My First Week Experience

It has now been a week since I arrived in Korea. After getting off the plane I was exhausted and could hardly function so it didn’t hit me that I was in a foreign country. Once I met other American students at the airport and talked with them I found out they felt the same way. As we were in the taxi driving to campus it still didn’t feel like we were in Korea. It just felt like we were in a different part of the States that we had never seen before.

As I mentioned before I am adopted. Even though my physical appearance looks Asian I feel like I am white because I have grown up with only white people. Before the trip I have been to New York City multiple times. Whenever I go to Chinatown or an area with a lot of Asians I feel like I am the minority as a white person. Because this is true I assumed it would be the same way in Korea, but to my surprise it is not. Even though it has finally hit me that I am in a foreign country I don’t feel as out of place as I thought I would. I honestly don’t know why and it interests me to why this is so.

Since it took a few days to realize I am in Korea I was not that excited at first. I was struggling to get over the jet lag and just wanted to sleep. I could always go to bed at a normal time, but would wake up at 4am and not be able to fall back asleep. Now that the jetlag is over I can enjoy and take in everything surrounding me and I am definitely excited I am here. Teaching also started this past Thursday and makes the experience so much better and stimulating. I absolutely love it and am sad to think it only lasts a few weeks. My students are amazing and really interested in learning about America. They look forward to spending extra time with my co-teachers and I outside the classroom as well. So far I find this true with most of the students in the program.

Below is a picture of my co-teachers and I on our first day of our internship and part of my dorm!

** For the first three weeks of my time in Korea I am living and teaching at the Cheonan campus and not Jukjeon. So, my blogs will be based on my experience in Cheonan. Starting July 13th I will be back at the Jukjeon campus taking classes for the academic program.

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Hi! My name is Andrea and I am currently a junior at SUNY New Paltz. My major is Early Childhood and Childhood Education with a concentration in English. I have always had an interest in traveling so I could not pass up the opportunity to study abroad! I was actually born in Korea, but adopted as a baby so I have never been and don’t know too much about the Korean culture. I’m excited to learn as much as I can while having the time of my life!

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