[Korea Report] Culture shock of living in Seoul ends up making familiar to things Korean

Korean Soju (traditional alcohol beverage) with a famous woman artist in its advertisement (Photo: www.21food.com)

Culture Shock and Homesick are two words that we often hear about when we talk to foreigner living in a country away from their motherland.

Despite of all the excitements and adventures in a foreign land, obstacles cannot be disregarded easily.

As an Indonesian student, living in Seoul, I am quite familiar with those expressions.

Language barrier and cultural differences created a huge lag on my Indonesian life style and Korean life style.

As an Indonesian, I am not use to alcohol drinking as much as Korean do. I drink alcohol only on special occasion and being a responsible social-drinker.

But Alcohol is so common for Korean. I saw youngsters drunk in subway and streets, covered with their own puke.

Old man smelled as Soju (Korean alcohol drink) with red faces and bumping into me all the time in the streets.

This is one of the culture shock I often face while living in Seoul.

School is another challenge. My class in the university supposes to be English class but because there are not many foreigners in the class,  the lecturer decides to conduct the class in Korean.

This put so much pressure on my study and added up the feeling of being foreign, being a stranger, an outcast.

After sometimes living in Seoul, I got to know more people, explore Seoul more and found better way to communicate and understand the system, and then I finally found out ways to overcome the problems one by one.

I talked to every professor that I am going to take the classes and figure out things with them. They then provided me with options. Options of whether taking separate English class with other foreigners or they would be kind enough to conduct the class in English.

Even though I hope that the last option would not put Korean students at ease for taking classes in English, but the professor agreed that the method would be also good for the Korean students, as the University is trying to globalize its student and system.

Getting to know local people more while trying to open our mind, understand and respect each other cultural background would help foreigners easily adjust their living in a foreign soil. Also would help a host nation to be more open to the global world. Only then, living as a global citizen, which is inevitable in this era, would be easier and offer a lot of fun and beauty of each culture’s uniqueness to be experienced.

Meidyana Rayana Intern Reporter news@theasian.asia

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