When My Life Turned Into an Actual Korean Drama
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and Chung Ang University, South Korea
If there is ever a time in my life that I will think back to as being full, exciting, and never-ending in happiness, it will most certainly be my year abroad in South Korea. Honestly, one year was not long enough to enjoy the wonders of this beautiful country. I will never take my time there for granted. My name is Ashleigh Wojciechowski and I’m a Liberal Studies major with a focus in East Asian Studies.
Let me tell you, I have sat here for days trying to write about my favorite experience in Korea. I simply can’t write about just one thing. There are too many amazing experiences that I have to touch on! I studied at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies for the Summer of 2017 and then at Chung-Ang University for Fall 2017 and Spring 2018. I made amazing friends from all over the world and we went to amazing places within Seoul and outside of Seoul together. I admit, much of my time was spent enjoying the increasingly global sensation of Korean Popular Culture. I went to multiple K-Pop concerts and even met some of my most favorite artists! I had the pleasure of meeting the girl group Dreamcatcher as they signed my album and I spoke to them in my very poor Korean. Getting to see BTS (방탄소년 단) four times, however, was a truly magnificent experience, and yes, I cried at every single concert.
However, don’t think that just because I love the popular culture doesn’t mean that the historical aspects of Korea didn’t give me an equally thrilling time! The most amazing thing I got to do -- that didn’t make me scream and lose my voice -- was going to a buddhist mountain temple and statue near Boryeong. This was probably the most spiritual I’ve felt in my life. We walked up a mountain in the rain to get to this amazing carved statue of three buddhas, and the rain stopped with a halo around us as we approached it. It was absolutely mystifying and breathtaking. Along with this, I was able to see an old fortress near the sea and walk through the main palace of the Joseon dynasty wearing Hanbok (the Korean traditional dress). I felt like I was in my favorite historical K-Drama!