So, in order to understand my story better, you need to take a time machine. An electronic time machine, that is. Let me do it for you! I will take you in the year of 2012, in its autumn. So, I just started my graduate (master) courses in journalism and was feeling kinda fed up with all the books and all the theoretical subjects about mediology, sociology and all the different pseudo-science shenanigans which are trying to make journalism a scientific method of society analysis.
I was looking for a change.
I really wanted to travel somewhere, but was always finding an excuse. No time, no money, no company and similar. The truth is, Croatians don’t actually travel that much. Especially not outside Europe. I didn’t know anyone who visited South Korea or even Asia before me.Anyhow, I wanted to do something about my wanderlust and also about the much needed change of pace.
I was living in Zagreb at the time and, even though having almost perfect University life, I felt something was off. The latter was me, I realized soon.
While spending numerous hours with Google Chrome, I stumbled upon some scholarship offers. The opportunity to study in South Korea for one semester appeared. Back in the days, to be completely honest, I did not have much knowledge about that country. All my life I’ve been fascinated with Japan and could talk hours about it, but Korea…it was a mystery country for me. The knowledge could be summarized around Korean movies, which I’ve become a fan at the time, Taekwondo, which I’ve been practicing like 10 years ago and some KPOP knowledge brought mostly by my boyfriend at the time, who was a gamer and enjoyed occasional Hyuna tunes. Right around that time “Gangnam style” became popular and more and more people started recognizing Korea as an interesting country, not only some random part of Asia.
So fast-forward, I decided to apply for a scholarship with not too much expectations because for these types of offers there is often a lot of interest. Some time later, I realized I won the scholarship in South Korean town Gwangju. I was awarded with accomodation and a plane ticket. I agreed on a scholarship with not much thinking and just said to my mum
“Hey, I am going to Korea!”
In the following months I was trying to receive as many possible information about this country and even tried to catch up on some basic phrases, which later turned up to be completely useless because the language is…just too difficult to learn it by yourself and really, the proper way to learn a foreign language is to go native. Everything else is just make-believe.
And so…I packed my stuff. I bought the ticket for March 1 of 2013. What expected me there and what I learned in South Korea will be in my next post 🙂