You make friends with people from different cultures

Valentina in a park in South Korea
Valentia Adarkwa-Afari
Summer school at Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea
BA English and History
Valentia attended a summer school in Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea.
Valentina in a park in South Korea

Why did you decide to take part in a summer school?

I have had an interest in Korea for years now, this was largely to do with the rise of K-pop and interest in Kdramas but also a fostered curiosity towards the country that is little taught or explored in schools. Therefore, when I has given the opportunity to study abroad and enter the country I have been interested in for years, I jumped at the chance. I wanted to experience a new frame of teaching and course content. As well as wanting to explore a part of Asia, as being able to travel that far is a once in a life time opportunity.

What were your top 3 highlights whilst studying abroad?

1) Going on the DMZ tour and entering the area between North and South Korea
2) Watching the Nanta Show
3) Exploring Seoul with the new friends I made from other countries

Summer school student Valentia in South Korea

What would you say to someone who was unsure about spending a period abroad?

In my experience if you are contemplating something intensely but also apprehensive about the negatives, then go for it. If a thought is on your mind constantly, it is best to explore the opportunity provided to you. Being given the opportunity to spend time abroad is one of the best honours you could receive in life. You are given the opportunity to see what life is like outside of the country you live in. Studying abroad is better than a holiday as with the former, you learn to live as a local and experience what it is like to be an international student or foreigner. You make friends with people from different cultures and walks of life, get taught in a new way, have time to explore a new country and when you return home, you can be the envy of all your friends.

What is the one thing you wish you'd known before you left?

Packing less is more. I packed as many clothes as I could for the trip and found that I didn’t wear as many of the outfits as I thought I would. I would also urge checking out the weather of the country as I arrived in Korea, in summer, with a hoodie on. Not the best idea. Also, at the end of your trip you’ll need space for any items you buy. Which, if you’re like me, is a lot.

Read Valentia's blog post: Travelling in colour