Erica Taylor

Academic exchange | Daegu, South Korea

3rd year Business Administration

What was the hardest thing when you arrived in South Korea? The hardest part when I arrived was adjusting to how big KNU’s campus is. Coming from the small UNBSJ campus, I often took wrong turns during the first two weeks.

What was the easiest thing when you arrived in South Korea? KNU has a buddy program, so I had someone to help me when I first arrived. Thankfully, my buddy was incredibly helpful and made it so much easier for me to get comfortable in Daegu, and we very quickly became close friends! Another aspect when I first arrived that easy for me was that I could already read Hangeul (Korean alphabet), and so was able to navigate myself a bit better than some of the other exchange students.

What did you find different about studying in a South Korean University? The classroom style of teaching is so different here. My courses have been much more focused on lectures and memorization than what I was used to at UNBSJ. I was also able to do an internship at a Korean business during the semester and receive credits for it.

Best things about Daegu? The city is big enough that there are lots of things to do and places to go, but small enough that we don’t have to spend an hour on the metro to get anywhere (like in Seoul).

What do you find most interesting about South Korea? Living in a country that has such an interesting history as well as a quickly developing modern society is very interesting. I love visiting museums and learning more about the history and development of Korea. Historical sites can be found everywhere, often surrounded by the modern world.

Most memorable experience in South Korea? One very memorable experience was when myself and 14 other people traveled to Busan together during Chuseok. We all stayed in an Airbnb together, with half of us sleeping on mats on the floor. We travelled around the city and I had a great time becoming better friends with everyone.

Funniest thing that happened to you in South Korea? The funniest thing that has happened so far was when I cut my finger and had to get stitches at the hospital! Luckily, I had a Korean friend accompany me to translate and make the process easier. Now I’ll be more careful when cutting apples.

Food you miss the most and could not get in South Korea? I find that Korean food is usually either spicy or sweet, so I have missed eating salty foods. Also, while some things are the same brands as in Canada, they are manufactured in South Korea and so they don’t taste quite the same.

What did you miss about Canada when you studied abroad? I’ve missed my family and friends, and my mom’s cooking.

What do you like most about studying abroad? One great part of my time abroad has been all of the amazing people I’ve met. I’ve become close friends with incredible people from all over the world that I would never have met otherwise, and we’ve had unforgettable experiences together.

How many other countries did you visit when you were studying abroad? So far, I’ve only traveled around South Korea and to Vietnam. I have plans to visit Vietnam again, as well as Japan and Taiwan.

Do you have any advice to future students, who may wish to study abroad? If you have any interest in studying abroad, you should absolutely get more information and start preparing! I was very worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle studying abroad, and now that I’m here I can’t imagine going back to Canada in a few months.

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