In May 2023, I went on a study abroad trip to South Korea that ended up exceeding all of my expectations. Prior to this trip, I had no plans of ever studying abroad because I knew that it would come with high costs, and there weren’t any destinations that particularly piqued my interest. However, as I left class one day, I saw a digital poster that read “Summer Field Study in Korea in Summer 2023”.

Now, you may be wondering why this caught my attention out of all the other flashy study abroad posters that I would see day after day. About three years prior to this instance, I stumbled upon Korean pop music, K-pop. I instantly became fascinated with not only the music but also the language and culture, so I began studying and learning more about the country. Ever since that moment, I dreamed of traveling to South Korea, but I always imagined that this trip would come after I was graduated and already in the workforce. Little did I know that this dream of mine would become reality sooner than expected, and I was elated. This trip not only excited me because I’d be going to a personal bucket list destination; I would also be studying architecture which is what I’m going to school for.

This trip was truly the best of both worlds and something that I had never been more excited for. While I was elated at the opportunity to study abroad, I was also feeling nervous because I didn’t know anyone else going at the time. This was all out of my comfort zone, but I am so thankful for the opportunity to go and that I did go. There is something so fulfilling about going to a different country and learning about something you are passionate about from a different perspective. Not only did this trip benefit my learning, but it also forms friendships that are like no other with people you never knew existed before. I ended up meeting some of the most amazing friends, whom I still hang out with to this day, and was able to experience the most beautiful country in the most authentic way.

In hindsight, I am eternally grateful that I could study abroad when I did, and I would strongly encourage anyone who is thinking about going to just go! The trip, wherever you may go, is worth it in so many ways that you will never know unless you go. Studying abroad will allow you to study what you are passionate about in a different country, create relationships with people you would never imagine otherwise, and experience a culture that broadens your perspective not only while you are there but also when you return home.

If this post got you thinking and you’d like to talk to a study abroad advisor, set up a 1-on-1 advising appointment here.