Although I was not matched with a cousin, I still attended the OU Cousins pumpkin carving event. It was my first time ever carving a pumpkin because my family doesn’t celebrate Halloween. While I was there, I met a girl from Australia, and it was also her first time doing this. After talking for a while, I learned that Halloween isn’t as big of an event in Australia as it is here. We also talked about the differences between Australian and American candy. She told me that they have Twix and Snickers, but they also have Tim Tams and other unique candies.
When everyone was finished with carving their pumpkins, we all headed into a dark room to see them side by side. There were tons of really intricate and cool designs on the pumpkins. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of the one I did because my phone died, but I can verify that it wasn’t as good as some of the other ones haha. Overall, this experience was fun and I’m glad I got to meet new friends. I am now able to say that I have carved a pumpkin.
The Open Mic event was very fun and enjoyable. I loved listening to the stories of upperclassmen. It was obvious how excited and happy they were that they had studied aboard, which also made my excited for my future trip aboard. Sitting there and listening to their stories made me jealous of their experiences but also excited to make my own lasting memories. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to share some of my own stories from South Korea
(I also thought it was very funny how some of the girls received marriage proposals while aboard. A little weird but cute at the same time haha.)
I’ve known for a long time where I want to study aboard. As my blog name (hanseoulo) suggests, I hope to go to Korea one day. I’ve always been interested in Korean culture, the language, the food, the entertainment. What really started it was KPOP, Korean Pop music. My cousin showed me a music video about 10 years ago and since then I’ve been hooked. It wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I became serious about my interest in Korea. Other than listening to KPOP, I started watching some shows and dramas. I started picking up words and little phrases and decided that I should learn Korean just for fun. Although it was hard it first, I learned the alphabet and was able to read little texts that always appeared on the TV shows. I became obsessed and wanted to learn more and more.
It was sophomore year of high school that I discovered the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) scholarship offered by the government. It was a free program for high school students to study in countries with critical languages to help promote foreign relations. Of course, I applied without hesitation. I was rejected my sophomore and junior year, but made it to the semi-finalist round my senior year. I was interviewed but ultimately was rejected. However, I wasn’t too upset as I knew I would have better chances of studying abroad in college.
Now that I am at OU, I realized that there are many opportunities for me to study aboard. I still want to go to Korea, but I’ve also added China, Japan, and Thailand to my list of places to explore. Although I don’t know when I’ll go to China, Japan, and Thailand, I know for sure that I want to go to Korea this summer, either through KNU or SKKU. It will be a great chance for me to test out all the Korean that I know as well as learn what I couldn’t through the Internet. And hopefully I get to go to a KPOP concert…