Standards of Beauty

One of the first things I noticed when I visited Korea three years ago was the surprising number of girls wearing high heels. (My friend joked that they would even wear them with pajamas.) One of the first things I noticed when I arrived in Korea 8 months ago was how many advertisements there were for […]

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Being a Foreigner in Korea: Pros and Cons

Being a (half-white American, non-fluent-in-Korean) foreigner in Korea  has its pros and cons. Here are some observations from the past 6 months: CONS: – Getting stared at. When I walk down the street, I can’t tell if people are looking at me because they think I look cool in my sunglasses or because they notice […]

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Overcoming My Fear of Making Mistakes

I have always been very conscious about doing what is right. Dubbed a “goody-two-shoes” by my stepsister growing up, I often found my standards of integrity and morality to be outside the norm, even among Christians or other “good students”. I like this about myself. I continue to uphold high standards of integrity and morality. […]

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Joining a Gym in Korea

Last week, I finally joined a gym here in Korea! Best decision ever! I had been telling myself that I didn’t have time to go to the gym, but basically all it took was getting up earlier, and then I found I magically had plenty of time for everything! (Getting to bed early is always […]

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Cultural Observations

It is SO good to be back in Korea!! As soon I ordered a berry smoothie in the Seoul Incheon Airport in Korean and paid for it with my Korean debit card, I knew I was home. Here are some random observations from my trip to Taiwan. Things Taiwan and Korea have in common: Older […]

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Simplicity

One thing American culture and Korean culture have in common is a love for technology and the accumulation of possessions. Literally everyone here has a smartphone (and is using it constantly––on the subway, while walking down the street, during class, you name it). Counter to both cultures, I have always attempted to keep my life […]

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My Korean-ness

You know how people always say they want to “find themselves”? I always thought that was a corny phrase, but I feel like that is exactly what is happening to me here. I am learning and becoming who I really am. A Korean native told me the other day that I inspire her to be more […]

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한국말 (the Korean language)

One of the challenging parts about learning Korean is learning the levels of formality. I’m not used to thinking of people in hierarchy. Yesterday my Korean friend asked me, “Why do you keep using 존댓말 (formal speech) with me?” I was like, “I can’t help it! I always forget! Why? Did I use it just now?” […]

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