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One month after Korea

Hello everyone!

It's been a month since I started school now and I'm back for my last blog post! Although school has been hard so far and I know it will continue to be, I am grateful that I am doing it here in America instead of Korea. As much as I loved and miss Korea, I would not do well in their school system. In Korea, students have school from 9 am to 5 pm, and then most students go to academy from 5 pm to 10 pm, THEN they go home and do their homework. Whenever I'm feeling stressed or mad at the American school system I remember what all my Korean friends are dealing with and that helps me put my problems in perspective.

Now that it's been so long since I got back, I don't actively miss Korea and my friends but whenever I think of my trip, my nostalgia has turned into a sharp sadness. I loved Korea so much and all my friends that thinking about them makes me very sad. And to think that I won't see them or go back for years, if ever makes it even worse. 3 weeks was not enough time; it was enough for us to fall in love with the location and form strong bonds with our friends but not long enough to grow tired of either, making leaving painful and memories bittersweet.

Since my trip, I just want to travel more. I definitely want to go back to Korea but I also want to travel all over the world. Top on my list right now is Thailand but I want to see as much of the world as I can before it changes, then I want to revisit everything all over again. I have also picked up little quirks from my trip to Korea. The 2 most noticeable are that I still give and receive everything with 2 hands and that I still bow hello, goodbye, and thank you (although it's a very small bow; in Korea it would be considered rude to bow to someone the way I do). Most people don't really notice when I do these things but my family teases mercilessly whenever they notice me doing it. My beauty/fashion taste has also changed to align more closely with what was popular while I was in Korea, which was weird for me at first but now America is starting to adopt some of those same trends. Nobody really knows this but America actually follows behind Korea when it comes to beauty/fashion by about 6 months.

Overall, my experience traveling abroad was an amazing one that I would love to repeat and would HIGHLY recommend to anyone and everyone. After my trip, I feel more mature and self reliant and more prepared to face challenges on my own. Being abroad in a foreign country is an amazing opportunity to learn more about yourself and the world we live in. I have become a more well rounded and compassionate person, and more confident in my own abilities and sense of self. I am very grateful to CIEE for giving the opportunity to travel abroad and also got letting me blog with them, it has made my travel abroad experience richer and more meaningful. Also thank you all for reading my blog posts, I hope I have inspired you to travel abroad!

-Isabelle B.

'Global Navigator Voices' is a collection of blog articles and pictures by our very own high school study abroad participants. Follow their adventures before, during, and after their experiences abroad!