Tuesday 11 December
First day of classes today. I didn’t get enough sleep, but I woke up surprisingly easily. Felt like I was five years old again, walking off by myself to my classroom. When I walked in, it was dead silent, and people were on their phones, faces down. Our homeroom teacher is super lovely and surprisingly progressive, which was really nice. After the introductory stuff, we got to know our classmates for about an hour. Most students are from China, Japan or Mongolia. One student is half Korean and half Indonesian – I didn’t get to talk to her, but I would like to know her story. Everyone seemed surprised that I was not only from New Zealand but Korean. I was also the only person attending Korea Uni for the first time. There are 14 people in our class, so it’s pretty small and easy to get to know everyone. I hope I make some proper friends. Our first topic was volunteering and vulnerable groups in society – an interesting topic! I enjoyed it; the content was useful and engaging, and I think it will come in handy during conversations.
It wasn’t easy to chat with people because everyone spoke their own language and hung out with people who spoke their language. My preferred language is English, and no one spoke it well enough to talk in English, so I felt a bit left out. However, my teacher and classmates seem very nice overall, and I think it will go well this semester.
Also, it snowed today!! A lot!! It was so beautiful; I took lots of pictures. After hearing a podcast, I feel weird getting my phone out for every goddamn thing, but this was sort of an exception. I want to work on that while I’m here, though; not everything needs to be photographed!
It feels so good to be more confident now. Five years ago, I would never have been able to so easily chat with new people and raise my hand in class to ask questions. I’m feeling good about myself.
I need to get my books after class tomorrow. I think level 5 is going to be a hard but good challenge. I’m eager to improve my Korean!