The Olympics: A Unique Experience as a Student

Rhiannon Bormann-Salazar is a student at the Schreiner University. She is an ISA Featured Blogger and is currently studying abroad with ISA in Seoul, South Korea

Good Morning from Seoul, South Korea!

The frozen ‘lake’ around a beautiful building within the walls of the amazing Gyeongbuk Palace during an ISA Excursion!

I have been in Seoul for almost one week and still many people were asking me from home, on the plane, and as I entered the country the same question, “Oh, are you planning to go to the Olympics?” My answer is always the same, I would love if that was the main reason I am here. But alas, I must live off a college student’s budget for about 5 to 6 months while studying in Korea. Now, funny story on my 14.5-hour plane ride from Dallas to Seoul and I met 2 different people, both headed to Korea for the same reason.

‘DFW Terminal’ My flight to Seoul from Dallas, Texas, a huge step in going to another country on your own.

One was a woman thought she was seated next to me. I don’t remember her name but what she told me she was going to South Korea for was AMAZING. She was one of the make-up artists for Team USA, specifically for doing interview makeup! Now, like I said she was in the completely WRONG seat! Her mistake was caught just as we finished talking, when a man came over to our row. Just like the Olympic Make-up Artist, I don’t remember this man’s name, but did I have the best row mate ever. His reasoning for going from Dallas to Seoul was to take a day or two trip to the Olympics and get to see Asia for the first time. Of course, he asked me what I was doing going to Seoul all by myself, once again I explained this experience and what brought me to Korea.

‘Pyeong Chang Goods’ Official Pyeong Chang Olympic Goods from the Official store in Seoul! This a pillow, a keychain, and a notebook!

It’s been just about two weeks since that flight and I have seen many ways people celebrate the Olympics (especially in the home country). In any restaurant that has the Olympics on their TV there is just a huge silence when athletes from South Korea come on-screen, a sense of extreme concentration from these patrons just fills the room. As the starting noise sounds for events such as speed skating flash there is a crashing of voices, cheering on their fellow country men and women, going for gold to make their country proud. Of course, there is not always success, but when there is people go nuts! Screaming, shouting, and lots of cheering of which I will never forget, especially: “대한민국” (Dae-Han-Min-Guk) with a series of claps each time you say it! It’s so amazing to be in a huge group or in a restaurant where everyone around you is shouting this cheer especially when you join in, no matter who you are rooting for!

As the Olympics has ended, I am so glad I got to experience watching it during it’s time in South Korea! Just from one of the official shops here in Seoul I had an even more unique experience while here in Korea. It’s something I definitely won’t forget!
Until next time!

The world awaits…discover it.

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