University Student a.k.a 학생 (Hagsaeng)
December 12, 2016
I went to the Korean language center office at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies with one of my fifty pounds bags and a notebook. I knew that I couldn’t check into my dorm room until three p.m., but I thought I could carry one of my bags with me while I checked out the school surroundings. After our shopping trip to Myeongdong, my cousin’s friend took me to where the school was located. She thought it would be helpful if I knew how to take the subway to the school and find out where I was supposed to go beforehand. I felt like it was a mechanism for making sure that I didn’t get too comfortable at her place. Like she wanted to make sure with her own eyes that I had a place to live and I was actually doing something while I was living in Korea.
If you talk to someone and don’t have a definite plan with clear intentions for your future they seem to get extremely nervous around you, like you’re a lost child with no clear plans and no home. After going to the office and being told they would not be able to let me check into the dorm before check-in time I found out that I was already late for my first day of class. I was actually assigned to a morning class and it had already started an hour ago.
1st Korean Language Class
My first time going into the class was a bit embarrassing. I realized that I was the oldest person there and no one else spoke English. This was like a cold bucket of water being thrown in my face. My teacher would only explain what she was trying to teach in Korean. The frustration quickly set in when I would try to ask questions and instead of answering the questions she would repeat what she had just demonstrated. Frustration doesn’t begin to explain how I felt.
How was I supposed to ask questions when the rest of the class seemed so much more advanced and understood everything she was trying to teach them? Instead, I focused on copying the characters and repeating the words she wrote on the blackboard.
If you want to continue reading about my life in Seoul, South Korea check out the next post in my travel diary.