"My Experience in Korea has been perfect" Elena Mărgineanu

Elena Mărgineanu (21 years old) is a fourth-year student at Law Faculty within the Free International University of Moldova. After having received a scholarship, Elena studied in Korea during a semester. "I don't think I can replay in words exactly the full range of emotions and impressions that I have experienced. However, to be as accurate as possible, I will try to find one word that would describe my experience in Korea. Everything was PERFECT", said Elena.

-How did you get this scholarship?

- I studied Korean language at courses organized by the “Se Jong” Centre from ULIM and at the exam I got one of the best scores.  But the proposal to go to Korea appeared not only as a result of the success at the exam, but also as a result of the analysis of my personal qualities.

- What Universities did you studied at?

- Actually, I have participated in two programs.  The first program consisted of an intensive study of Korean language for two weeks and was held at Incheon National University in partnership with Incheon’s City Hall.  The second program was the basic one: a semester at Sungkyul University.  After an intensive study of a language, as complicated as it's Korean, for half a year, you get only the beginner level, namely because it was impossible to use it as a tool, I have selected as study language - English.

-What were your first impressions about the culture and educational system there?

- What about the culture: Koreans are probably the most respectful people of the planet, and their art is extremely colorful and interesting. 

If to talk about the education system, I can says it is very severe, especially at high school.  However, the advantages of such a system are obvious.  The students have all the possible opportunities to develop properly and are motivated by various group activities to become more involved in the University life. 

 -How did you integrate in the educational process? Did Koreans heard about Moldova?

- Very good! My colleagues were friendly, some of them even overly modest, and teachers very calm, as it should be in a civilized society. On mornings, I was working at the Information Office, sometimes I taught Romanian and English language for amateur students, in the afternoon I had classes and on Saturday and Sunday I was walking through Seoul.  I did not have seminars but only 2 exams at each of the disciplines, Middle Term &   Final Term. For some courses, we had to prepare essays, fact that was not impossible to realize because a course do not repeat twice a week (in the lessons chart). 

Of course Koreans have not heard about Moldova.  About our country, have heard only those who met with Moldovans before.

 - Have you managed to make friends there? How foreign students are treated?

- Sure I did! Some of them are now my close friends.  Even though we talk seldom, our affection won't change.

Foreign students are treated very respectfully, especially if they behave in accordance with the Korean moral rules.

 - What advice you can give to students who dream to study abroad?

- Do not rush to spend money on petty stuff.  Smile as often as possible and be kind and sincere at the same time.  Don’t be late with the homework, first comes the work and then the fun – your work output is always appreciated, especially from a "foreigner".  You can get involved in several projects, it will be fun, but it would be good to choose those that truly deserve your time, which is very valuable.  Take advantage of every weekend and travel.  The Sun is the same in any country in the world and yet, don't forget to admire the sunset.  Enjoy every single moment!

Author: Irina Postolachi, Faculty of Letters, II year, ULIM