My Time Abroad in Korea – Freyja
Final Year BA (Hons) TESOL with Korean student, Freyja, tells us about her experiences during her period abroad. She studied at Asia's oldest university, Sungkyunkwan University between August 2021 and July 2022.
I lived in private accommodation which had been recommended to me by UCLan students who were there the year before – their recommendations helped me a lot. I participated in intense language classes at university, which ran from 9am-3pm every day. They were conducted fully in Korean, and my classmates spoke no English, so it was an immersive environment that enabled me to build my language skills at a rapid pace.
I also volunteered at one of the many language cafes helping people to learn English and it was a perfect way for me to apply the theories I had learnt in the 2 years of studying at UCLan and put into practice all of the skills that I’d developed getting my Trinity CertTESOL professional qualification before I went on my period abroad. I facilitated discussion and debate classes for groups of Koreans ranging from A1-C2 level. I made many friends who I connected with outside the classroom, enabling me to experience cultural activities with them.
"My time in Korea was invaluable; I made friends for life, increased my confidence and language abilities, as well as developed so many personal skills."— Freyja Rushworth
One of my most memorable outings was driving across the country to visit a surfing beach in Yangyang. With my new friends’ support, I was able to book my own surfing lesson and equipment - something I would have never had the confidence to do before. One student I became close friends with invited me to their family home to eat traditional food with their parents and speak Korean with them. This would have been daunting if I had not built up my confidence and language skills whilst there.
I also did lots of travelling with other international students I had bonded with during lunch periods. We took a spontaneous trip to Jeju Island during the coldest season to challenge ourselves at hiking and enjoy the beautiful and diverse landscapes Korea has to offer.