In a short period of time, we can experience so many things in our lives that can change us, and help us to become someone wiser, and closer to the adult we aspire to be. This exchange program was an incredible opportunity, because at the end we up grown up, thanks to the things we experienced and we become humanly richer.

We all started as a lost foreigner in a country different from our own. I admit I was quite nervous at some points because I didn’t know what to expect from Korea. But, it turned out pretty well and I feel so lucky and thankful to everybody that made this exchange the most beautiful period of my life. I feel that I learned a lot about a new population, a new society with its qualities and its flaws, and a whole new culture with its own codes. Of course I experienced some awkward situations because of cultural differences, like being ignored when I try to talk to strangers or receiving some weird glances because I might have done something socially unacceptable, but if there is one thing I will always remember, it is how kind, caring and welcoming the Koreans I met were. They did their very best to try to make us feel welcome, they put so much effort into trying to help us to enjoy our time in Korea. Because of it, now that I have left Korea, I miss it like home. And by that statement, the university staff is a huge part of those people. We learn a lot about ourselves, about how to go out of our comfort zones and be open to something new. It is challenging, and motivates us to do more. I look forward to what comes next.

Chung-Ang University’s campus is close to Seoul’s center, and next to the Han River. Located at the top of a hill, the campus offers a wonderful view of the capital. I had the chance to live in the dormitory within the campus and to enjoy the quality of its facilities. Everything is made so conveniently that it feels surreal. There are also activity clubs to join and events to attend to fully enjoy university life; it is a great opportunity to meet people and local students.  Every night, I used to watch Namsan tower until it get turned off at midnight, not because I’m a romantic, but because it reminded me that I need to go back to my room before the curfew. The university district is a quiet and peaceful area, yet there are many spots to hang out, like bars, restaurants, and parks near the river. There will always be something to do and somewhere to go.

On a final note, I’d like to say thank you to Chung-Ang University for welcoming us, the international office, especially Jeff, who always works his hardest to help us and coordinates everything for us, and Joseph, who is always caring, listening and solving problems, the GLAMs, because we wouldn’t have enjoyed our stay to its maximum potential without them, and everyone that made a simple exchange such a wonderful and life changing experience.

I will never forget the memories we made, the lifelong friendships with people from all over the world, the beauty of Korea and its people.

Je reviendrai.

Imad-Seddik Arrada, Universite Grenoble Alpes, Fall 2016