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Essential Steps to Live Abroad on Your Own

| Keep Your Mind Open to Different Culture

Both South Korea and Indonesia are in Asia but they are totally different countries with different cultures. In Indonesia, shaking hand is the way we greet new people. In contrast, Koreans bow to each other by saying Annyeonghaseo, no shaking hand. Koreans walk faster than most Indonesians especially at the subway station. There are many other differences such as the way of speaking to older people and table manner. The first time I came here I did not really feel the culture shock because I did some research. The thing is, in Korea I also met some friends from various countries, from Western to other Asia countries. Each countries has different culture and it takes time to get along with international friends. The way they dress, think, talk, tell jokes. Sometimes I do not understand the jokes they are laughing at, but seeing them laugh makes me laugh too. Sounds silly perhaps. But once I open to a new culture, it gets easier and easier for me to meet new friends from other countries, which is really fun. After all, the more open you are to new cultures, the more globalized you are.

| Challenge Yourself to Do Something New

When I was in high school, I was not that active. For me grades were the only thing that matter. I did join some clubs but I was just a reactive member. Teachers recommended me to join Student Union, I did joined for a few months, then I quit. Yes. I was lazy. After graduating high school I realize most of my seniors both in Indonesia and Korea involve in excessive organizations and they have a bunch of professional experiences. This made me determined to get myself involved. During my freshman year, I did not really have a specific career path so I applied to a bunch of activities and got rejected from a bunch of them. It might be scary to enter a new environment and do work with strangers, but new things keep you motivated by bringing fresh experiences into your life. You might have a busy schedule but university is the place where you are free to explore as many interests as you want.

| Put More Effort in Maintaining Friendships

This might sound demanding but social scene in university is one essential thing to be considered. I spent my 14 years at the same school with less than 200 people for my batch, so making friends was relatively easy. But in my university there are more than 30,000 people and you have to face different faces every day. In my university, besides taking major courses, we also have to take other general courses with students from various majors. If you can match your schedule with your friends to take same courses every semester, maintaining friendship will be easy. But the truth is having same schedule is hard. So what I am doing is I always share my class schedule with some close friends and have lunch or dinner, or maybe just a coffee. During free time or weekend I also reach out to some friends from other majors and other universities letting them know that I want to catch up with them. Clubs and organizations also help a lot, since you have similar interests. Showing your friends that you value your relationship with them is pretty simple, right?

"Enjoy your youth. You are never going to be younger than you are at this very moment."

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