Updated: Mar 19, 2019
Name: Reihane Pour Mehran
University : Jönköping University
1. Why did you want to study in South Korea and How did you become interested in Korea and the Korean culture?
Since I was 14 years old, I’ve been really interested in the Korean culture. It all started from listening to K-pop and then watching Korean dramas. After that, I naturally started to dive into the culture. When I found out that my university had an exchange program with HGU I immediately applied. I really wanted to experience the culture in real life and learn more of the language. I just really wanted to get out of my own culture and dive into another culture that I am unfamiliar with.
2. What made you apply HGU out of other Korean universities?
My university only had HGU as an option to study abroad, but I did some research before coming here and it really looked like a great university! HGU is very caring and loving towards one another that If I had gone somewhere else it would not have been the same experience I’m currently having at HGU. I really like the values and culture of HGU.
3. What has been your happiest time at Handong?
Happy time: during Ihanst week it was the best week ever, it was really fun getting to know everybody in the dorm and in our senage team. Especially when we played games and took many group pictures I felt like I got to know everyone in a good way and I felt like safe and comfortable around everyone and in this school and just being here since I am so far away from my family and I have never been so far from them, but I feel so comfortable that I still don’t miss home because I find HGU very comfortable and safe.
4. What was your first impression of HGU?
My first impression of HGU was very welcoming. As soon as I arrived at the international dorm I was greeted by other international students outside who all greeted me as I walked into the dorm. Then once I walked into the dorm I was greeted by the Ihanst team and they were very welcoming because they all wanted to help me carry my luggage to my room. The Ihanst team was also very caring towards international and exchange students making sure that I was okay with everything or if I need something to let them know. From that day I felt HGU has a very caring and hospitable environment.
5. How is life in Pohang?
Personally, for me, HGU feels like it’s own city because most of the time I’m on campus and there are a lot of things to do here. But, when I do go out into the city I’m always with other people from HGU it’s really fun to explore the city. The city is nothing like I’ve experienced before in my life because I haven’t had the opportunity to live in a city like Pohang. So it feels like I’m living in another world. I really enjoying clothing shopping, going to the beach, and going out to sing karaoke with my friends. I also love the food in Pohang. My favorite Korean food would definitely have to be the fried chicken, hands down the best chicken in the world. I hope to explore Pohang more throughout the semester.
6. How are you interacting with Korean people?
I’ve made a lot of Korean friends so far. I’m also so familiar with the language that whenever I hear Korean it’s just a familiar sound to me. So I always try to speak Korean when I interact with Korean friends because I know they like it and appreciate it. I feel like I’ve learned more about the Korean culture from my Korean friends or other Koreans I’ve met on campus. But, because I come from a different background than Korean from time to time there can be “culture hits”. If miscommunication happens between myself and another Korean, it’s important to let the other person what you meant and clear the miscommunication. So far when I’ve run into these type of situations we are very understanding of each other and try to be understanding of what we each have to say.
7. What is my career goal and goal while studying at Handong?
My dream is to become a social worker and help others with difficulties in their life’s.I want to travel to different countries to do volunteer work and internships for organizations that help others or that need help with social problems. I like meeting people who are facing social problems. I really want to build a mutual relationship with people that are facing these issues. I also want to travel so I can observe how different countries and cultures face different social problem and how they occurred how they can be improved in the certain country.
My goal at HGU is to pass all of my courses and I really want to learn more about the social welfare in South Korea along with learning more about existing social problems in the country. My other goal is to become more fluent in Korean and interact more with Korean students and people to build more relationships. My end goal is to learn more Korean so I can speak Korean with my Korean friends.
8. Do you have any advice for future exchange students?
Before you come to HGU look at the exchange websites because they have a lot of information that will be helpful and beneficial for you. Something you should know is that it’s very windy and rainy here during the spring time so I recommend to bring some clothes, umbrellas don’t work here so don’t bring one instead of buying a raincoat when you come. Bring cash for the first few weeks and also bring some money for group activities. Be open to getting to know people from all over the world, and also understand that we are all from different cultures so you should be more understanding of others so don’t judge people.
9. Why would you recommend HGU to someone?
I would recommend HGU for many reasons. First of all, I really love values the school places on the student and the facility. They are very kind values, and I really just love how much the school cares about them. During the last day of orientation week, we had a ceremony to take a pledge about the HGU values, and it was one of the sincerest and precious things I’ve witnessed. On campus, they are many kinds and welcoming people. Especially as a foreigner I felt very welcomed by the Korean students because they asked many questions and they were understanding when I didn’t understand something. The HGU environment is very unique and unlike any other school, I have seen because everyone is welcoming, caring, and loving. As soon as I got here I met people from all over the world and Korean students, who helped me improve my Korean and understand the Korean culture more.