Alas I was just at the airport to send Lara off on a study abroad trip to China. Oh my how they grow! All off to Asia. On the ride to the airport I was sure to tell her about some things she might expect to find. Although I haven’t been to China in particular I think it was safe to warn her about the “Engrish” barrier and toilets (at least lack of western style ones in rural areas). Ah yes I remember my trips abroad and I think I will take the rest of this post to reminisce a little.
I have only studied abroad twice and both trips were to Asia. Summer 2006 was my trip to the land of the rising sun, Japan. I went with the student ambassadors on a 14 day trip to various location in Japan. I got to see many sites and temples through out Tokyo and did a home stay in Nagoya. I have even lived through a death defying climb to the top of Fugiyama! Ok, so it was only about 1/4 of the way up but it was a trip let me tell you. My host family was nice enough to bring me to the Johnny’s Entertainment store where I bought a bunch of KAT-TUN pictures and picked up the SIGNAL single like the little fangirl that I am. To this day I am still very good friends some of the people I traveled with and we crack jokes our experiences. Some would include the misunderstanding of signs such as “Kinki Kids” or flipping through local TV stations to find censored porn right after the anime channel. Ah yes, good times!
This summer I traveled to South Korea and studied at Hallym University in the city of Chuncheon. This stay was 4 weeks long and it was amazing. The mountains in Chuncheon are a beautiful and the scenery of rice fields was just as pretty. Of course on our free weekends we would head down to Seoul for some fun but, the program also gave us the opportunity to go on many field trips. One of the most exciting ones was to the KBS studio where we sat through the filming of a global talk show. I would have liked to meet Leetuk of Super Junior, who was a regular on the show but, instead I took pictures with some guys. I have absolutely no idea who they are but, please feel free to name these stars for me since there was a language barrier.
Playing ultimate frizz-be with my various classmates from Korea, Mongolia, China, Malaysia, Turkey and the USA was always a great way to end my day after filling up on bulgogi and taking in the culture. Oh don’t worry, I had my share of fangirling as I walked into shops and picked up Tae Yang’s solo album as well as squealed at every Rain poster I caught a glimpse of.
There were a lot of things I learned about on my trips that really couldn’t be explained in words. This is something that you would have to experience for yourself. If your still in high school or college I highly suggest you save some pennies and apply for scholarships for a nice trip abroad. It really is a life changing experience and you see so many things that no form of media can capture for you.
Keep and eye out for part 2. Lara will fill you in on all of her crazy adventures in China!