Growing up, living in Korea is something I didn’t believe I would be able to do. It’s fascinating to me how I’ve gotten this far. In this article, I’d want to share my adventure with you including how and why I returned to Korea. I hope you enjoy my story.
Why I Came to Korea the First Time
The beginning of my Korean story starts with my father. My father used to work in the Cambodian embassy here in South Korea. I came to Korea for the first time in 2017 to visit him and stayed for quite a while.
Korea was quite beautiful and thrilling at the time. As a 16 year old, the shining lights of the big beautiful city of Seoul captured me. I lived in Hannam-dong, and Itaewon was close by. I went there all the time and was able to enjoy Korea’s most international neighborhood to the fullest. But, unfortunately, I had to return to my hometown, which was painful for me.
What Made Me Return to Korea
After finishing high school back in Cambodia, I was unsure of where to go and what to do with my life. My society, like other Asian countries, is more concerned with obtaining a decent education and finding steady employment in the future than anything else.
I felt a lot of pressure related to my future job and choice of university. My country’s education system is not as good as Korea’s, so the decisions you have to make at that age are even more daunting. I went back and forth between my two main options – study in my own country or make the move back to Korea?
However, in October of 2018, my father contacted me with news that solidified my decision. He told me all about the embassy’s scholarship, which included a number of privileges. Thus the weight on my shoulders disappeared and I was able to start planning my future.
Suddenly, with my decision, my life was flung into chaos. Files were being prepared, and I was organizing my belongings in preparation for my move to Korea.
Arriving in Korea for a New Adventure
The time had finally come!! I once again stepped foot on Korean land. It was a great day for me. My father was waiting for me at the airport so I didn’t have any problems going to my new home.
The flight took all my energy away and I fell asleep as soon as I walked through the door. After waking up, the first thing on my mind was going to McDonald’s and grabbing my favorite meal. Ahh, living my dream right there, good old days.
Heading to University
As spring flowers began to bloom, I started my university career at Incheon National University. The university was wonderful, and the natural landscape surrounding the dormitory was lovely. I am still thrilled with how my time at University is progressing and am grateful to have this experience.
I moved into the dorm and met my former roommate, a Chinese guy in his third year. From the first day we talked to each other as if we were best friends. He is a nice guy and I like his personality. So, from the very beginning I found staying in the dorm very easy.
My first day in class
I was looking forward to classes in Korea, and they didn’t disappoint. I was able to meet individuals from other cultures, and they were all so polite and easy to get along with that I am still friends with them to this day.
However, those happy memories were in 2019. Today, due to the pandemic, offline classes are limited. Regardless, things are starting to get better day by day. Depending on the courses we choose, we are able to have some offline classes and make new friends. So there is no need for prospective international exchange students to be concerned.
My life right now
As for now, I have been making many friends from that university and I am forever grateful for the opportunities living in Korea has given me.
And the most exciting thing is that it’s also where I got to know my girlfriend!
Want to know more about my life in Korea? Click Here to read about my horrible taxi experience.