EXCHANGE 2018 Spring
Name: Scout Barratt
University: John Brown University
1. Why did you want to study in South Korea and how did you become interested in Korea?
I decided to study abroad in South Korea because I fell in love with the culture when I visited last summer. After visiting, I said to myself, “I have to come back somehow.” So when I found out my university offered a program to study in South Korea I was super excited and took the opportunity to study at Handong. When I was in high school I had an exchange student friend from South Korea. We became really good friends that she ended up inviting me to visit South Korea last summer. Through her, I got to learn more about the Korean culture and got to experience a little bit of the culture. After experiencing it with her I dove more into the culture by listening to K-pop and watching Korean dramas.
2. What has been your happiest time at Handong?
My happiest time at Handong so far has been meeting new people and making new friends from all over the world. I get to hang out with many international students from all different countries and cultures. I also like hanging out with my professor’s team, which also has some Korean students. Some of my favorite things doing with them are going to noraebang and eating delicious Korean meals like Korean bbq.
3. What made you apply to HGU out of other Korean universities?
I applied to Handong because upper-classmen from my university recommended me Handong because of the unique environment of the school. The upper-classmen wrote blogs while studying at Handong and I got the chance to read their stories about living and studying at Handong and it seemed like they had a great experience here. Some of the experience I read were so precious and heart-warming that I really wanted to come to HGU so I could experience the school myself.
4. How is life in Pohang?
Living in Pohang is very fun because there are a lot of different things you can do and a lot of places you can see. Almost everything that I have done so far in Pohang has been very cool for me because I have never tried so many new things before in my life. My favorite thing about Pohang is the food because I enjoy eating and socializing with others. It’s also fun going to restaurants and cooking your own meal at the table.
5. How are you interacting with Korean people and students on campus?
It can be difficult at times starting a conversation or interacting with Korean students because many of them are so self-conscious about their English skills, but once you start talking and interacting with one another you can become closer with one another.
6. Tell us your first impression of Handong.
The HGU is very community orientated and is always active because they always have things planned out for the students. Everyone was willing to help me move in and they all made sure I was adjusting well to Korea and getting the rest I needed. Everyone is very self-less and the community is just so caring and people really have servant-hearts for one another.
7. What is your goal at Handong?
I want to experience as much as I can this semester and make new friends. I want to do things that are out of my comfort zone. I also want to travel and experience the country as much as possible. I want to become more fluent in Korean so I can better communicate with the Korean students.
8. Do you have any advice for future exchange students?
Do as much as you can even if it makes your nervous or you have never tried something before. Just do it because you will get new experiences from trying new things. Also, definitely approach the Korean students because they will appreciate it. Don’t be afraid to be yourself because the Korean culture is so different than our home culture so don’t try to be Korean just be yourself. Because the culture is different by not drinking water during meals, I recommend that they bring a water bottle to have something to drink during meals.
9. Would you recommend Handong to other students?
Although I come from a Christian university I feel that I’ve grown more spiritually and have had more of an opportunity to grow here than back home. I would definitely recommend HGU because it has such a loving and caring environment. I think everyone should experience what HGU has to offer students because it’s a very unique school with a unique environment that everyone should have the chance to experience especially their loving and caring environment on campus. Also, living in the international dorm is cool because you get to learn more about different cultures and people from all over the world.