From Seoul National University of Science and Technology, SAF Spring Correspondent Dabin Seo is reporting from the University of Edinburgh.
Dublin, Ireland is one of the best places to visit when you are going on a short vacation from school from Edinburgh. It’s just 45 minutes by plane! Although Ireland is close to Scotland, Dublin has a much different atmosphere from that of Edinburgh.
There is a lot to do in Dublin—I visited the Dublin Castle, the Dublin Church, the Guiness Storehouse, St. Stephen’s Green Park, and Ireland National Museum of Decoration art. There are tons of beautiful buildings and landmarks to enjoy, including delicious foods! Since Dublin is so close by, it’s a great opportunity to take the time to visit and enjoy this beautiful city while studying in Edinburgh.
From Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, SAF Spring Correspondent Sieun Ryu is chronicling her journey at the University of Edinburgh.
Today, I will give you some tips that can be useful when you’re living by yourself in a foreign country!
Although these pictures show Edinburgh’s dazzling sky and beautiful volcanic hills that guard the city, the weather has never been generous to me. It is very windy because of the coast and hills, so you can’t use an umbrella—or else the wind will blow the umbrella inside out!
When the weather doesn’t allow you to go outside, I suggest using online stores and online delivery services. Lots of students have difficulty figuring out what to eat every day. When I didn’t know I could use a food delivery service, thinking about recipes was exhausting. Using a delivery service is very convenient! You can save your energy and it is much quicker and easier to keep track of your spending. Lots of supermarkets offer online delivery services as well.
For delivery food: Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Just Eat
Grocery: Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury, Morrisons, Ocado
When you do grocery shopping, don’t forget to check these things:
1. Minimum amount spent: most shops have a minimum you can spend, and spending more than a certain amount incurs a lower delivery fee. Ordering a loaf of bread is nearly impossible and even more expensive. However, if you are planning to order a pack of water, a large amount of frozen food, and washing liquids, online shopping is never the better.
2. Delivery slot and location: the delivery cost differs depending on store and time. Some of the shops don’t even provide delivery services to Edinburgh. Therefore, before starting your shopping, you should insert your address and slot time.
3. Last but not least, don’t forget to check expiration date!
From Seoul Women's University, SAF Spring Correspondent Yoonseo Park is chronicling her experience at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
ON THE LAST WEEKEND OF FEBRUARY, I WENT ON A DAY TRIP TO SOLVANG WITH MY FRIENDS.
After finishing a lot of assignments and studying for exams during the weekdays, going on a short trip on weekends always excites me. Solvang is a lovely town just a 40 minute drive from UC Santa Barbara. The city is famous in California for its Danish-style restaurants, shops, and bakeries. Most of the buildings in the city are built in the traditional Danish style; with statues of Andersen, author of Aesop's fables, and Dutch windmills in the center of the city. In the evening, we went to Carpinteria State Beach, which is located in eastern Santa Barbara, to see the beautiful sunset and have a wonderful dinner.
When it comes to study abroad stories and advice, who better to hear from than our students who are currently abroad, living out the experience in real time? That’s why we’re excited to have 10 SAF Scholar Correspondents sharing their writing, photography, and video with us this Spring 2020.
SAF Correspondent Yue Shao from Xiamen University is reporting from UC Santa Barbara.
After a long time without porridge, I had the happiest time having morning tea.
The last time I had Cantonese morning tea was a few years ago in Shenzhen. Food in southern China is characterized by its delicacy; there are about four or five bite-sized pieces of food per serving. Even though the morning tea served in Santa Barbara is not as good as the morning tea served at home, it is enough to bring happiness and satisfaction.
From Soongsil University, SAF Fall Correspondent Heeyeon Ryu is chronicling her experience at American University.
I was able to grow and meet people who share common interests.
I’m sure that if you’re considering D.C. to study abroad, you have probably heard about the many opportunities to attend seminars organized by famous think tanks. So today, I will share my experiences about attending such seminars and events in D.C. I have always dreamed of becoming a diplomat, so I am very interested in politics and international relations. Thus, I attended seminars related mainly to those fields.
