Pharmacy students explore South Korea
Two ONU pharmacy students encountered ancient temples, sacred mountains, taekwondo and spicy food this past summer in Seoul, South Korea. “I am a better student because of this experience, and my time abroad created memories I will never forget,” says Abigail Barlage, a second-year pharmacy student from Versailles, Ohio.
Barlage and Katherine “Kat” Liu, a third-year pharmacy student from Grand Rapids, Mich., received fellowships from ONU to participate in the Hanyang University International Study Program. They spent one month immersed in South Korean culture, taking courses at Hanyang University, a leading private college, and exploring cities and landmarks across the country.
Their experience included a visit to a traditional Korean Village; partaking in a mud festival, an interactive cooking/percussion show and a taekondo demonstration; exploring rock and volcanic formations on Jeju Island; and climbing sacred mountains at Geongju.
Barlage, who felt apprehensive before the trip, was struck by the kindness and helpfulness of the South Korean people. The language barrier didn’t pose any problems, she says. “South Korea has taught me to go into everything with an open mind, and, more often than not, things will work out.”
Liu, a seasoned international traveler who’s visited Taiwan, China and Japan, also found the Hanyang experience to be enlightening and worthwhile. “I appreciated learning how to live an entirely new lifestyle and trying to adapt to Korean culture. Trying to respect the mannerisms, environment and food of the natives was extremely important to me,” she says. “Now I am able to see from a patient’s perspective how one may feel alien in situations such as appointments with health care professionals. I can utilize my experience to help patients become more comfortable in discussing their well-being and health issues.”