Visiting home country with new perspective _ Adventure into the usual

As a Korean, I didn't think my experience in Korea would be something special than I ave experienced before while I was growing up in Korea. But in my exchange study period, I tried to look at everything I see from the perspective of foreigner.

The decision to do an exchange study in Korea was at first very hilarious idea. I thought it will be a fun experience. Since I was in middle school, I realised that the education system in Korea is not for me. If there is one topic in a class, I wanted to have more discussion than just listening to what teachers, or professors teach. In general, what I wanted was to collect perspectives than knowledges.

Because I’m studying art, I needed more freedom of expression, as long as I know, and I have experienced until the age of 13, the art education in Korea was for learning skills, and copy the idea that already exists. So the study path I chose for the exchange period was film studies. And I focused more on the culture, and how the art affect the culture, or how the culture affect arts. In general, I didn’t enjoy the education and lectures itself. It felt as something that I can’t find a joy in it. Usually if I have time to think about certain topic, I would remember what I learnt faster. But in those courses I have attended, I didn’t get to have some time to think about something while listening to the lecture. So I found it very challenging to actually learn something. At the end, I was attending classes as part of the systematic autopilot. It turned out that it wasn’t so different to those educations I had for 9 years in Korea before. After 2 months passed, I started missing Finland. I wanted to talk, discuss, and have more debate in classes. In fact it was challenging to say nothing for 3 hours long lecture.

Most likely, that became the reason why I found more joy by exploring the city. Usually a person who lives in the same region for long time doesn’t really find the city attractive no matter what kind of place that is. Same for my case as well. While I was living in Seoul, I never thought I liked the city. There are too many people, too much noises, too much confusion. But Seoul I saw as a foreigner, or a visitor was actually more enjoyable. I explored some part of seoul where I have never been to, and tried to look at everything that I didn’t pay attention to before. As the result, that became the part of my exchange studies even more important than learning. Also, it was so much better way to learn about how people are different, and how the culture affect everything.

What I found the most enjoyable was to go to small cinema where no one visits anymore. South Korea looks like the true form of consumption society. There are 3 big cinemas, and so people no longer find small cinemas located in the corner of the city. But exploring those places gave me the feeling of true freedom.

Also there is a chaos exists. I liked public transportations. Especially Han river I see through the window of subway was the best thing. During the daytime, when there aren’t many people in the subway, standing next to the window, and watch the scenery of city made me to feel like this city isn’t where I’ve been living for most of my life.

In conclusion, I learnt somethings unexpectedly by this experience.


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