keep in touch even now. They are one of the things that I cherish during my stay in Korea. I did plenty of travelling around and outside of Seoul with my friends. There are too many attractions in Seoul that I might not have the time to explore during to the limited time. The places I have visited are amazingly beautiful. Not only am I mesmerized by the beauty of the landscape of the country, but I am also intrigued by its history. There are a lot of museums and palaces we could visit to learn about the South Korea’s history. I wish I had more time to explore more of Korea’s beauty.
When I wasn’t busy being a tourist, I would practice my newfound hobby of cooking and baking, which happened to be very therapeutic. I met people from different parts of the world that I would only be dreaming of knowing if I hadn’t gone there. And most importantly, I learned to be grateful and appreciative of everything in life. I am most thankful for the fact that I could have the chance to get this unbelievably amazing experience. I would never forget my efforts to achieve this program that has led me to a series of life-changing lessons and unforgettable moments. Although hard, I still managed to get it done by my persistence and resilience. Last but not least, after four months of exploring every tourist spots and experiencing its culture, I can safely say that I came, I saw, and I loved every single day of it.
If my life was a book, this part would be the one chapter that I would reread over and over again.