Here at Sogang University they have two programs for exchange students - HUGs and the Business Buddy. They are basically the same thing except, obviously, only business students can have the business buddy. So what these programs do is they partner an exchange student with a student from Sogang who helps them get adjusted to life in Korea. The HUG buddy helps with everyday life and the Business Buddy does the same thing, as well as help you with the Business aspect of classes.
I was really skeptical about these programs because I have read a few times on Tumblr (from past students) that these programs weren’t really all that great and that the students were just there to party and have fun, but I just came back from a really nice lunch with my Business Buddy and, I can say with absolute confidence, that my buddy is amazing - ahhh-mazing.
My Business Buddy is a senior at Sogang in Finance and he went above and beyond to help me get started in Seoul.
I don’t think I’ve told you this but I ended up going to Korea a week before dorms at Sogang started so I am currently staying at a guesthouse and before I left for Korea, like the day before, my buddy e-mailed me and we exchanged KakaoIDs to keep in touch.
I went to Korea during Lunar New Years so everybody was going home and celebrating with their families but when my buddy found out I was arriving early, knowing that I would be alone for the duration of the week, because this is my first time here and I don’t know anyone at all, he told me that he would be coming to Seoul on Saturday so we can talk and get to know each other.
He was such a sweetheart. I even found out that he went on the bus for an hour or so to get to Seoul and pick me up from the station because he spent Lunar New Years in the “southern” part of South Korea, if that makes sense.
We went to eat 떡볶이 and 팥빙수. He told me about school life, how to work the subway, his student life, and just some random things. He was really nice and very sweet. I think I was really lucky to have him as my buddy.
When I thought about having a buddy, I imagined we would meet during orientation but because he met up with me before and we got to talking, it made things really easy for me and I really appreciate everything that he did for me today.
So, don’t always push something away just because it didn’t fit right with others. I realized that I am always relying on other peoples opinions rather than find out on my own because that’s just who I am but since being in Korea is a once in a lifetime chance, I don’t want to see things through other peoples eyes I want to see it on my own, experience it, and judge it from my own point-of-view.
I mean, that was one of my goals of study abroad. Get out of that bubble I am always in and enjoy what the city has to offer. Don’t hold back and take a leap because you never know what’s out there.
Just to put it out there, if you go to Sogang or any other university that has a buddy program don’t just choose not to do it because you don’t feel the need to. The other person might just become your best friend and even if it doesn’t work out in the end, at least you made that decision and if you regret it - that’s just how life is.