[Indonesia Report] Living in a foreign country is exciting, adventuresome experience

Psy concert in City Hall, Seoul (October 4, 2012) (Photo: www.kzoz.com)

Living in a foreign country with different language and cultural background could be an exciting as well as adventuresome experience.

Especially when one has to be involved in the society where majority does not adopt English in their daily life.

When I first came to Seoul, I was unable to make myself understood in Korean with only the ability of really basic writing and reading.  Korean has their pretty simple system of writing not as Mandarin which has one character for each word, Korean Hangul works as alphabet.

I still remember when my plane landed at Incheon International Airport, together with my long time best friend. We came to Korea to study. We were so excited and especially because we came at the end of winter so the coldness could still be felt. So totally different weather and climate from our home country, Indonesia that is tropical country with only two seasons. The extreme difference boosted our adrenalin and excitement to live and explore Korea.

Speaking with a broken language, we barely managed to make the taxi driver get us to our guesthouse, tried to communicate with the guesthouse owner and bought something in a mini mart. It was a wonderful and exciting little adventure for us.

The difference between my friend and myself was that I took a formal education directly for my master study where the university provide 50-50 English-Korean in their education system. While my friend took a language course for a year before he entered the university.

Both, I would say, have its own advantage and disadvantage. For me, it was hard to follow the lectures when it is conducted in Korean. While for my friend, it was a fun and productive time to get to know more about Korea and of course to be able to communicate with the people at the end of his courses, but he has to suspend his aim for graduate study.

But both brought us different fun and adventures. We experienced the formal system in Korea in different way but also we had time to experience the other side of Korea, which is the cultural side. Hallyu, Korean music and television industry brought another excitement in our stay in Korea.

We went to concerts and tried various experiences that we probably could only seen on TV if we decided not to come to Korea. We went to a café where our favorite drama shot their scenes and also can feel the real enthusiasm of Korean dancing the Horse dance while Psy sang his famous “Oppa Gangnam Style” in his concert.

While living in a foreign country, open your eyes to local culture and human interactions that you have never thought before. That eventually enhance your understanding on society and life value of the country. It is especially so when you go to a country with a really high nationalism like Korea.

Culture shock is probably the best word to describe the first few months of my stay in Seoul, but when you open your mind and try to get to know the culture and the people, you would find the beauty of each culture and enjoy your stay in a foreign country.

Giving yourself chance to live in a foreign country is worth the experiences, knowledge and excitements.

Meidyana Rayana Intern Reporter news@theasian.asia

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