Now that classes and homework have become part of my daily routine again, I thought it was about time to do an update on my post-study abroad life.
For me, this past week has been a roller coaster of emotions, partly due to my busy schedule, the need to be on top of everything, and the struggle of planning my summer and senior year. Since it has been one month since I arrived back in the United States, I want to shed light on the process of re-adjusting back to Macalester and the concept of reverse culture shock. Through this blog post, I hope to dissect the mixed emotions that I feel as a study away returnee and to help others understand the transition back to "normal life."
Near the beginning of my semester abroad, I made a bucket list for myself to accomplish over the 4 months that I was living in Korea. Now that my semester has ended and I have officially left the country, I wanted to revisit the list and see how much I have managed to check off. The items that are italicized and underlined are activities that I did not complete.
Before getting into the logistics of things, I want to clarify what the DMZ is for readers who are unfamiliar with Korean geography and history. The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is the area that extends 2 km from the North-South Korean border on both sides. The DMZ is a civilian-restricted area, so anyone who visit must be part of a tour group. Overall, while the DMZ is heavily secured, the level of tension and security is nowhere close to the JSA/Panmunjom (which I will talk about further down). In order to enter the DMZ, our tour bus had to cross the Unification Bridge, where barricades are strategically placed in various lanes to (what I'm assuming) slow down vehicles intentionally.
About two weeks ago, I was in search of fresh new ideas for blog posts. Thanks to Jennifer, I think this blog post would shed some light on our identities abroad, culture shock, and homesickness....
What unexpected things do I miss from home?
This was the question that Jennifer posed to me. As a mini-project, I decided to set out and ask this question to four of my closest friends here at Ewha and myself. All five of our backgrounds and experiences are diverse and drastically different, so I believe our answers will reflect that.
And since it's Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season, I think this blog post perfectly reflects the things that we love and the things that we are grateful for this time of year.
I have already received so many questions from others asking me about Ewha and the differences between Ewha and Macalester, so in this post, I will address some of the aspects of Ewha in contrast with Mac. Here are some background info on both schools first:
As someone who has moved between over seven schools during her K-12 career, I will say that I am lucky enough to adapt quickly to new environments and am flexible enough to play things by ear. However, for other potential students looking to study abroad or want to figure out how to adjust to a new environment, I am dedicating this blog post to write about how I maintain my personality and sanity while making the most of the experience in an entirely different country.
college student. junior. international studies major. over-the-top foodie. travel and lifestyle student blogger?
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