Final Days in Seoul :(

I just want to begin this post by expressing how grateful I am that I was selected to be given the SLA grant which provided me the opportunity to study in Seoul. I have met such amazing people and had incomparable experiences that I would not have been able to have without this opportunity.

The final week of the program was bittersweet. On one hand I was excited to go back home, but on the other hand I did not want to leave the people I have become so close with. It is crazy how close people can get in just 6 weeks during a summer program. I was not ready to leave, especially knowing that it would be very hard to see these people again because they live across the country and around the world.

We had our final for Korean, which not gonna lie, was really hard. I was pretty confident with the listening, but the reading really got me. There were some sentences where I could not identify any of the words, which made me realized how much more work I needed to put in if I wanted to become fluent in Korean. It made me feel better when we finished our exam and the rest of the class also agreed that the final was pretty hard. I did better than I thought I would, so I am thankful for that. But I still have a long ways to go if I want to be completely comfortable in Korean. One of my classmates printed out a picture of our class and handed it out to everyone. It was really sweet.

I also made sure to eat all the foods I really liked before the end of the program. I love sweet potato pizza. This is what it looks like.

Sweet Potato Pizza with Chicken Tenders



It is the perfect mix between sweet and savory and it is so good. There aren’t any places near where I live that sell sweet potato pizza, and definitely none near Notre Dame. This pizza will be deeply missed.

I also love this cheese sprinkled chicken. It’s called 뿌링클 치킨 (Bbrinkle Chicken) and it is so good. I never truly appreciated Korean chicken wings until I actually had them in Korea. There are so many different flavors and a lot of them are marinated so well. The Bbrinkle chicken also come with cheese balls, which are basically doughnut holes with cheese inside, which is also very good.

Bbrinkle Chicken

I also fell in love with Myongrong Hot Dog. It is basically a corndog with mozzarella cheese inside, but they sprinkle it with sugar. It is SO GOOD. I tried making it at home once but it wasn’t the same. There is a Myongrong hot dog in LA, but I live in NJ so it is very unlikely that I will be able to have Myongrong hot dog again until I go back to Korea, or I decide to visit LA.

Myongrong Hot Dog

Korean food will always have a special place in my heart and it will be dearly missed. Same goes for all of the amazing people I met at Yonsei.

My amazing Yonsei Friends



I have definitely seen my Korean improve. I don’t get too anxious anymore whenever restaurant owners/store owners ask me a lot of questions. I don’t get anxious at all asking restaurant owners/store owners my own questions. I have become a lot more confident with my Korean typing and my Korean writing. But I definitely need to work a lot more if I want to understand newspaper articles and have a fluent conversation with an adult Korean native. My sentences are still kind of choppy, but I definitely have time and the opportunity to improve in my Korean class this upcoming fall semester.

My Korean Class <3

Class, Food, Ihwa Mural Village

Hello! I am sorry I have not posted in a while, I have been quite busy. My Korean class has been going really well and I recently presented a newspaper article for my class. It was pretty difficult because I could not understand most of the article. I took a lot of time translating words I didn’t know and summarizing the story because it was difficult for me to understand, which would mean it would be difficult for the class to understand. I presented about the new bullying law that was created for the workplace in South Korea. South Korea still has pretty severe hierarchal views so bullying in the workplace is still prevalent by the higher ups. Nurses, in fact, have one of the highest bullying rate in South Korea. Thankfully, my presentation went well and the class was very helpful in answering my questions.

I was also able to go to a lot of places with people from my class. We went to a pork place which was very good. I really like the eating culture in Seoul. Everyone is always trying to go to good food places, which I really appreciate. It is really fun to eat good food with your friends and talk about your days. I think the fact that Seoul has so many good food places (맛집) is what really attracts me. I love food and I love hanging out with friends so eating good food with good people is really relaxing and fun.


Meat Place

I was also able to go to Ihwa Mural Village with a friend. It kind of reminds me of a European/South Korean fusion type of area. The cafes are very European styled whereas the road and the houses are pretty traditional Korean. The murals were quite beautiful and because it is at the top of a hill we got to see the view. Because I am staying in Seoul, a city, it is quite difficult to find a place that is peaceful. Ihwa Mural Village, although still in the city, is a pretty secluded area surrounded by nature and residents, so it was quiet and very pleasant to walk around.

The View
Ihwa Mural village


I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity that SLA has given me and I am so sad that my time in Seoul is coming to an end. Thank you for reading!

War Memorial of Korea

During the past week I visited the War Memorial of Korea. Our professor had recommended the museum to us, so my friend and I decided to go. I definitely learned a lot from the museum, especially because the history of Korea is not taught in depth in America. I had recently gained an interest in the Korean War, so I was very excited to go. Our professor, however, had advertised the memorial as the Korean War Memorial so I thought it was only about the Korean War, but it was actually the War Memorial of Korea and had wars starting from 100 AD. Honestly the wars from all the way back then were not too interesting to me just because I tend to find more recent wars more interesting. But starting from the Japanese occupation, I learned a lot.

The statue below is located outside of the War Memorial, right when you walk in. It was interesting to see how the North Korean soldier and the South Korean soldier are portrayed. The South Korean soldier is the one posed taller, whereas the North Korean soldier is crouching into the other soldier’s arms. 

It shocked me when I saw how huge Korea once was. However, after the country started getting invaded by China and Japan, it got smaller and smaller. Of course, the division of North and South Korea also decreased the land of each countries.

It was very interesting to me because during the culture part of our lesson, our professor asked us to make sure we read the rhetoric the museum used. Although the U.S. made plenty of mistakes during the war and contributed to the deaths of many, they were still written in as heroes. None of the words used to describe America’s actions used any negative terms, whereas North Korea was depicted as evil.

This is a reenactment of the war scene during the war. My grandfather was 17 years old, a high school senior, when the war started and was drafted into the war at his young age. This reenactment brought to mind how scary and traumatizing it must have been for my grandfather to have been a part of this horrific war.

I was also surprised to find out that it was such a large war fought between many different countries, however, is left out of most of our history classes. The U.S. played a large role in the war and the division of North and South Korea, but we rarely ever talk about the Korean War. I hope that soon we will start to include the Korean War in our history classes.

My First Week at Yonsei

Hello! 안녕하세요! It has already been a week since the program started and I am amazed at the experiences I have already had. Coming to South Korea by myself was definitely nerve-wracking because I have never travelled this far without my parents. I had always relied on my parents to act as my translators while we navigated through Korea, but this time I had no one except for myself to rely on. I stayed at my aunt’s house for a week before I moved into my Airbnb before school started. I was very anxious about making friends because I knew no one at the program, but luckily the students in my class are very friendly! They are very energetic and outgoing and are always proposing new places to go. I honestly though everyone in my Korean class would be Korean American because I as enrolled at a semi-high level, but there are a good amount of foreigners too. I was amazed that these students, some who have never even taken a formal Korean course, were so good at Korean.

My Korean Class

The class is definitely expanding my knowledge in Korean vocabulary and sentence structure. As someone who grew  up listening to Korean, I tend to write words as they are heard, which is not always correct. As English speakers would know, we do not speak the way we write. I am also more familiar with daily conversation language, and not reading newspapers or articles, which is what we are learning in class. I hope I can see my improvement in the language in the upcoming weeks.

On the second day of class, we went to Han River (한강), one of Korea’s most beloved attractions, together. We ordered chicken and pizza and got to know each other. The sunset was beautiful and the weather was perfect, not too hot with a slight breeze.

Han River


Friends at Han River

I am hoping to make a lot more memories for the rest of the time I am here!