My name is Meri and I’m a Finn studying hospitality management in Haaga-Helia, University of Applied
Sciences. Reason for me to wanting to do my internship in South Korea is very simple: a long-time interest towards Korean culture and language. I wanted to see what the working life would be like in Seoul, since there are a lot differences when compared to Finland.
I’m not going to lie, I did experience some sort of a culture shock in the beginning. I arrived in Seoul on Sunday and my first work day was Monday, so I didn’t really have time to look around and get to
know my surroundings. When booking the flight ticket, I didn’t think it’d be necessary, since I’ve
been to Seoul before. Well, I was wrong. Thankfully after the first week I started to get used to the
drastic change in my environment.
During the first week I simply got to know the rules of the house. From the very beginning I understood that the work I’d be doing would be under very minimal supervision, and it was completely fine with me. In the beginning of January ACOPIA launched a “free talking café”,
which I was promoting via different social medias, trying to get people to know us a little more. We got a few customers every now and then, whom were interested in learning to speak English better. I also did some translating for the upcoming March 2018 K-Pop Camp and answered bunch of emails from people who were interested in the internship or K-Pop Camp.
Over all this internship has been an experience. I’ve met the most amazing people from different countries, who have become extremely close to me in a short period of time. I’ve learned not only about Korean culture, but also about French, Philippine and Vietnamese cultures plus many more. My mind set has widened remarkably, which I’m happy about, since it was one of my goals when deciding to leave for Seoul. Even though it took me a little bit of time to get used to Seoul as my “home town”, I’m now leaving Seoul with a heavy heart. Even though South Korea is completely different from Finland, I’m leaving a small part of me here.