Author: Ki Ho An
Program: Honours Bachelor of Aviation Technology
Study Abroad Location: Seoul, South Korea
It has been almost three months since I’ve arrived in South Korea for my co-op placement. One interesting experience that I had at work was that, the organization that I work for was moving to another office. In Korea, moving the entire office to another place and continuing to work like nothing happened takes less than a day, and I was amazed of how different the working conditions were compared to Canada. Another cultural experience was that, everyone here is crazy about baseball. Everyday commuting from work, I see everyone, males and females, young teenagers to adults wearing baseball uniforms, and watching baseball games everywhere. Even my relatives at home watch baseball every day, so I’m forced to watch it with them while enjoying fried chicken and beer that was delivered to our home.
During the stay, I have visited many wonderful places and tried many things that I have never experienced before. I went to the getaways during the holidays for some sightseeing and for some relaxing away from work. I have tried rafting down a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains, plowing through the mud with an all terrain vehicle, exploring through a cave, paragliding through the sky, and bungee jumping from fifty meters high. Finishing the night with some exciting music and some tasty Korean pork belly barbecue.
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A challenge I faced for a bit was using the transportation system and navigating through the city while I was commuting to work. After a few tries, I became familiar with the transportation system and was able to go around the city on my own without getting lost. Since I work at the airport, I saw many tourists visiting from all around the world trying to use the transportation system and having troubles finding their ways, so I got to help them at least once a day during my commute from work.
A challenge that I thought I would face was whether I can get adjusted to the food in Korea and if I was going to survive on my own. It was a thought that was not required. I love the food here and I think I like it too much that I gained a few pounds. Getting homesick can be another challenge as well but I was able to keep myself busy and keep myself from getting homesick. Also seeing my relatives and friends helped refraining myself from getting homesick. But all in all I was used to being away from home from my family since my Seneca College campus is also away from home in Peterborough.
Ki Oh An