Nicole Sanchez ’16 (Seoul, Korea)
Name: Nicole Sanchez
Year of Graduation: Spring 2016
Major(s): Criminal Justice minor in Psychology
Where you study abroad and with what program?
Spring Semester 2015
Duksung Women’s University – South Korea
What advice do you have for Caldwell students interested in studying abroad?
Don’t think about it too much and just do it!!! Studying abroad is a big decision, and when people think about it too much they scare themselves into not doing it. Just get up one day, sign up for which ever program you are interested in and follow through until the end. Once you get to the country you have been dreaming of going to, you will not regret you decision and actually wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. After getting to this place I have actually regretted not coming sooner and being able to stay longer.
What was the best part of studying abroad?
I will never be able to decide which the best part is, but I think the best part is the location. Even though it is obviously a culture shock because it is very different from America, but that’s what makes this place so beautiful. The uniqueness of this place makes me want more, learn more, see more, understand more, and is like I never want time to pass because the time here is not enough. Even though going to this country was all on my own, I never felt alone at any time. I met new people from other places of the world (Germany, china, japan, Taiwan, Nepal, Mexico, Vietnam, and Russia) as exchange students so we shared the same feelings of being in a different country on our own and that made us come together. I also met many and plenty of Korean people that were sweet and kind to me. Some that did not know English at all but tried so hard to make a sentence to make me feel welcome, and even middle school kids in the streets that would only say hello but with me responding they felt happy enough. I also met older people that would give me extra food in restaurants, or sometimes small things for free as compliments for welcoming me to their country. Even though I would stand out it didn’t feel like it was a bad thing, because everyone was very accepting and heartwarming. The culture makes you feel like you are a part of a big unknown family.
Why do you recommend it?
I recommend studying abroad to other students because it helps you grow not just academically but personally. Being in a different place with people you don’t know and in a different situation than what you are used can help you get to know yourself in ways you never could before. It also helps you to become a more all-around human being. To completely emerge yourself in another culture you never once knew, and put yourself in the other persons shoes and learned where they come from, cannot just help you understand others but also your own self. I decided to jump into the unknown and I ended up loving every single moment of it. I would do it all over again if I get the chance to, and it helped me understand other people around me. Now I want to go to many other places and learn their culture too. All you can ask yourself is — why not?