Hyogo University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific


  • Name:米田 鈴 [ 日本 ]

  • Acceptance period:Mar. 1, 2022 ~ Dec. 24, 2022
  • Acceptance university:国民大学校
  • University enrolled:姫路獨協大学

Opportunity of the studying abroad, purpose

I became interested in Korean dramas and music when I was in elementary school. I also had the opportunity to interact with Korean elementary school students at a school event, and I remember that we had a lot of fun even though we spoke different languages. I then taught myself the Korean language, and as I studied Korean in earnest at university, I became more interested in learning not only the Korean language but also the culture and history of Korea directly by visiting the country. Since I have never been abroad, I have never been exposed to a different culture, so I wanted to deepen my understanding and have an experience that I could only have there.

Experience while studying abroad

There are four main things that left an impression on me as an exchange student in Korea: university life, transportation, fashion, and prices.
First, I was able to gain the most experience in "university life". At the school festival, we invited 5 groups of famous singers to perform for 3 days.
When the midterm and final exams began, the university gave out free coffee and coupons to support the students, and there were many happy events for the students.
College life in South Korea is completely different from that in Japan in many ways, and the number of facilities, the variety of departments, and the positive attitude of students toward classes stood out. In addition to Koreans, there are also international students from various countries, so it was a valuable experience because it is rare to experience in Japan.
Classes are held in Korean, but at first I was in a rush because I could only catch some parts of the class, and if there were words I didn't know, I would get stuck there and not remember anything. However, after three months, my ears got used to it and I could understand it, but my Korean wasn't as good as I thought, so I lost the courage to speak. So, as soon as I started studying abroad, I joined the Japan-Korea exchange circle called “Yui,” which is a circle at Kookmin University, and had the chance to make Korean friends. During the first semester, I wasn't confident in my Korean language skills, and I thought it would be difficult to make friends with my Korean friends. However, from the second semester onwards, I could not achieve my goal of interacting with Korean people, and in order to regain my spirit of challenge, I began interacting more with Korean friends than in the first semester. . Even though my Korean is not very good, I was encouraged by the fact that they warmly listened to me until the end, and I learned that even if I couldn't speak it properly, I could communicate with my heart, which made it fun to interact in a foreign language. If I hadn't made this decision in the second semester, I wouldn't have had the courage, enjoyment, or willingness to keep trying to speak Korean. I regret a little that I wish I had met my Korean friends earlier in the second semester. I think I was able to make a wonderful encounter.
Second, in "transportation", the number of car horns, the narrow distance between cars, and the rough driving were conspicuous. Until I got used to it, I was surprised by the sound of the horn and the rough driving, but after a few months I got used to it. Cars can't stop at pedestrian crossings without traffic lights, so it was an interesting experience for pedestrians to decide for themselves when to cross and when to cross. Also, there were many people on the phone on buses and subways. I often saw old ladies making phone calls in public restrooms. It's not common in Japan because it's bad manners, but I've seen young people taking the initiative to give up their seats to elderly people on buses and subways. In Japan, I see this behavior occasionally, but when I saw many people in Korea giving up their seats to elderly people, I thought I would take the initiative to give up my seat in the future.
Third, I was surprised by the similarities in "fashion". Plain clothes are popular among Korean university students these days, and many of them wear clean clothes. Without knowing myself, I often bought and wore plain clothes and dressed casually. As for hairstyles, clean hairstyles like those of actors were popular among men, and there were many people with similar hairstyles throughout the city. I had the impression that many women had long or semi-long perms. K-pop idols have brightly colored hair, but when I actually lived in Korea, I got the impression that few people dyed their hair and many had black hair. Many students wore hats during class, but I was surprised at first because in Japan you have to take them off.
Fourth, regarding "price", when I was in Japan, I thought that South Korea's prices were cheap, but that was not the case. 30 rolls of toilet paper cost more than 15,000 won, and vegetables and fruits were expensive. Also, Japanese food was expensive, so I didn't have a chance to eat it. However, at the convenience store, if you buy one such as 1+1 or 2+1, you can get the other one free of charge, so it was a great experience. In addition, most of the payment methods are card payments, so when shopping, you don't carry cash, and you only need your wallet and bag.

Results of study abroad, future goals

I studied abroad for 10 months without returning to Japan, so from the second semester I was able to get used to Korean culture and deepen my understanding of it. Thanks to that, when I arrived at Kansai International Airport after studying abroad and walked around the city of Osaka, I was able to notice the differences in culture and lifestyle between Japan and South Korea.
I went to South Korea for the first time through this study abroad program, and I fell in love with South Korea even more.
It is also thanks to the warm welcome and support of the people around me. It is rare to see and experience with your own eyes what you did not know about living in Korea. I had a lot of preconceptions about Korean culture through dramas and such, so I was surprised when I actually lived there, but I have no regrets. I was surprised and there were things that would never happen in Japan, but I enjoyed being able to experience different cultures as a resident of South Korea, and I gained the ability to try new things. By taking on new challenges, things that I had been worried about up until now became a part of my life, and I became filled with curiosity about wanting to encounter new experiences. I felt that I became a positive personality. In this way, I learned about such cultural differences through studying abroad, and I think that I will be able to "suit" and "do not suit" myself. I think that there are people who have learned about foreign cultures through the internet, dramas, and movies, but when they actually live there, they find it difficult or uncomfortable.
However, it is not wrong to regret because it is a chance to know your own strengths and weaknesses and yourself by knowing yourself as you are. I wanted you to know that I am. It takes a lot of courage to make the decision to live in a foreign country, so if you are wondering whether or not to study abroad, I think that studying abroad will be an opportunity for you to meet a new you.
In the future, I would like to make use of the ability to understand different cultures, the ability to take action, and the curiosity that I have gained from studying abroad in society, and I would like to live with new goals even when I find a job. Also, I was able to set a goal of wanting to live in South Korea through this study abroad experience. However, I think that I will be able to experience something different from studying abroad because I will have to live by myself from now on. From now on, I want to continue to have the feeling of taking on challenges without forgetting.