Overall I had a fantastic time. The clubs and groups and activities are endless. The KUBA group is excellent and you always have weekend activities and options that can occupy your time. I felt very accommodated and supported during my whole exchange and experience. I didn’t come across any culture shock or instances of concern there and found Koreans to be very accommodating and supportive during my entire stay. Safety was never a problem the country is exceptionally safe. It is also far cheaper than Brisbane in terms of food and living costs with a budget of around $70-100 a week. If I ever had a problem they were so happy to help me sort it out. I would recommend the exchange program because living somewhere is such a testament to knowing a country from a company’s perspective especially. When I say I’ve lived in Korea it makes people assume and think I am very knowledgeable about the region and this is such a benefit to building future career links and setting up opportunities.
As part of the PM Award, I was required to undertake an internship here in Korea. I was extremely fortunate to have found an accommodating workplace at an organisation hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government called CityNet. It’s a fascinating international organisation that work on urban sustainability and improving human settlements through knowledge exchanges and forums through their network spanning across the Asia-Pacific. I’ve been working there part-time since October assisting them in preparing for their Executive Committee meeting in Vietnam as well as writing journal articles that they share with their members on new ideas on transport, energy, liveability, sanitation and climate resilience.
I was fortunate enough to get a chance to go to their Conference in Vietnam in November which was a fascinating insight into intercultural communication and government practices. I saw some vastly complex relationships and ideas on Asian specific models and regional integration away from European and American institutions. I was able to build up a great network of contacts while there and also build stronger connections with my co-workers! During my internship, I was able to achieve strong gains in my professional work quality as well as managing and integrating effectively into an intercultural workplace and be well-accepted.