I am FINALLY on holiday. I had classes all through Christmas and New Year, now I can finally say that I am finished. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy having to do classes through this period. Watching all my friends enjoying their holiday while I was stuck in my room having classes eventually got a bit depressing. Now that our semester is over I have a little over a month to recharge before I start proper University. This month isn’t going to be all relaxing, I still have TOPIK at the beginning of February and I will have to figure out new visas as well as class registrations. I’ll also have to move from one city to another at some point. However, I’m going to try my best to enjoy my last few weeks here in Busan. There are still a few places left on my list of ‘places to see in Busan’ and I hope to get it all completed before I leave.
On Friday, my classmates and I graduated from our one-year intensive Korean language course. I can’t believe that I already completed two semesters as it feels like only last month I arrived in Korea. In two semesters I managed to fulfil the language requirements of my scholarship program (TOPIK level 3). In my last TOPIK exam, I got level 4, but I’m still aiming for level 5. Hopefully in the next few months, I’ll be able to reach this goal. Considering that I could only read a few words when I first arrived, I would say it’s quite an accomplishment.
This one-year language course was not easy. Daily vocab tests and regular exam practice tests always kept me on edge. Also, having classes online meant that studying in groups wasn’t possible so I had to learn to rely on my own notes and study patterns. I’m really happy about this as now I’m familiar with my own study habits and what works best for me. For example, I now know that I study much more effectively in short periods and with short breaks. I also learnt that memorizing 30 words at night takes about an hour whereas the first thing in the morning it can take only 20 minutes. Looking back to my high school study patterns; if I had studied the way I do now, I probably would’ve been able to accomplish a lot more ( I guess that’s always the case). I’m happy to start uni in March knowing that I have a better sense of my study patterns.
One of the reasons I wanted to come to Korea was to experience what it was like for my English as a second language friends when they came to Fiji. I have a lot more respect for them now. After going through something similar I realise it’s not easy moving to a country that speaks a completely different language and uses a completely different alphabet. I’m sure that there are definitely going to be more language challenges in Uni that will make me realise this even more. But for now, huge respect to them and I’m glad I got a chance to put myself in their shoes.
One of the best parts of the course was the two weeks of offline classes at the beginning of the second semester. This was the best part of the course as I got to experience classes in a Korean classroom and I was able to meet my classmates and teachers. We also managed to go on a small field trip together. It was really good as we got to see how everyone was like in person. Usually, during the online classes, we all look a bit grumpy and unreactive so I think it was good for the teachers to see that we are still fun youthful teenagers who actually possess the ability to react with emotions and facial expressions >_<.
Overall, I’m happy to have successfully completed the course and graduated. Although I’m a bit sad that we didn’t get to spend as much time as a class physically, I’m excited to see what’s next for all of us. I couldn’t have imagined a better place to have completed my language course and am thankful to all the teachers and friends I met while here in Busan. Good luck to everyone who will start at their new universities next semester
I’ve been doing a lot of research on fun places around Busan that I need to visit during my one year of language study. I’ve made a list of cool places to go and visit which include cafes, lookout spots and tourist attractions. Stay tuned to any updates by subscribing to my blog so you don’t miss out on any new posts! forget to like and subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss out on any new posts.
Feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below. Stay tuned as I write more about my life as an international student here in Korea.