“아, 이제 진짜로 끝이야…” (Ah- this is really the end) was what I said to myself when my one-month trip to Korea was about to end and the reality of going back home to Malaysia was starting to hit. Having the opportunity to study in Korea for a month was something I will always be grateful for, as I have gained and made so many colourful memories with new friends. One of the fondest memories that I will never forget is when I was in class; and it did not feel like we were studying at all. Everyone is there for one goal, which is to indulge themselves in the Korean culture, and learning Korean in class was something that all of us looked forward to! The classmates always had something fun to talk about and the teachers were energetic and interesting, which made the classes incredibly fun. One of the reasons why I wanted to go to Korea was to learn the language again, and I am glad that I did. It was enlightening to be able to learn something and apply it straight away!
It was such an experience making friends from all over the world. Some of the friends that I made were from Japan, China, Hungary, America, Taiwan, Bulgaria, and many more. All my life I only spoke English to people from different countries, so now, having to speak Korean with them was a whole new experience. It was fun talking about the differences and similarities between our cultures, and I have learned so much from them. I have even managed to promote Malaysia as their next holiday spot! Everyone there was just so eager to share things about their country and friendly enough to offer me a place to stay when I visit their country.
Bonding sessions with my friends were such healing experiences for me and I looked forward to going out with them and doing endless activities together. For instance, I had always wanted to go to Petite France, but it was too far to visit and thankfully a new friend that I made was able to go with me. As beautiful as the place was, going there with a friend to bond together was another treasured memory. I had so much fun exploring Korea with my friends. We went to the 노래방 (karaoke) almost every week, singing our hearts out, ate good food (which thankfully were cheap!), and got lost a million times together. It was tiring to go out every day, but when you were out with people that you value, it was all worth it.
Another thing about this trip that made such a huge impact on me was that I was able to be independent and explore a whole new country by myself. Although I had friends to go around with, it was the thrill of an adventure alone in a foreign country that was super exciting for me. I was never someone who would go out of my way and do things alone, but I took this opportunity in Korea to make it happen. It was an amazing experience to explore a different culture when you were alone as you get to do anything you want. I went shopping alone, took walks, and even went to the forest! The feeling of going on adventures alone and being able to find yourself again is wonderful.
This is all possible because of the great opportunities that were given to me, and I am ever so thankful to be able to experience this. Now I’m back in Malaysia, going to classes again, but fret not, I’ll definitely see you again Korea! 한국,다음에 또 봐~