At the end of the program, Hanyang had a closing graduation ceremony where we got to put on cap and gowns, see performances from the dance classes, hear speeches from professors, and overall commemorate the last couple of weeks spent together studying. Since I had taken the Korean Traditional Fan Dance class, I missed most of the graduation since I was backstage getting ready to perform. The other performance was a Modern K-Pop dance group. Performing in front of everyone was a lot of fun! It felt a bit odd to “graduate” since it was a short program, but it was a nice ending to a fast-paced program. For those wondering, I am attempting to do Korean finger hearts in the photo below 🙂
The day after the graduation, I was adopted by some Singaporean friends I had made during the program through my classes and went to Jeju Island, South Korea’s largest island. It has so much to do, and I definitely want to go back! I climbed to the top of Mount Hallasan with some friends which took about 9 hours. I was very exhausted but it was very rewarding! I also was able to visit waterfalls, a seaside cliff called Yongmeori Coast, a Teddy Bear Museum, temples, and a green tea field, where I got to buy some unique farm-fresh green tea products! Since the island is so big, the people I was with rented a car to drive around to the different places. Our hotel was also next to a market that had lots of shopping and food options during the night.
Originally when planning for South Korea I really wanted to go to at least one other Asian country when the program ended since I wasn’t sure when the next time I would be in the Eastern Hemisphere. I was fortunate enough to have made friends from Singapore willing to show me around, so I booked a 6 hour flight from South Korea and was able to explore this beautiful city-state! The food there was delicious and the tropical flora and fauna were gorgeous. The public transportation system was a lot less overwhelming than Seoul’s and was very easy to navigate around the city – probably because everything was in English! Singaporean English is a bit different from American English and they also use more British-English words in their vocabulary (I would have to Google words from time-to-time to make sure I understood what they were talking about!). I was there a few days before Singapore’s Independence day, so the streets were riddled with “Happy Birthday Singapore” signs and streets were being closed off for a huge celebration of fireworks and a parade to commemorate the holiday. The Central Business District reminded me of a blend between Los Angeles and Chicago – just a lot cleaner, no Hispanic food, and more humidity. I wish I could have stayed longer, and I hope to go back one day!
A Message from the Office of Global Engagement:
The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.