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2022.04.18 [Berlin University of Applied Sciences] My journey of experiencing another culture




Major : Chemical and Pharmaceutical Engineering

Nationality : Germany



 Q1. Reasons for applying for Chungbuk National University Exchange Student Program

My interest in East Asian countries has always been strong, with South Korea catching my eye due to its constant change. Thus, my interest in the culture, language and culinary arts also began to grow and I decided to spend a semester abroad in South Korea. After some research, Chungbuk National University caught my eye positively due to the wide range of departments and the university's good reputation. My department was also represented and my university in Germany has a partnership with CBNU, so I applied here.




Q2. Good points as CBNU exchange student

As an exchange student at CBNU, you can live a student life in a way that was not possible for me personally before. On site, there is a very large and beautiful campus with a huge library, shopping facilities and much more, so everything is always close by. Due to the food in the canteen, everything is very comfortable here and you have a lot of time to learn the language, but also to follow your modules.




Q3. Characteristics and strengths you would like to introduce to other friends

The first thing I noticed about Korea is that everything is very convenient, such as the convenience store right below the dormitory, or that we as students always have access to hot and cold water (on the same floor). The courses are very interesting, and the professors are helpful and responsive to the students. What I like about Cheongju is that the city is rather quiet compared to Seoul and you can still do a lot. So, there is a good atmosphere for students. In addition, you can get from Cheongju to popular cities such as Seoul, Daejeon, Daegu, etc. very cheaply and quickly.

I really like living in Korea so far. There is a lot to see, everything is very cutely designed, and the people here are very helpful. Without Korean language skills, it is sometimes a bit difficult to get along here, but that also motivates to stick to the language and learn it faster. I haven't encountered many culture shocks yet, but I have noticed that respect is high on the list here and that is something I appreciate. Also, most people here are very curious about foreigners, but unlike what I know, this has little to do with discrimination and more to do with the fact that Koreans like to interact with other people, and you don't see too many foreigners in a city like Cheongju.




Q4. Advice to your juniors before entering Korea

I recommend that everyone, regardless of the destination, learn the basics of the language. It made things a lot easier for me that I took at least a beginner's course and had hardly any problems ordering food, asking for directions, or simply thanking people politely. It also gives you more exposure to the people and the culture. I also recommend taking care of any paperwork quickly so that you can enjoy your stay in peace. It can get very cold here in the winter and very warm in the summer, so I would recommend bringing appropriate clothing.



Q5. If you have another opportunity like this, do you want to come to Chungbuk National University or Korea again?

I would love to come here again and again, both to Chungbuk National University and to Korea in general. I would also like to extend my stay and further explore the language and culture.



Q6. Recommended places in Korea and Cheongju

There are many beautiful places in Korea, starting with Seoul. Seoul has many districts that all offer a slightly different atmosphere and depending on what you are looking for, I think there is something for everyone. I personally liked Hongdae, there are many shopping opportunities, as well as delicious food and other leisure activities. In Cheongju there is a famous area called Seongan-Gil. It is worth visiting this area. I would also recommend going to a Jimjilbang (Korean sauna). In the neighboring city of Daejeon there is also a lot to see, many beautiful parks, lots of nature and greenery. There are also some attractions with water. The food here is delicious everywhere. My favorite food so far is Korean BBQ.




Q7. Difficulties as a foreign exchange student in Korea

As mentioned before, it can be difficult to get along here if you don't speak the language reasonably well, so I would recommend making friends quickly. Then there should be no language problems, as everyone is very helpful.




Q8. Other things that you want to say

All in all, I am very happy with my decision to come here and am grateful to have had this experience.smiley 


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