I was able to study abroad in Seoul, South Korea in the spring of 2018 with one of my closest friends. Even though I had to attend classes at the University of Seoul, I was still able to make time to hang out with friends and visit many places on my trip abroad.
The first thing you should do when going abroad is make friends, which is easy when you go to your university and meet all your classmates! About half of my class was from America while the rest were a mix of Asia and Europe. I loved making foreign friends and learning new things about their countries. I still keep in contact with some of the friends I made and have actually met a few of them again in the states. These will be the people that make your abroad experience memorable.
Try New Foods + Street Foods
The only thing better than the prices of food in Korea is the food itself. When I went abroad, I had barely tried any Korean food beforehand. What I’ve realized there is that Koreans LOVE chicken and beer. Most of their meals include meat, so it’s definitely hard if you’re vegetarian/vegan. I had the honor of having a Korean roommate who bought me some snacks on my first week and then treated me to a nice meal of samgyeopsal, which is grilled pork belly. People usually pair this meat with soju- Korean alcohol. Another popular combination is pajeon (scallion pancake) and makgeolli (traditional rice wine). They have interesting flavors like banana and cheesecake, which were my favorites.
If you’re a ramen fanatic like I am, you’ll be glad to know you can find ramen almost anywhere. And if you’re ever missing some American meals you can find Dunkin, Starbucks, KFC, and McDonald’s. On nights out, my friends and I would head to Monster Pizza which has huuuuuuge slices of pizza.
Myeongdong is hands down, the BEST place to go to for street food. You’ll find tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) on sticks, fried chicken, special corndogs, mandu (Korean dumplings), long soft ice cream and my favorite, gyeran-ppang (egg bread). I made it a tradition to get gyeran-ppang almost every time I visited Myeongdong and it never failed me.
Trying new things is different for everyone, especially if it’s from a completely different country. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t like some of the meals because you’ll find that one place you can’t let go of!