Hi everyone! It took me awhile to finally write this. This is about my adventure as an exchange student at INHA University, South Korea. Or to be specific, my first day in South Korea.
Well, my university (BINUS University) has a lot of partnerships with universities in Asia, Australia, America, and Europe. I actually had a chance to get scholarship for exchange program in Australia but I chose Korea as my exchange destination instead of Australia or english-speaking countries because I never learned korean before and I was pretty excited (I am still excited) to learn a new language, know more about the culture, food, people, etc. Imagine that you come to a country where you can’t speak the language, it will be pretty challenging and interesting, right? 😀
No k-pop or k-drama influence I swear, because I don’t know much about them. haha. But I feel kpop is getting pretty interesting these days and I like it now. I like Bigbang. A lot. Lol. I listen to its songs everyday. Oh! I’m listening to G-Dragon – Crooked now while writing this. Lol. Let’s get started!
FIRST DAY IN KOREA
I left Jakarta on February 26 at 11.00 pm (UTC+07.00) and traveled 7 hours to Incheon International Airport till I arrived the next day on February 27 at 8am (UTC+09.00). I was so excited to leave Indonesia for Korea 😀 Once I went through immigrations and left my mom and friends who came with me to the airport, I smiled and knew this adventure was going to be amazing!
Culture shock was real even before I checked in when an airline passenger officer spoke korean with me because she thought that I’m a korean. I was so confused then I told her that I’m not a korean. Lol. It was getting even more hilarious when I arrived and I saw hangeul everywhere.
When I was walking out of the airport, I heard someone (a girl) calling my name couples time. It was so confusing because I didn’t have anyone whom I know in Korea. Yeah I knew no one. Lol. I was like “huh? How could someone call my name? Who is she?” When I turned to the voice, I saw a korean girl standing in front of me and she asked me “are you Jennifer?” I was confused for a moment then I recognized that she is 김보나 (Kim Bo Na), my buddy (Inha University offers korean buddies program for exchange students and she is my buddy).
Before I went to Korea, we sent emails and photos (and she could recognize me at the airport through my photo.. epic! lol) with each other and I also told her that I will arive in Korea on February 27 in the morning. It turned out that she said she would pick me up at the airport but I didn’t read her email so I didn’t know that she would come. I think she was the only buddy who was willing to come to the airport alone by herself early in the morning to pick exchange student up! She is so nice! This may sound creepy but I still remember that she wore black winter jacket, a black&white sneaker, and a brown backpack.
We walked out of the airport and when I was outside.. DANG! It was freaking cold. I had no idea that it would be that cold. Lol. Since I flew from Jakarta and fyi, it’s 30°c or more everyday in Jakarta, I only wore sweater, and also it was not so cold at the airport. So I guessed it’s fine. I was wrong. Lol.
I quickly opened my luggage to get my winter jacket. My buddy laughed at me. Lollll. It was -4°c, I swear it was freaking cold for real. It was really hilarious. Lol.
First day went awesome. I went to dorm, put all my things, then I had lunch with my buddy and Jessie, my Indonesian friend, at a restaurant named Alchon. I love the food anyway, it tastes insanely delicious!
She is freaking nice, she took me to INHA University (finally!) and showed me the buildings and stuffs.
In the afternoon I went to a cafe to drink hot coffee. Uhm.. I actually went there to get free wifi! LOL. Then I went to HomePlus, a huge supermarket. I bought pillow, soap, shampoo, some snacks, and so many other stuffs. Lol. At night I had dinner at dorm and took rest at my room. Awesome first day!