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Tara Townsend  
Yonsei University 

Hey guys,

I know it seems like forever since I wrote here; I guess you can say I was waiting for something inspirational to hit me before I wrote senseless words. It seems that so much has happened to me since I've been in Korea but at the same time nothing has happened. I know that doesnt really make sense, but its the way that life is going for me. Classes are pretty easy here and I am rather sad because of that. When I was preparing to come to South Korea, I was prepping my mind for hard work and nothing short of that. Yet once I got here I still had that mindframe that classes were going to be tough or equal to Maryville, but sadly I was mistaken. I am taking only four classes--simple I know but I was not sure how classes really worked over here and instead of overwhelming myself; I kept it nice and easy. My professors are pretty laid back guys who expect me to do my work and be able to have fun. Though I must say, its hard to have fun especially in my one class because I'm the only foreign English speaker. I can say one thing for MC though, since they have a variety of international students I am able to be around a lot of different people and not feel sense of loss. I am making friends with some of the Koreans here and when we meet, its nothing but laughter from both sides. 
  I am still the same as I was in Maryville, but now I think that my persception of those around me has changed to adapt to those who are here with me. I still remember the one afternoon walking with my one Korean friend and we were talking on our way to the library. I forget what the conversation was about, but he stopped me in mid-sentence and said, "Can you slow down a little." I had completely forgotten that his listening skills were not as fast to pick up my English; I slowed down but our conversation didnt stop. I have found that once a Korean is approached more than once and each time talked to, they seem to open up. This seems to me almost like an onion, to get to the heart, each layer needs to be pulled back--almost like befriending a Korean.  My one friend Jiwon is simply adorable!! I still remember how we became friends-- I was waiting on one of my classes to start and I sat down beside her, but she was giving out information for a new club on campus. We struck up a conversation and she invited me to the club event. I had already been invited by the president, but I didnt let her know and this was how even today we are still good friends. Both of us like music so we try and share what music we like. 

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 Right now I am learning Korean, the grammer is hard like English and those in my little class now know that I don't like grammer in both English or Korean. It's fun learning though I'm a little sad that I couldnt take the actual classes like some of the other people I know here. I hope that when I go back home that I will still teach myself Korean. I am losing my other language--American Sign Language, this was bound to happen since I don't know anyone who signs here. The Korean Sign Language is totally different from American, but I have seen it on T.V when the news comes on. It's a little weird to watch especially since I don't know the language. Though while watching I saw the same gesture and wondered what they were signing that could have the same gesture over and over.
  So now I'm enjoying myself.. Midterms have passed and I only had one midterm in class and the rest were take home essays. I am a little angry that my one professor has yet to write the essay questions for my take home midterm essay. But until he does, I'll just relax and do what I normally do--nothing :)

"Enjoy the journey, enjoy ever moment, and quit worrying about winning and losing."
 
 
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Harper Ganick
University of Hyderabad, India

Today is Gandhi's birthday and the very beginning of October, which means that I've been living in India for nearly three months now! And when I say "living in India" I very much mean that I'm "living" here. As in I have a residential permit with the Andra Pradesh government, which, personally, I think is petty damn cool.

However, when I say that I'm "living" in India, it could also be taken that I'm "living life to the fullest" and "living new experiences" and "finding the meaning of life." As of yet, not all of those things are particularly true. I'm still not sure what the meaning of life is... sorry. But I do feel like I'm becoming an Indian, or at least as Indian as a pale American ginger can.

I no longer have to psych myself up about leaving campus and going out into the Indian world. When I first got here, going out into India was an all day commitment. It was, and still can be, exhausting and completely over stimulating. We'd come back to Tagore dirty and irritable from being stared at all day. There would be some weekends where we just weren't up for India, so we'd stay around campus and if we went out it'd be to the more Western parts of the city.

Now I'm finding that I no longer need to be in the "right mood" to face India. I can just pop into the city or Lingampoli (the neighborhood close to campus) to run to the store or for the afternoon, and when I get back I don't feel like I'm totally drained and wiped out. Yeah, I'm still dirty and it's always annoying as fuck when people stare at me, but I've learned to deal with it. While it still bothers me, I've definitely learned to ignore it and go on my way.

In the first couple of days when we first got here one of the women at orientation told us that to properly navigate the Indian streets we needed a third "Indian eye," which Indians were born with but foreigners had to develop. While my Indian eye may not be fully developed, I think it's definitely there. I went to the grocery store in Lingampoli by myself the other day and I was effortlessly, consciencely aware of everything around me. I know how many people were walking behind me, I knew what type of vehicle was coming my way and how fast, but knowing that didn't seem to extol any extra energy. It was all just something I was aware of, as part of my environment.

To learn more about MC Study Abroad Student Harper Ganick’s adventures in India visit http://harperganick.blogspot.com/ to read her blog  "There and Back Again: A Ginger’s Tale"

 
 
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Tara Townsend
Yonsei University

Good evening all, I know it's been awhile but it really doesnt feel like it. I do have to say that with classes and trying to be a little social its crazy; why do I say this? For starters I have to keep in the back of my mind that what I do here can somewhat affect what happens when I get back home. Hahah almost like a child, being cautious in case mom or dad finds out what I've done--nothing bad of course;-) Classes are going well, all of them are in English with Korean professors who are not as tough as what I expected them to be. Yet let me not say that to loud, don't want them to think anything differently. South Korea especially the capital, in a way reminds me of the big cities of the US; traffic, bars, clubs, lots of people and not enough trees or stars in the sky because of pollution. Most of the times I think that I am back home and have just gone to New York for a visit, the only thing really different is that here the majority is Korean. I don't speak the language except for the baby words like thank you, goodbye, hello; and the Korean people are shy around foreigners unless you approach them in which case they might forget what English they learnt. My classes are really interesting, since what I learn in one class seems to be what we are starting to learn in my other class. What I really like about these classes is the way they are getting me to think in the way of my major. lick here to edit.

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 Nothing new has really happened to me much while I have been here besides eating new food, meeting people from different states and sometimes different countries, and joing a club that is trying to help children of multicultural families. All in all, I'm enjoying myself.

Until next time bye bye