Eva – Ewha Woman’s University – Korea
Semester 2, 2022
Bachelor of Creative Industries
Even before the orientation for exchange students, I was so excited about this semester abroad. As I have previously visited South Korea and knew I wanted to do an exchange there, I was thrilled to do a whole semester there. Especially after my initial plan to exchange the previous year was cancelled due to covid. This trip enabled me to learn so much while also making lifelong friends from all around the world and being exposed to unique events.
Study the language
Luckily, I had connected with some fellow exchange students online before leaving Australia and managed to have a class with one of my online friends. We shared our Korean language class together, which was of course filled with only exchange students. Although the class was 3 hours long at 8am and 4 days in a row, due to its intensity, it made me feel secure that I was learning the language right. I have attempted to study the language myself for some years but always went long periods of no studying and was busy with my classes here in Australia, so I wasn’t very competent in my skills. It started off easy with some personal revision, but slowly enabled me to further my ability. It was so interesting to get to know people from all different countries from Puerto Rico to Switzerland, as we often had to interact for our speaking practice. We became somewhat of a little family as we were all different, but all had a reason to be there and an interest in learning the language.
My major-related class
My other two classes were mainly Korean students taking an English-spoken class, however, one class, Fashion Illustration, had less than 20 students with one other foreigner besides myself. Everyone in the class was so talented, but I only became friends with my fellow exchange student as the unit didn’t include any group activities or discussions within the class. The Professor was very nice and supportive of every student, and as it was a smaller class, she paid special attention to all of her students. This class was only once a week but was 3 hours long with each class further developing our skills and creative thinking. For our final assignment, I came up with a concept I never would have thought of before. I initially thought of melting, but it wasn’t exactly meeting the assignment’s requirement. The Professor pushed me to further the narrative, which led me to link my final collection to my first snowy winter while in Korea. Throughout my process of creating my Moodboard for my clothing designs, I managed to portray snow falling, melting, and precipitating.
An unexpected unit
My third class was more of an interactive lecture called Global Fashion Business, with well over 100 students, including about 10 non-Korean, exchange students. This class was two times a week with the lectures only being almost 3 hours. It took me a while to feel comfortable in this class as the fellow exchange students were not particularly interested in fashion and many of them were already friends, so being exchange students wasn’t enough for me to connect with them. Many of the Korean students were heavily into fashion, but I was too intimidated to attempt to talk to them. Towards the end of the course, I did become close with one exchange student, as a result of doing a small group project together. I also became friends with a Korean girl on a class field trip, but we didn’t become close as it was towards the end of the semester. Although this class was a business class, I didn’t expect it to be purely focused on the business structure with crunching numbers, etc. It was related to the global fashion industry, but I learned about things different from what I was expecting to learn about. The unit was quite hard, but it was beneficial to push myself while learning information that is important to someone wanting to work in the fashion industry.
An amazing study opportunity
As I had visited South Korea before the exchange, I knew a lot about the country but being able to stay there for several months and live life as a student at a Korean University was a new experience that I am so grateful for. Despite having classes almost every day and waking up at 6:00am 4 days in a row, I was so happy to be there. I truly did not want the semester to end as I was living my life to the fullest. Being able to visit so many unique exhibitions, seeing sights so different from Brisbane’s, participating in such a fashion-focused scene, and seeing so many music acts live that would never come to Australia is something I will never forget.
Find out how you can apply for exchange via the QUT Student Exchange website.