Romanian International Studies student Cristian Marianciuc was one of four Global Leadership Program (GLP) students chosen to participate in a three week long cultural exchange program to Sookmyung Women’s University. Here he writes of his amazing experience.
“I was extremely excited when I found out I would be one of the ‘chosen four’ to represent Macquarie in Seoul, South Korea.
My biggest passions are foreign languages and cultures, and not having experienced closely an Asian culture before really made me look forward to the trip. I left Sydney without expectations, but ready to immerse myself in a completely new culture.
It was no walk in the park – three hours of daily, intensive language courses followed by another three-hour session of Taekwondo took a few days to get used to.
But the results were visible right away: we were able to order our food in restaurants, introduce ourselves to people and even haggle in the many amazing markets around Seoul. Getting to know the locals and interacting with them on a daily basis was indeed an amazing learning experience.
Seoul is a sensational city; you cannot help it but fall in love with it at first sight. There are literally dozens of coffee shops and restaurants next to each other along the roads, a variety of street food stands, trendy clothing shops and an unbelievable number of bakeries – all offering very delicious treats.
We even had the chance to cook several traditional dishes that, surprisingly, turned out quite delicious. We also expanded our horizons by attending a seminar about the Korean culture, past and present.
I made many friends on the trip that I keep in touch with and hope to see again on my next visit, this time maybe in summer. Everyone was so welcoming and nice, always willing to help.
Now I can say that I have improved my language skills considerably and I feel more comfortable in a completely new environment. I genuinely could not have asked for more during my trip to South Korea!”
Read more about overseas experiences and activities that can be undertaken for experiential credit in the GLP Program.