Building Bridges from C-Town to Seoul

Sophomore Samantha Gross, pictured third from left, shares a picture with friends made in Seoul, Korea.
By Aubrey Hastings
Student Life Editor

Ever since she traveled to Italy and Greece in high school, Samantha Gross has caught an overwhelming case of wanderlust. Gross, a WC sophomore recently had the opportunity to temporarily relieve this this travel bug when she took her education across seas and spent six weeks studying in Seoul, South Korea this past summer.

“I already knew I wanted to be abroad this past summer, lifeguarding at my local pool was not going to cut it for three months, and at the time I had the biggest urges to be in Korea. I talked to Professor Oros, and I found myself with a plane ticket booked to Seoul to study at Yonsei University’s summer school program from late June to early August. Two suitcases in hand with a few shoddy attempts at learning the language under my belt, and I was on my way,” said Gross.

Throughout the weeks, being immersed into the South Korean culture allowed this travel hungry student the once in a lifetime opportunity to make international strangers become friends, touch places otherwise kept hidden, and put to rest many misconceptions about Korean culture. “It is not a third world country, it is not communist, South Koreans and North Koreans truly want reunification, and the culture of cute is real life – my Korean teacher has a bunny case for her IPhone,” said Gross.

The memories of such an experience will not only stay with Gross, but has fed into her education so deeply that she is already making plans to return some day. “Suffice to say, this is probably the best summer I ever had. My wanderlust is overflowing at the moment. Seoul itself is one of the greatest places on earth, the energy and the people make it absolutely amazing. I’m still trying to figure out how Korean women stay so skinny, pale, and effortlessly stylish despite the humid monsoon season. And I’m definitely making plans to return.”

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