Into the Unknown
Shai Turner: Auburn Exchange- Daegu, South Korea- Keimyung University Summer 2019
As someone who had never been on a plane before, there were some things I wish I had known before taking a 14-HR flight across the world. A couple tips I would give my past self would be to try and get an aisle seat, so you can move around with minimal disturbance to your neighbors. Remember to bring earplugs. I especially like silicone earbuds because they tend to be more comfortable. Make sure you have something for entertainment. The airlines normally provide movies but prepare other things like books or playlists on your personal devices. Along with that, make sure you bring basics like a portable charger and pen or pencil with you on the plane. Most importantly, try to fly with a friend. If it is your first time flying, having someone there with you relieves a ton of stress especially if they have flown before.
After about 13-½ hours, the plane landed I was in a different country. It was terrifying and I had no idea what to do. Thankfully, my friend calmed me down and the pre-departure we had attended prepared us for this. The program I participated in had also given us a guide on what to do once we got there, so take advantage of every resource you’re given no matter how small. Once we had received our bags and gotten through the gate, someone from Keimyung was waiting with a big sign just for us. It felt like something out of a movie, but it made everything real at that point. I was standing in the largest airport in South Korea, and I wouldn’t be back for a month. We walked for what seemed like an eternity to leave the airport passing an endless number of stores, restaurants, guest service desks, basically anything you would need to get around the country was right there before you exited the building.
Once we had gotten everything we needed from inside, it was time to step onto the streets of Incheon, South Korea. When we left the airport, our guide led us to a row of buses and taxis that were lined up ready to use by anyone who needed a ride. The convenience of public transportation in South Korea is definitely something I missed after I came back. We rode the bus to the other side of the airport, which took 20 mins, to meet my teacher from Auburn who would lead us during the program and the other students from Auburn who had gotten there earlier. Once united, we drove for 2 hours to the Keimyung University dormitories we would be staying. After meeting the faculty from Keimyung University, we were led to our rooms and after I had settled in, I laid down and spent my first night in Daegu, South Korea.