“An exchange student? Good for you! By the way, why Spain and not US or Australia?” Whenever I told my friends that I was going to Spain for six months as an exchange student, 9 out of 10 always have the same reaction like of that above. I understand why people say so because Spain is not an English-speaking country, also I do not major Spanish, but biology. I am a 23-year-old normal student who would like to be a journalist. I just really wanted to travel around southern Europe, but I had no money and also did not want to get support from my parents for that.
One day, I found an exchange programme and applied for it. I was too nervous to remember about the interview day, anyway, I became a successful applicant as a student in Universidad de Málaga in Spain. Koreans are not familiar with Málaga, which is a port city located in the south of Spain. However, it is well known for its quite famous city for the soccer team, Málaga CF and the eminent artist Picasso’s hometown. When I arrived in Málaga, I felt like being in a historical site where people crowd between old buildings; Here is Centro Historico, and this fantastic scenery was indescribable.
Coincidently, I spent Lunar New Year in Spain, and it was my first time to observe a holiday abroad alone. Suddenly homesick sprang up to me and I found some news that there would be a Korean-traditional event to celebrate Lunar New Year’s Day in Muelle Uno. When I got there, I was so comfortable with the familiar atmosphere, yin-yang symbol, hanbok, sesame oil fragrance, and Gangnam Style music. This event was held not by a Korean, but a Spanish who is a representative of Cultura Asiática (Oriental Culture and Language Institute), which so impressed me. It was precious time that I met a number of international students and shared Korean culture with each other. I am so excited for my future life here in Spain.
* For the original article in Korean: http://bit.ly/103LW7t (by Jeong-hyeon Kim)