Studying abroad can change you?

Ahhhh~ I've wanted to write this post for a while now. Before you leave those that have lived/studied abroad will tell you it will change you. If you are like me, you nod and agree... filled with doubt.

At 정방폭포 (Jeongbang Falls) during our 제주 (Jeju) trip

My one professor told me I would come back a different person. The very idea at the time seemed, quite frankly, ridiculous. How can four months change me to that degree? The interesting thing is, he wasn't wrong. It's can be an experience that not only changes how you view the world, but also yourself.

For this post, I'm going to focus more on personal changes. World view changes sounds a bit more academic, no? ^^;; (although I can do a post on it...)

- More caring. In our group I was the oldest and I felt quite protective of all the girls, especially our youngest members.  (um I just re-read this and it kinda makes us sound like a kpop group...sorry!) That sense of protectiveness was new to me.

- Politeness upgrade. I'm not saying I was rude before (I wasn't). However, since returning I actually get complimented on how polite I am. I picked up many habits while I was away (such as using two hands to give and receive) and they became unconscious actions, so now they are stuck.

- Energy boost. In general, I would say I've become more outgoing in my enthusiasm. I actually feel more like I went back to the way I was on this one. Sometime in the past couple years I became quieter.

- Fan-girl mode. I wasn't really a fan-girl before I left, I think this relates to the above. Squealing over a favourite group's comeback (for example: EXO) with friends will always hold a special place in my heart. ㅋㅋㅋ

- Confidence. I'm to graduate uni next year. Before I left I was so lost on what I wanted to do and the thought of school ending terrified me. It's still scary, but also exciting. During my time in Seoul I figured out what I want to do and where I want to live. Now I'm looking forward to starting towards those goals.

- Language. I genuinely want to be fluent in Korean.  My speaking skills are iffy at best, but the amount of Korean I can undersand is quite high. Being able to communicate across a language barrier is a challenge that I found myself enjoying. It can have the effect of bringing you closer together.

And some silly ones:

- Study habits. This was a foreign term before I went away, I was the master of the 30min before an exam cram. Seeing the other students working so hard woke a strange desire to work just as hard. I didn't pull all-nighters, but I was close.

- Food tastes. I now LOVE spicy food and coffee. Not together... I just didn't like them before.

- Any remaining fears about flying = gone. Those 14hrs work miracles.

Have any questions about studying abroad?
Feel free to ask! <3


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