How My First Week Went

Lovel Lee, ’25, is a Graphic Design major studying at Hanyang University this Summer 2023.

Coming to Korea, I knew it would be an experience that I wanted to take full advantage of and my first week in Korea was most definitely packed full. As soon as we landed at 4:25am it was straight to exploring the city of Gangnam. We tried taking public transportation and learned how to navigate quickly. I took advantage of knowing Korean to speak with the locals and get recommendations. As someone who works in customer service, I have learned that talking to people is really a smart thing to do. Instead of walking around confused, asking questions could save valuable time and effort. Also, most people I have talked to are really helpful and kind.

My first two days were spent shopping and trying out different restaurants in Gangnam and Seoul. We tried ordering food and I fell in love with how quick and efficient the system was. I realized how efficient a lot of things are in Korea. The transportation is really clean and guides people with a color-coded system as well as lights. There’s no tipping in Korea so the bill is easier to pay. The streets are clean and the trash is organized into plastic, paper, cans, food waste, and general waste. It’s a bit of an adjustment from the United States where trash cans line every block. In Korea, trash cans are rare to come across and you can’t just throw everything out carelessly. It’s a wonderful system but one that can be a little confusing at first.

On the third day, I went to a church named Jubilee and met a wonderful community of people from all over the world. It was really beautiful to see such diversity and meet so many different people. I went out to lunch with the college group after and will definitely be going back. 

Friends at Jubilee Church, Photo Credit: Hannah

The next day I was at Hanyang for the orientation and thoroughly enjoyed the performances. It was so surreal finally being in Korea after months of preparing. Hanyang also organizes group activities and the one I chose was going to Busan the day after orientation. I really loved how it was organized and how we took a bus. Although it was 6 hours of traveling to Busan, the buses were so comfortable and the views were phenomenal. I was initially worried that the trip would occur so quickly and before the actual program began. However, I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and make friends early on. In Busan, we visited Lotte World, a market, the Gamcheon Village, and a skywalk over the coast of Busan.

Lotte World in Busan

The classes I’m taking are also a lot of fun. I fell in love with the ceramics class and how peaceful it is. The teachers are all kind and welcoming. I really feel at home and I can’t wait to see what the second week brings me.

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