It’s only the second day of classes and I’m already feeling the wave of stress try to take over my body. I have been up late trying to read for classes and make sure that I have everything back home taken care of. I went to bed around 3 am yesterday which was an upgrade from the previous night of 6 am. My first class begins at 9 am, but when you have work that needs to be done sometimes you have to sacrifice. Since it is the first week of classes I probably didn’t HAVE to stay up late, but I also know that I want my weekend to work more on my teaching certification and Korean so I am trying my best to get all of my reading assignments done early. I will admit that I fell asleep in my Cinema class today at the end of a film we were watching. Luckily there were no words at the end, just a man walking away with a baby, but I know that it probably meant a lot and I’m sad that I missed that part.
Luckily today it did not rain which made the start of the day better. I actually saw a guy that I knew from my University (University of Texas at Arlington). He was in the ELI (English Learning Institute) program there and I had never spoken to him, but I had always saw him in the gym. Sadly while speaking with him today someone interrupted the limited time frame we had and I had to run to my next class. At least I found out what his name was, which I had never known since I had never spoken with him. Anyway, this helped make it a better day for me because it brought back memories of all the Korean friends I had acquired at my University and how much I loved and really missed my school.
Being in Korea I have really distanced myself from my home life and I try not to think about it because I don’t want to become saddened. The reality is that I need to think about it because I have to graduate in December and I have a lot of things that need to be taken care of before I return. I think the best way to have a good study abroad experience is this sort of separation, but I put down several dates on my phone calendar to remind myself of important things that need to be taken care of. I don’t want to focus too much on that stuff because then I won’t be able to fully enjoy my time here.
Today I was asked why I decided to take the classes that I am taking. Note that I am just doing my advanced elective classes so I could literally take anything that I wanted to that was a 3000 or 4000 level course here. In choosing Pre-Modern Korean History, East Asian Cinema, and Korean Culture and the Cultural Wave I thought about what it would do for my future as an educator. I believe that to be effected in understanding a group of people you should know about the group of people you are going to try to teach/mentor to. This is the same reason why I want to become fluent in the Korean language. Pre-Modern will give me a background of the country and it’s foundations along with the chain of events that brought it to where it is now. East Asian Cinema will give me an idea of where other Asian countries are coming from in terms of media and it will also improve my writing abilities. Korean Culture and the Cultural wave was more of a personal choice since I am very into music and I want to explore more of the world of Korean pop culture and come to a better understanding of the differences my world in the States and the world here differ in terms of media. All of these classes have a ton of reading and will take a lot of my time, but it is something that I really want to do. I did consider dropping Pre-Modern only because of my Teaching Certification, but I realized that I would drop it for the wrong reasons and probably later regret it.
Choose classes wisely: The summer program is a minimum of two classes and a max of three classes. I wish that I was allowed to take four classes because I would have taken the language placement test and done Korean this summer, but it’s okay. I say choose wisely because our add/drop period is, I believe, only 3 days. I read over the syllabus of the classes and saw what the course load was going to be like before hand. Some Professors did not list the books and reading assignments yet, but I at least had an idea of what to expect. Don’t choose a class because it sounds fun, but rather because you think it would be beneficial to either your major or your future.
Keep applying for Scholarships:
I don’t graduate until December! That means I still have a chance to get more scholarships for next semester. The more scholarships you acquire the less financial hole you will be in once finished college. I am planning on doing an online Master’s program in TESOL after graduating so I will definitely need as many Scholarships as possible. If you’re not sure where to look head to my first few blog post where I give you the scholarship sites although I think I may need to add to it now.
Good Luck to all of you in your future endeavors. Believe in yourself!
Want to see pictures: http://www.facebook.com/musicalseoul
Interested in seeing videos: http://www.youtube.com/musicalseoul
P.S. My original plan was to make this a vlog, but youtube has been very difficult lately. I will try to bring you another special “writing,” but in vlog format. We will see how that goes.