The Study Abroad Newsletter

First Time Experiences

Shiela Mae Almazan

Accounting major
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, South Korea

My name is Shiela Mae Almazan, and I am an accounting major. I have been studying at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in South Korea. Originally, I was planning to study abroad for the spring semester only, but I thought it would be better to stay for the fall semester too in order to do the summer program that is held every year at my host university. I have experienced so many great things ever since summer, including meeting new friends from other countries, going to cities outside Seoul, and experiencing Korean culture. Living in South Korea for five months now has changed me in so many ways. I was able to step out of my comfort zone. I became more sociable and independent, and I’m still continuing on building up my self-confidence.

Overall, this semester has been extremely wonderful. I think my most favorite memory is experiencing seasons for the first time. I mostly enjoyed the fall season because the weather was perfect. I liked the warm summer nights; however, it was even better to feel the cool breeze while walking together with my friends at night. Whenever I went outside of my dorm, the first thing I always noticed was the colors of the trees. It’s winter now, the weather has gotten colder, the trees are bare, and most people are wearing black padding jackets. It was my first time seeing snow falling today, and the funniest thing I’ve heard from my friend who was with me is that snow looks exactly like dandruff. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to experiencing the spring season—flowers blooming, wearing sandals and less clothing again, and seeing pastel colors and florals everywhere.

This is a photo together with my buddy group when we went to a Hanok Village.

Sheila and friends at a temple