One of the most famous think tanks in D.C. is the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and they have representatives from Korea, Japan, and China. They have held a lot of seminars and events about Modern East Asia. I attended in September, and the topic was the importance of the U.S.-Japan-Korea Trilateral Defense Cooperation. In response to Japan’s export regulation on South Korea, South Korea broke the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA). Through this seminar, not only did I learn about how the United States viewed the situation, but I also realized the power of CSIS — a lot of the Korean media was present to record and document the event. After the seminar, I chose this topic for my research subject.
I also participated in the “Mentoring Seminar for Young Korean American Leaders,” organized by the embassy of South Korea at the Korean Cultural Center. It was a private event, but I was able to attend because a friend who interned there invited me (if there’s an embassy located near you, be sure to check it out, as they often hold programs and events). At the event, they talked about our lack of representation in America and taught us about Korean American rights. After seeing how many Korean Americans suffered from the L.A. Riots, the Council of Korean Americans and the Korean American Grassroots Conference (KAGC) were created in hopes of avoiding the same situation from happening again. The event speakers also touched on the differences between the first and second generations of Korean Americans, and how to continue moving forward as a young Korean American leader.
The advantage of these events — think tank seminars, embassy events — is gaining knowledge while also meeting people with similar interests. I met a lot of my Korean American colleagues who were studying or working in D.C. I shared my thoughts and difficulties, and we were able to help one another. There are seminars on various topics; if there’s one in your area of interest, I highly recommend participating. You can check out the schedule through email — just be sure to wear business attire when attending!
SAF Correspondent Yue Shao from Xiamen University is reporting from UC Santa Barbara.
FOOD, the BEACH, SHOPPING. A PEACEFUL LIFE CAN ALSO LEAD TO HAPPINESS AND CONTENTMENT.
When you come to a new environment, it always takes you some time to get used to it. Luckily, Santa Barbara is a magical place where you can easily find the peace in your heart as soon as you get there. In Santa Barbara, you have the chance to try different regional and flavored food. But be careful, and be fully prepared about the restaurant and tastes you want to try if you're a picky eater. However, making your own food in a foreign country with friends is also a must.
After lunch, you can walk along the streets of downtown filled with Spanish-style architecture, and enjoy the afternoon sunshine and tranquility. Whether you’re on the campus lawn or on the beach, you can always see people lying down, studying, chatting or taking a nap. If you happen to be accompanied by a pet dog, it will be the most enjoyable day.
SAF Correspondent Seina Sato from Tokyo Woman's Christian University is chronicling her experience at the University of Oregon.
I, Seina Sato, will start my short journey tomorrow in Oregon. Now my feelings are very complicated because I am nervous, but also excited. In this blog, I write about such feelings and my preparation in Japan.
My name is Seina Sato from Japan. Nice to meet you! I will study at University of Oregon (UO) for half a year starting this fall! At UO, I will study many of my interests like comics, journalism and linguistics. I want to share my experiences with many people!
My departure date is Sept. 18, so now I am preparing for my study abroad. These days, I often go out to buy clothes, bags and commodities. However, this is my first time studying abroad and going to the U.S., so I don’t know what I should do in detail...
Many of my friends already started studying abroad, so I asked them some questions. For example: “What kind of things should I bring? How is your studying in America or the U.K.? Are classes very difficult to catch up to? Is it fun?” They said: “It is very difficult to catch up with the classes, but I visit my professor, so you can do it! It is so fun. I do not want to go back to Japan.”
The other day, I went to the final orientation for going to America. Now I am so excited, but feel anxiety more than anything. That is because I cannot speak English well and I do not have much experience going somewhere alone for such a long time. In addition, my stomach is very weak... In short, I have a lot of things to worry about and tend to feel homesick.
However, some friends and my family cheered me up and gave me a letter, while others gave me useful advice. I cannot help but say thank you to all. I would like to make this opportunity a great time and also change myself. To do so, I will take on challenges as much as possible and think positively.
In my blog, I am going to write about my feelings, both the positive and negative. Also, I will share my studies and activities in UO. I hope my experiences help you in some way.
Thank you for visiting my blog!
From Southeast University, SAF Fall Correspondent Jingzi Zhou is chronicling her experience at Columbia University.
Rhythm of Summer
Unlike most of the other SAF correspondents for Fall 2019, I have been in the United States for nearly two months, long enough for me to embrace the sunshine and ocean breeze in California, ramble around the forests and counties in North Carolina, and gradually tune in to the way of living as a “New Yorker”. I spent the whole summer exploring the country as a student, a tourist and a keen observer, trying to figure out as much as possible about the shared ethos and diversity across America to be better prepared for my upcoming semester at Columbia University.
