Maybe a lot of you are wondering how is my Korean life here in Seoul. In this blog, I’ll be writing about my Korean life from the beginning. Keep reading K`wanders!
Moving to a different country is exciting but sometimes frustrating when your plans don’t go well as planned. But since I’m here already, instead of regretting everything and feel sad, I tried to look out for solutions and a comfort zone that can make me better instead of feeling worst. So here’s the story about my Korean life in Seoul during my first year.
How is My Korean Life in Seoul at First?
When did I arrive in Korea?
I arrived in Korea in April 2016 with my son and husband. The month of April is springtime and I love the weather that day when stepped out at the Incheon Airport. We arrived at 5 in the morning and it was my first time to experience a puff of “cloud smoke” like whenever I inhale and exhale. It was kinda amazing when I first experienced it. Honestly, I’ve never thought that I would be living here.
After we arrived and rested for a few hours from jetlag, we went to my parent’s in-laws’ house which is 3 hours away from Seoul. It was kinda scary since I don’t even know how to speak Korean before. Thanks to my sister in law and husband who was there to relay the message that I wanted to say. During that time, I’ve already told myself that I need to learn Korean as soon as possible.
Did I get a culture shock?
Honestly, yes! Philippine culture is far far different from Korean culture. Since I don’t speak and understand Korean at first, I admit that I have done mistakes too. Then I felt like I was in a kdrama and everything are not going well on my end. I was asked so many WHY’s. Why I can’t speak Korean, why my skin color is brown, and why my height is short.
I also experienced those ahjumma’s in bus or subway that won’t stop asking you like ‘Where you came from?’, ‘How old are you?’, ‘Is your baby boy or girl?’, Where do you live?’ etc. They even ask personal questions and you will feel weird since it’s like they’re interrogating you. hahaha
Due to culture shock, I had a hard time in my first year here in Korea. But thanks to my friends online who are there to support and cheer me up.
When did I start studying the Korean language?
After 3 months since I arrived, I asked my husband to find the nearest Multicultural center because I wanted to study Korean. My son was only 6 months then I always bring him with me whenever I attend my class. Luckily, the multicultural center has a baby room and a babysitter that looks at the baby while you were studying.
I started from level 1 and after a year, I took the level test under the Korea Immigration and Integration Program (KIIP). Scored 42 points which is level 3 and finished my KIIP class last year in 2019 and passed the exam with 73 points.
How hard is it to be a Korean wife?
The hardest part of being a Korean wife is making Korean foods, teaching my son, and visiting the hospital.
I am not a good cook that’s why it was really hard for me to learn how to cook Korean food at first. But through the help of the internet and youtube, I have learned some guides and tips on how to make Korean foods. Aside from household chores, women in Korea also take care of the whole family like teaching the kids.
Teaching my son was one of the reasons why I tried my best to learn Korean as soon as possible. We all know that the education and learning development of kids in Korea is very advance and I felt like the baby should be talking already as soon it was born.
Visiting the hospital is one of the burdens for me till now. Medical services terms are very hard in Korea, and when you are wrongly diagnosed you can also receive the wrong medication which is really bad and I am afraid of that.
Maybe my Korean life has so many ups and downs, still I happy to say that despite all the trials God still given me so many opportunities that I am always thankful for. I’ve learned so many things while living here and I saw how a small step could change your life. It might be hard at first, but through learning and listening, everything will be fine.