September 1st marked the beginning of the fall semester at Seoul National University. I have to admit that I was quite excited to start school as I wanted to meet new friends and learn more about Korean history and culture. I have a very nice schedule in that I have Wednesdays and Fridays off, which means more free time for fun…and study I guess.
The first day of school is always the most hectic. I left my place at around 8am and headed toward the subway station. I didn’t realize how packed the subways would be and had to let 3 trains pass before finally squeezing into one. Luckily for me, many people got off at the next few stations, and I was able to get a seat. After arriving at the subway station near school, I headed toward the free shuttle to school and the queue was INSANE. There were about 100 students waiting patiently for the bus to come. I made it into SNU with about 30 minutes until class started and that was enough time for me to get lost. I didn’t know where my class was as the school was unfamiliar (and big) to me. However, a nice security guard saw my confusion and kindly guided me to the building I needed to go to.
After a stressful morning, the rest of my day went smoothly. I attended three classes, and they all seemed interesting and fun. However, they do involve a lot of reading, so my Wednesdays and Fridays will be busy getting the readings done.
In my Music of the World class, I met a friendly Malaysian international student. She had been at SNU for about 2 years, and so she knew the ways around school and knew a lot about Korea. She was kind enough to accompany me to get my student ID card and invited me to dinner with her friends. I was so grateful for her talking to me and showing me around and she said that she understood the struggle of being a foreigner. She too had been in my position, alone in a new country, and just wanted to help me out as much as she could. I’m happy to say that I made a good friend and hope to make more friends like her as the year progresses.