The first week in a new country is always thrilling and a little scary. You and your new friends will be horribly sleep deprived but thirsty for adventure. My first week as an intern was shockingly easy and fun. I found that there are good people everywhere you go. My company is full of some of the kindest people I have ever met in my life. If you are like me, doing simple things like buying milk in a grocery story can feel like a daunting task when you only know a little bit of Korean language. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that the people in Seoul are more than willing to help.
Most of my internship is spent making presentations about Western design. The second half of my internship will be spent doing odd jobs for them, like video editing, photo editing, music finding, making videos and so on. I found the language barrier on computers to be the most difficult part of my internship. It didn’t help my reputation when my computer broke on my first day and I was not able to fix it for two weeks. As a design student, I had hoped that I could impress my coworkers with my knowledge of Adobe. Instead I fell flat on my face. My coworkers and I had a good laugh about it and they helped me figure out the Adobe on their computers (all in Korean). It didn’t take long to start feeling comfortable in the office. I was extremely nervous that I would do something wrong or say something out of place. But the team that I am working with has helped to make my transition to life here easy.
As I get to know my coworkers this week I find that they are just as curious about me as I am with them. Many have asked to take me with them on hikes, to markets, museums, the Han river (for a picnic of course) and so much more. As I continue getting to know my coworkers, I find that I wish that I had spent more time learning Korean before I came. I feel as though it would have been nice to make communication easier for them. Despite the fact that they are all more than willing to speak to me in English, I plan on learning some phrases before I leave. Through being at this company, I am learning what it is really like to live and work in Korea. So why not take advantage of it?
Audrey Easley is a student at Seattle Pacific University and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying with ISA in Seoul, South Korea.
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