Stories that Shaped Us: Cultural excursions and travel experiences
Alanis Caballero is a TEAN Seoul alumna and current ISA/TEAN Global Ambassador at the Univeristy of Central Florida whose experience abroad in Spring 2022 shaped her goals for the upcoming year in unexpected ways.
We reached out to learn more about why she chose to go abroad with TEAN Korea University and to learn more about her story.
What is your plan after graduation? Where do you plan on going for your gap year?
AC: My time abroad in Korea truly shaped the path I want to take after I complete my Bachelor’s degree. While abroad, I met many students and many foreign individuals who were in South Korea teaching English to the locals. My plan after graduation is to return to South Korea and work as an English teacher, learning the Korean language and preparing to fulfill a master’s degree after taking a gap year.
What attracted you the most to the culture and communities of Seoul? What did you learn from living there?
AC: Initially, I was interested in going to South Korea because I’m a big fan of K-pop and K dramas. I knew I did not want to miss the opportunity of experiencing first hand one of my biggest sources of entertainment. I took the chance I had with UCF of traveling to my dream destination. Eventually, I realize that what attracts me the most to Seoul is the vibrancy of their culture, their people, and the preservation of their history. I honestly learned a lot while abroad; from their language, their history, their cuisine and the respect for people.
What was your experience of the cultural activities and excursions provided by TEAN?
AC: I really appreciate TEAN for having so many cultural activities and providing us with so many fun opportunities. It allowed me to connect with so much people and students experiencing everything with me for the first time. The TEAN staff never failed to be there for the students and they were always making sure that we had everything we needed to fully experience each cultural activity.
What activities will you recommend to someone visiting South Korea for the first time?
AC: There’s all sorts of things for everyone. I most definitely would recommend visiting the palaces, the gardens and the museums. Most of them are very affordable or even free. Besides that, if you’re into the night life, the streets of Seoul are perfect for you because they never sleep. And for the coffee and tea lovers, I recommend Café Hopping through Seoul. It is a very popular activity amongst foreigners and even the locals enjoy it!
Any advice you’d give students interested in exploring abroad experiences beyond their initial study abroad program?
AC: My biggest advice is not to be scared to try new things, don’t be scared to ask around. South Korea is full of amazing experiences for all ages. I truly enjoyed my time abroad and part of that was learning what to look for. Another important advice, would be to use your platforms as resources. Majority of the experiences I found abroad where the top ones highlighted by alumni, experiences that went viral in social media, and experiences that were recommended to me by the locals. South Korea is a very friendly country and asking around will really get you places; they truly like to help out foreigners that enjoy their country.
Curious to hear more from ISA/TEAN alumni? Read more blogs from South Korea Alumni and explore where your study abroad journey can take you.
Inspired by the journey of Alanis and want to discover your own while immersing yourself in a study abroad program? Fill out your details below to let our team know and we’ll help you find your adventure today!