Being an exchange student in Inha University is unforgettable yet useful for me. Inha University is one of the universities in Korea famous for its engineering related major. Inha University located at Incheon, small town in Korea, which only 2 hours distance from Seoul, the capital city of Korea.
First arriving at this university, I was really impressed as the university environment is really different than other universities in Indonesia especially compare to my university. Here, the university combined both modern and natural aspect that can be seen from the presence of small lake, a bunch of trees, and big park at the university area.
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If you are going to study in Korea, you need to have a strong competitive desire since the competition among the students here are really tight. Furthermore, not only the competition in education life that becomes highlight here, but also the competition among job seekers as not too many employment is available in Korea. It can be said that they use the motto: “Party hard, study hard”. So, if you want to study here even though as an exchange student, make sure you are competitive enough to compete with others.
Because of such culture, I get more competitive desire rather than before, so I think it is one of the benefits of becoming an exchange student in Korea. Furthermore, the idiom time is money is quite meaningful here since most Korean people are really strict about the time. For example, I heard a story of one of my friends that made an appointment with some of her Korean friends, but she came late about 15 minutes to the meeting place and she found that her Korean friends already left her. Also, it is very rare event for a professor or lecturer to come late for a class. This good habit is a really good example to do especially in Indonesia that has a ‘jam karet’ habit. So, I hope by doing such thing in Indonesia, I can inspire others to do this good habit.
Being here for about 3 months, I can learn how to adapt with various cultures since by staying here I met not only Korean people but also other exchange students from different countries and backgrounds. By meeting them, I have an opportunity to know more about their countries and how they react in some situations or special cases that I have never known before. So, not only education related knowledge that I got by becoming an exchange student, but also ability on how to socialize with others.
If you are interested in becoming an exchange student and you have the opportunity, just do it! You will get a lot of useful experiences that surely you cannot get in other places. Prepare for everything in advance and I believe your experience in other countries will be a very memorable experience in your lifetime.
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In addition, below are some tips and trick that needs to be prepared if you want to become an exchange student based on my experiences:
- Make sure everything is prepared well before applying for exchange program
- Learn local language before going to destination country. You don’t need to be influenced in related language, at least you know how to communicate with locals so you don’t need to depend on others in doing everything
- Ask for advice from people that had the experience before
- Keep in touch in family and other related institutions in your home country
- Last but not least, enjoy your time during exchange period. You have to explore the country and see for new insights instead of trapped in campus environment only
End of all, being an exchange student is one of best experiences I have ever had in my life. Now it’s your turn to get such experience!
Written by :
Marcella Cindy Kusumaningrum
Information System and Accounting
– 2013: Exchange student at Kyung Hee University, Korea ( Spring semester)
– 2014: Exchange student at Inha University, Korea (Spring & Fall semester)
Thanks to my best friend in Korea, Marcella Cindy for this amazing writing^^