After the summer session at UC Berkeley ended, I immediately headed toward the eastern coast to wander around the campuses of several renowned higher education institutions in the United States, including Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wake forest University, New York University and of course Columbia University in the city of New York. Except for Columbia where I was going to stay until next year, I spent a limited amount of time on each campus, focusing on their distinctive style of architecture and the overall atmosphere of the people within. To be honest, the journey greatly helped me clarify the different vibes for public and private schools, newly built and historic colleges, and urban and rural campuses.
The spirit of the whole community’s well-being prevails in flagship public universities, based on what I have experienced at UNC and UCB. The fall semester begins relatively early, and the students scattering everywhere on campus are largely comprised of in-state population, which could be told from their frequent greetings towards others around them, calling out one another’s names or even nicknames without hesitation since they might have been homies for years.
At public universities, the sheer volume of students means a comparatively higher student-faculty ratio. Thus, the scale of classes is larger, and the sports facilities are often crowded with enthusiastic players. However, taking into account the public higher education systems they are in, affordability and mobility are viewed as significant characteristics, which could compensate for their shortcomings. In the classroom, you can always hear someone describing himself or herself as having fought a long way through community colleges to the top universities within the states. There are indeed distinctions among students’ academic or socioeconomic backgrounds, but when everyone is in the same classroom, the distinctions are erased. Students could also enroll in the courses taught by other branches in the systems, meeting with new friends or groups.
For private colleges, the decency of their architecture and horticulture always fascinates me. For instance, famous Sarah P. Duke Gardens opens up for visitors from dusk until dawn. Indigenous or exotic herbs are either exuberant in the wilderness or attended carefully by assiduous gardeners working in the gardens all day long. The symbolic buildings for Trinity College at Duke combines solemnity with the particular pastoralism native in North Carolina, leaving an extraordinarily great impression on me.
Furthermore, students at private colleges enjoy many advantages brought by abundant funding. They enjoy instruction and tutoring with fewer cohorts, having greater space and equipment for recreational purposes, so on and so forth. In addition, they normally share a more exclusive understanding of their identity with honor.
Things I have discussed above are way beneath exhaustive. Based on my personal observation and superficial interpretation, there is still a long way to go before I could draw up a general map of the higher education in the United States, which could help shed some light on the higher education in China.
From Dalian University of Technology, SAF Summer Correspondent Xinrun Li is chronicling her experience at University College London.
I enjoyed musicals and had fun, but did my research and overcame challenges.
It is well-acknowledged that the British generally have shown great interests in going to the theatre on a regular basis. From award-winning musicals, cutting-edge plays to classic productions, West End Shows are famous for their amazing and sensational performances. Therefore, several musicals nearby were included in my list of ‘must-sees’ in London.
The best choice I’d ever made was to watch a Broadway musical comedy, the Book of Mormon, made from South Park creators, which was the winner of four 2014 Olivier awards including Best New Musicals. The Book of Mormon allowed me to completely immerse myself into it, since the musical had well-organized plots, contained profound meanings, and was performed by brilliant performers having a great sense of humor.
By being exposed to such an environment with well-developed art and literature, I was somehow inspired and was more willing to learn further expertise of musicals. From my perspective, those meaningful intercultural experiences enabled me to enrich my extra-curricular life to leave more vivid and indelible impressions on myself.
Moreover, what should be equally worth sharing were my unique academic learning experiences gained in class. In the process of doing research, our group were supposed to accomplish a report consisting of several parts, and an essential section of that report was methodology, which implied that there had to be someone who with critical thinking ability can accurately justify and evaluate our overall approach to the research. Though I normally lacked the practice of thinking critically, I was assigned to embark on the methodology part. And then, as expected, I encountered numerous obstacles due to some obscure definitions that I was not familiar with, which made me upset once. However, I strongly dedicated myself to that process and put much effort into addressing important issues of our report, which finally generated my passion in critical thinking practice.
In my opinion, that challenge I confronted also functioned as a crucial role in improving my professional skills, such as listening, presenting my ideas, persuasion, self-monitoring and team working. As a result, I was able to absorb a whole lot knowledge from the report we accomplished, and reap the maximum benefits.
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