Heather Boyer Yonsei University
San Francisco State University - Majoring in Asian American Studies and Art Education
Until now, I have always lived in the same place and seen the same things. But Iíve always wanted to study abroad because I believe travel enriches oneís own learning experience, as well as oneís life experience.
Studying abroad has given me a larger perspective of life, more than any classroom at my home university.
In this photo: Iím at the Seoul Grand Park Zoo enjoying a rainy day and a sea of beautiful fall leaves.
This is a picture of one of the most popular buildings at Yonsei University, where I am studying. This building is on all the outreach materials for Yonsei and has been featured in many Korean movies, including My Sassy Girl.
It is only a three-minute walk from my dorm, and many students enjoy eating their lunch here, as well as spending time with friends.
Although this is a small example of my room, this is what I stare at every day.
I am currently studying Korean, which is actually quite difficult for a native English speaker to learn compared to other Asian languages. Hence, my room is covered in Post-it notes with words in Korean. I use this strategy to help me memorize vocabulary words.
The Central Library on campus is the biggest library in Korea and one of the most impressive I have seen in my whole life.
This library is very high-tech — it has flat-screen touch TVs, computerized programs for requesting study rooms, the latest computers, DVD and listening rooms, Internet game stations, video editing and recording studios, study rooms with projectors, and much more.
Seoul is a very dense city of 10.4 million people, and the subway is the main form of transportation for people here.
The subway is very impressive, efficient, and modern. There are many flat screen TVs in each car to tell people their stop in Korean and in English.
However, it is often crowded and feels quite uncomfortable during rush hour and at night during clubbing hours.
There are many places to shop in Korea, and people are often shopping for many things - clothes, shoes, electronics, food, beauty products, etc. Even the subway has shops for almost anything you need.
Shopping in Seoul is certainly a change from home, where I need to drive to shop for my needs. Living in a city thatís larger than San Francisco is certainly a major adjustment for me.
I was lucky enough to find a tour in Seoul about the artist community here. I, myself, am an artist, and I was looking to find some way to explore art in Korea.
During the tour, we met a famous calligrapher who designs calligraphic images for ads, bottle labels, and other media. It was an honor to see him do his calligraphy and share the beauty of his art. This is a piece he made for us in English.
During the Kimchi Festival, my friend Malaysia and I visited this temple in Seoul where we sat in thrones to honor kimchi, one of the most popular foods in Korea.
Kimchi is a dish made of fermented vegetables Ė usually cabbage, green onions, or radishes Ė and spices. There are over 200 types of Kimchi and many other variations as well.
Kimchi is one of my favorite foods so far in Korea and one of the healthiest foods in the world.
On Chusok, Korea's version of Thanksgiving, I was able to attend a ceremony at a temple in Seoul.
The ceremony included a dance performance that featured beautiful women dancing with fans and wearing traditional clothing known as hanbok.
This particular performance was about creating a flower shape through the womenís dance movements.
This is a night shot of Seoul. I took this from the Yongsan subway station. I thought it would be nice to make this my last photo since it reflects how I view Korea Ė a large bustling movement of people that is never ending.
Overall, my first semester in Korea has been fun, challenging, and quite an adventure. I hope to make more friends and be able to see more during the next semester.
Learn more about the study abroad program in Korea