Guest Post by: Maya Lustgarten, a Foster Senior studying Business Administration and pursuing a Certificate of International Studies in Business. She participated in Foster Exchange at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.
Sadly, in less than a week I’ll be returning to the U.S. from my amazing study abroad here in South Korea. Though there were many ups and downs, I’m so glad I was able to have this experience and grow as a person from it. Just today I thought back on my trip from the airport to my hotel in Seoul, about 2 weeks or so before school even started. Thinking back on it, that first night in Seoul feels like forever ago. I walked the streets decked out in winter gear, and yet now it’s hot and humid.
On this trip I’m so very thankful for all of the friends I’ve made, and I’m sure some of them will be for a lifetime. I now have friends across the globe, who I know will be shining like stars even when I can’t see them again for a while. Luckily it’s easier to stay in touch with people through social media and instant messaging now!! I know I’ll be back to Korea sometime soon enough, and I’ll be so happy to see all of my new friends here once again~
When I think of leaving this gorgeous place, it saddens me. I feel like I’m leaving behind a part of my heart when I remember all of the happy times I’ve had here. However, the stress of living in a new country does take it’s toll, so I’m excited to return to some familiarity. Considering I’ve never been outside the U.S. for more than 2 weeks, I’d say I definitely learned a lot about independence and what it’s like to be an expat in a place that’s so homogeneous. I felt very welcome here though and I got to live out some of my wildest dreams too!!
I’ve done, seen, and learned a lot while here and I know going home will just fire me up to come back here eventually. My parents even stepped out of their comfort zone to come visit me at the end of my trip! It’s been great showing them how I’ve lived for the past almost 5 months and I appreciate how supportive and open-minded they’ve been. Too soon I’ll be back home, but it’s been fun, Korea…. I’ll be back again!