Anna is one of the exchange student who was most active in her campus life and truly enjoyed it. She extended her exchange semester at KMU for another semester. So, we went to hear about her last semester.
1. Can you introduce yourself?
- My name is Anna. I’m 22 years old. I am from Germany. And I came here last September for my exchange semester. I finished one semester, and I have decided to stay one more.
2. How do you feel after you finished the first semester here? Are you satisfied about how it passed?
- I feel really proud and very satisfied because, I talked about this a lot that Korean universities have much more work than German universities. In Germany, there is no such things as midterms. And you have either an assignment to do or a final exam. So, the overall workload is much less. So, for me, doing all the midterms, all the assignments, and all the final exams, I felt really proud, and it made me feel really good about my attitude toward working or studying.
3. Why did you extend your exchange semester for another 6 months?
- It’s very different here from Germany. And I don’t feel like four months, which is one semester, is enough to take it in. I feel curious about this country. I also really like the language and the food. So, I was kind of, if I have the chance, I want experience more, and I want to see more. Before I came, somebody told me to take every door that I can take. So, that’s what I tried and hope I can do also good in the next semester.
4. You did many activities in the last semester. Do you remember everything?
- I first signed up for K-LACE because through watching K-Dramas, I learned some Korean, of course, but I wanted to feel more secure. So, that was the first thing I did. And we, German students, were quite lucky that the German Department of KMU associates to the German-speaking exchange students. They actually invited us to attend all of their events. And they also invited us to go on their field trip with them, which was really nice. Because we went to the first field trip with the German Department, we missed the first official field trip of the exchange students, coordinated by the KMU Foreign Affairs Teams. But thankfully, there was the second field trip of the exchange students to Andong, which was really cool. Then, we had an International Day event. It was really nice because sometimes it’s nice to talk about your culture. Other than that, I was invited to the Christmas lighting ceremony. It was kind of an accident because I though all of the international students will going to be in the photo, but it turned out that it was only me who had to do something while all the others were just standing there. But it worked pretty well, and I am glad I did it. Also, the KMU International Lounge does lots of events, and I try to participate in most of those events.
5. Can you pick your favourite and your least favourite among them?
- My favourite was the field trip with the German Department. They called it a membership training. They invited us to an overnight trip with the students and professors. It was the most fun because we really got to experience the Korean from the Korean side, like how they would normally do it, but they tried to make German-friendly so we could participate in all the activities. That was sweet. It was a chaos, like super chaotic. But it was super funny. And I think all of the German students were pretty great drinking buddies, too great even. It was a very authentic experience which involved us having a lot of fun. And my least favourte activity was probably K-LACE, which I’m sad to say this. Me and the other friend who had the same teacher had the very different Korean levels, so it was very hard to balance us out and have me learn something new this time. I think I’m going to do the K-LACE again, for sure. But I might just find a friend who has the similar level of Korean as me and pre-form a group before the semester. I actually asked someone if we could do it together and look for a teacher together because I think that our Korean levels are similar and that it will work better next semester.
6. What do you feel about a new semester coming now?
- I’m actually very excited. A lot of people are still here with me and I’ll get to see them once the new semester starts. I look forward to tell them my stories during the winter and hear about their stories. It’s really exciting. We also have a lot of new exchange students coming. I’m kind of looking forward to get to know them, to see them, and maybe to help them in any ways if I can. Because it’s not always easy as an exchange student. And the classes. For the last semester, I had to pick only classes that were important for my studies in Germany. But for this semester, I’m free with the class selection since I don’t need any more classes for Germany. So I picked every classes based on my personal interest. I will probably kick some of them if they turn out not really interesting. I look forward to doing things that match my personality. The one thing I’m really looking forward to is going to the International Lounge again. The International Lounge is really good for getting to know people and connecting with people. The staffs are really helpful to me and all others. So, I look forward to going there almost every day and socializing in general.
7. Do you have tips for the new exchange students at KMU?
- Like a girl from Passau previously told me, “Take every open door.” And if they choose to make them open, “take every chance you see along the way.” Also, “Ask.” If you want to do something, ask the people around you. Maybe someone wants to join. “Pick the people you feel most comfortable with and you feel personally connected to.”