Prologue: Anticipations in Seoul

Prologue: Anticipations in Seoul

The heat, humidity and cicadas chirping at full volume make up a typical Korean summer. Having lived in Korea for nearly 17 years of my life, I’m pretty used to having all three. What I’m not used to, is all the free time I have on my hands. And all the preparation I need make to travel halfway around the world. The thought of leaving my little hometown in Seoul is terrifying...but I’m excited. Yup, definitely excited.

This is the first time my university is sending students to Washington via TWC. So I didn’t have much information to decide on when they started recruiting students for the program. All I knew was that I’d always wanted a chance to intern before I graduate, and the opportunity that The Washington Center was providing seemed to be the perfect way to complement my academic learning in school in a global setting. I didn’t hesitate in my decision to apply. My school selected my file, as well as another guy’s, to be sent to TWC. Then I was accepted by TWC. I got my TWC advisor simultaneously. But all this, and the excitement I got from it, was in May. June whizzed past with finals, and..... July included a lot of waiting. And even some more waiting. I’d left my summer rather empty from the usual summer session classes and extra jobs (well, I still did have one part-time job) because I felt I would be busy with preparations for the internship. As I mentioned, though, I ended up with a whole lot of time on my hands, most of which I used up going out to meet friends, shopping, and reading all the books I’d bought but hadn’t had the chance to read during the semester.

When I’d all but given up on getting a placement, in the first week of August, I got an offer from the Embassy of Korea. Note to future international TWC applicants: don’t fret because of placements and visa problems. Especially if you’re like me and likes things definite and set. You’ll have your patience pushed to its limit(mine grew like.... Jack’s bean stalk? haha) but you’ll get your placement soon enough and visa problems will be taken care of in no time. I learned this......the hard way, fretting through the whole process, but I hope you guys see this post and rest assured. Besides, we have our TWC advisors who are great individuals helping us all the way through the process.

Soon as I get my visa processed next week, and all of my three bags packed and ready, my flight will be leaving from Incheon, Korea. I’m meeting some old friends in San Francisco, where I have a 12 hour layover, so I’m looking forward to that too. But mostly, the thought of spending 4 months in DC has me excited like a kid. I can’t wait to visit and see the Smithsonian Museums, the National Mall, the Potomac River-all that Washington is offering to us interns. The prospect of just being a part of America’s capital city....is just plain amazing in ways that can’t be expressed with simple words. Come September, hopefully, I’ll be ready to take it all in. (Originally written in August, 2010)

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