Jr., Dept., of Political Science and
As we go through life, we constantly strive to make the
right choice at the right moment. For me, applying for an exchange student was
one of the greatest momentums I have ever caught so far.
To tell the truth, going to Belgium was not my first hand
choice. In fact, millions of thoughts had crossed my mind before I made the
final decision. Prior to anything, I had to start off with questioning myself:
"Why do you want to go abroad? What do you want?"
Different cultural backgrounds create different perspectives. As
semesters passed by, and as Korean-perspective-driven knowledge gradually
accumulated, I felt the need to experience a different cultural background to
diversify my views. In addition, I believed it was time I had experienced
independence ? from doing my own laundry to being responsible for my everyday
Then came in the second self-interrogation: "Where do you want to
Since I have lived in Asia for my entire life, I thought I
should reach out to explore the other end of the world. Having previously
adapted to International schools, I knew things were meant to run smoother if I
decided to go to an English-speaking nation. But despite the convenience, I
chose to gamble a fourth of my undergraduate years in a French-speaking
university - in which I will be almost deaf and mute. FYI: 3 years of high
school French is all I had; nothing remains vivid in my mind but a simple
salutation of "Comment Cava?"
Someone may well ask "Why then abandon the
easier route and take the rougher one?"
In my defense, I've always been fascinated by the French culture
and their way of life; I wanted to learn their individualistic yet tolerable way
of thinking. Plus, because it is my belief that a culture can be best understood
through its own language, I am daring to take my academic courses in
As this column
finishes, as my departure time gets closer, I can sense the hardships coming
nearer. On the other hand, I envision myself returning with the prowess of an
undaunted challenger ? mature with multicultural perspectives. They say future
is for those who challenge and now, I'm ready to be one.
Belgium is a small country (11,730 square Miles, the size of
Maryland) with a population of slightly less than 10 million.
Brussels is the
capital of Belgium. The majority of the people in Brussels speak French and
Dutch. Now English has become another language used in this country. In the
global world Belgium is a country where people could experience many different