Welcome to the summertime. With the weather I’ve been feeling, it must be summer already. That means that I’ve been preparing for this wonderful adventure for four seasons. When I sit down to type something out to blog about, I always want to say something profound and original. However, being a 20 year old with tons of other things to worry about, I always get tongue tied. I am more familiar with the backspace button of my computer than I am with the “publish” button on WordPress.
Anyway, today I just wanted to discuss preparation. Nothing terribly profound or exciting but without prep time, nothing would ever get done in life, correct? You can’t make food without some preparation first. Preparation is always the hard part. It’s the getting-off-your-bum-and-actually-doing-something part. Preparing for the journey and actually being on the journey are two very different experiences. But sometimes the preparation for a journey may be even more important that the journey itself.
Preparation for this journey has proved itself time and time again to be the most difficult thing I had to do in a long time. It’s a constant battle of mile-high stacks of papers, convincing family and friends, making plans, and working out anything else along the way. The preparation to study abroad in South Korea has been an adventure all on its own and I haven’t even left my country yet.
Another type of preparation would be mental prep, in hopes to lessen the culture shock when I get to South Korea. I know there is really nothing I can do in this area except RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH.
Among my researching:
I’ve been learning Korean which will surely help me communicate while abroad. The study abroad program I chose said that I could actually go without any knowledge of the language, but the more I learn about South Korea, the more I want to know the language as well.
Chopsticks. But not just any chopsticks- metal chopsticks. I’m actually terrible at holding and eating with chopsticks (and I’ll only practice when no one is around because I, seriously, get food everywhere). However, the more I practice… I’m getting better. I’ll never be a master of chopsticks but maybe I won’t embarrass myself with them either.
What’s right and what’s wrong. Finding out things like what not to do and what is acceptable is quite hard to do from books and websites alone. I’ve actually ventured outside and asked several of the Korean exchange students at my college about what to do and how to do it. After many discussions, I’m sure I’ll still make a fool of myself in Korea by doing something I shouldn’t do but, at least, I know some things. Like did you know: when receiving a gift from someone else, always receive the gift with two hands. Or when calling someone over to you, make sure your palm is facing down, not open like we do in America.
I am most definitely not done with preparation until I am on that plane for South Korea (August!!). What kind of preparation did you make for your abroad experiences? And if you have any tips that will be of help to me: make sure to let me know. I love comments!