I wanted to write about so many things but those posts ended up in a draft folder. So here is the Final Chapter of my KGSP Journey:
Time has flown unbelievably fast. My KGSP journey finally ended. I still feel like yesterday since I first started writing about my KGSP Journey back in 2016. It was like a roller coaster that had been up and down with a huge amount of unexpected and surprising moments. It was a fun and thrilling ride. I am confident to say that I am 100% different from who I was 3 years ago.
The last two semesters of graduate school were incredibly rough. It was mainly because of a master’s thesis. Things didn’t always go as planned. I worked on my thesis in the third semester yet I needed to start all over again in the fourth semester due to some issues. As a GSIAS student, I was required to take 40 credits which were 16 courses and other non-credit courses while students in general graduate school need to take only 24 credits which is equivalent to 8 courses.
During the fourth semester, I experienced depression, anxiety, mental breakdown, and many other emotional issues. Besides the thesis, other problems came along with it. As the journey was about to end, I had to plan for the next journey. I gotta admit that I really enjoyed the journey that I didn’t want it to end and I forgot to think of what I wanted to do next. Then when the time finally came, I got panic.
2 years of sleepless nights, gallons of coffee, liters of tears, endless depression, thousands of papers, etc. had finally gone. One challenge ends, and another challenge comes. Now it’s time to go back to reality. It took me a while to realize that I am no longer a student nor a GKS recipient but an alumnus. It was surreal until when I attended the GKS farewell reunion then I realize it was a closure.
I honestly never thought of staying in Korea after I graduate. My initial plan was to go back to Cambodia and find a job there. Then suddenly the thought of staying in Korea hit me. I thought ‘Why don’t I give it a try and see what happens?’ After 3 years, Korea has become my comfort zone. Life in Korea is comfortable and convenient yet challenging and competitive at the same time.
The post-KGSP journey was pretty tougher than I thought. I need to deal with a lot of things that I didn’t prepare myself for. Especially, the uncounted documents that I had to submit to the school office and NIIED. Also, the visa process at the immigration office. I actually lost track of documents that I had to submit for the past few months. It was just so many!!! I didn’t go anywhere last summer vacation because of processing the documents for my thesis and completion report, preparing for my graduation, finding/ moving/ packing a new house, updated CV, taking language tests (TOEIC and TOPIK), and looking for a job, changing my visa, and other unexpected yet important stuff. Sounds headache, right? Yeah, it is indeed.
I was breaking down due to uncertainty and worry during that time. I sometimes asked myself why am I doing this? Why did I choose this way when I wasn’t even sure?
What am I doing now? How is my life after the KGSP journey?
I am now doing an internship in an international organization in Songdo, Incheon. My workplace has two offices, one in Seoul and another one in Songdo. I was based in Seoul for a few weeks and now I am officially based in the Songdo office.
Songdo is an International Business District that is also called a smart city or ubiquitous city. It has replicas of New York’s Central Park and Venice’s waterways. Most of the United Nations offices and other international organizations are located here.
Incheon is my third city in Korea. As for now, I am living here for 6 months. I haven’t figured out what I am going to do after that yet. I might be still living in Korea or go back to my home country, or probably go somewhere else. I leave that option open and see how it goes.
My KGSP Journey finally came to an end. 1 year of Korean language in Busan and 2 years of graduate school in Seoul had brought so many wonderful experiences and people to my life. I couldn’t thank the Korean government enough for giving me this lifetime experience. I’ll always cherish and remember it for the rest of my life.
I’ve finally accomplished the second degree, Master of Arts in International Development Studies. It’s time to go back to reality and use the knowledge and experience I’ve gained from South Korea to serve humanity and the world.
To my parents, I did it. To my professors, thanks for all of your guidance and advice. To my friends, I LOVE YOU. Let’s keep doing our best for the next journey.