The following was written by Hayley Freeman, who is on the UGA Equestrian team. She is studying Marketing through the Terry College of Business and had the opportunity to study abroad during May 2023.
This past May, I had the opportunity to gain invaluable experience by participating in the Terry Business in South Korea Maymester. This was my first time out of the country and I didn’t know anybody going on the trip beforehand, so I grew a lot during the 2.5 weeks.
We traveled to Seoul and Busan, where we attended numerous company visits. I learned about international business and got to experience the contrast between South Korea’s vibrant startup culture and long running chaebols. We also went on many historical tours, and I enjoyed seeing the world from a completely new lens. My favorite memory from the trip was the lantern festival. We were lucky enough to visit during the time of Buddha’s birthday, so we got to see many beautiful festivities.
The Jogyesa Temple was located right by my hotel, and I visited it multiple times. It was filled with colorful lanterns that held wishes for living loved ones, and white lanterns that held wishes for loved ones who have passed away. Witnessing the joyful celebrations, parades, and dances related to the holiday is something I will never forget.
Overall, being immersed in South Korean culture during the Maymester helped me grow both professionally and personally. I was also able to form meaningful connections with other UGA students and make some new true friends. I’m thankful that I was able to get out of my comfort zone to experience this once in a lifetime opportunity. Each day provided me with unique and special moments that I never would have been able to experience otherwise.
– Hayley Freeman