I visited KOBE University in May 2016 by attending Research Foreign Industries (It's a class at YONSEI University.). During my visit, I was touched by the students and school welcoming us. They were so kind, and the scenery of the school was perfect too. It was beautiful. After that, we listened to the introduction of Kobe University and the information about exchange program. Especially, a Professor at YONSEI University, Kwon Myung-Jung, introduced the exchange program for YONSEI University’s student to KOBE University. It was a very attractive opportunity.
After I returned to Korea, I considered what I should do. But at that time, I heard that my junior colleague had already applied for the exchange program to KOBE University. I always cannot convert ideas to action. But I don't want to regret missing out this opportunity in the future.
And another reason is when I was studying at YONSEI University, I studied a lot of economic situation of foreign countries. I was especially interested in Japan's economic situation. Because Korea and Japan are geographically close, I want to know why Japan is more developed than Korea. And I thought that if I could participate in the exchange program, I would learn more about it. So, I applied for the exchange program.
Whilst studying at Kobe University I've experienced various things. I think studying abroad at Kobe University has been especially good as I've been able to share various ways of thinking about study and life with lots of foreign exchange student friends and Japanese friends. In Korea, as everyone's viewpoints are very similar. I learnt about various ways of thinking different to those which exist in Korea. Through these new ways of thinking, my horizons have been expanded.
When I've had time, I've enjoyed travelling. For instance, I visited various places such as Tokyo, Kyoto (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, Fushimi Inari-taisha), famous tourist sites in Osaka (Kuchu Teien observatory, sightseeing tram, Osaka castle and Dotombori), and Himeji castle. Through travelling I have reassessed my views on life, and have decided that from now on I will work towards understanding how I can lead a happy life.
At the moment, I work two part-time jobs. One of these jobs is a Korean language teacher and the other is working in a supermarket. In both workplaces, I have been kindly taught a lot about Japanese culture and the Japanese way of thinking as I actively try to speak to people whilst working. As a little bit of my foreign exchange life remains, I think I would like to try something such an internship along with trying my best with study. Up until this point, I have amassed much cherished experiences and I would like continue to try my best for the remaining of my study abroad.
I can proudly say that I have accomplished many goals while on exchange.
Firstly, I have considerably improved my Japanese language abilities. Indeed, I only started studying Japanese in January and came to Japan in April of the same year; it is no secret that my abilities were not then to the highest level. Indeed, as I had studied Japanese for no more than three months when I first entered Japan and merely getting to settle there was a major hurdle. However, I got more comfortable with the language while proactively taking part in Japanese-language courses offered at Kobe University. I managed to further improve my abilities by taking yet more difficult courses for my economics major held entirely in Japanese.
Also, I have broadened my horizons by engaging in more interactive human relations. I can now reflect on the fact that when I was in Korea, I had a tendency to think like all the others around me, causing me to have a more than narrow field of view. I am fortunate enough, however, to have been to Kobe University and to have met with new friends from a variety of countries. I was able to get rid of most of my prejudices as I spent more time with them.
After completing my exchange at Kobe University, I first of all plan to graduate my home university in August of this year. I will use the remaining seven months until then to further improve my Japanese language skills and try and obtain the N1 (the highest) certification of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test. After attaining this goal, I am planning to go back to Japan and look for a job there. The two companies named Nitori and Muji are particularly appealing to me who enjoys home furnishings; they are therefore at the top of my list of preferred employers.