Because I studied abroad last spring in South Korea, I was asked to attend the discussion portion of the orientation to share some pointers and advice with students who will be studying in South Korea next spring. This type of event would have been infinitely helpful to me before I set off, but at that time, Korean students were asked to attend instead. I thought long and hard about what advice I might be able to give to these students, especially ones who would attend their semester at Kyungpook National University.
The students had countless questions and were bouncing with excitement—it made me wish I could go back and relive my semester abroad. I advised them on what was worth bringing, on types of medicines to bring or buy there, on the best ways to manage finances, and on the best places to go shopping. We talked about varying aspects of Korean culture—the hierarchy system, drinking culture, and student life. I encouraged them to get involved, to at least try to learn a bit of the language, and to be open to whatever experiences may come their way. When looking at these students and at the exchange friends I’ve made at OU, one of the best pieces of advice I could give is to never say NO without at least considering all options. Living life to the fullest is the best part of college and of studying abroad, so being flexible is utterly important! I wish them all best of luck on their semester and will live vicariously through them as I stalk them on Facebook ^^