Reverse Immigration: America to Korea

Category : Surviving in Korea / Education/Teaching
Apr 02, 2015


It was late spring and I had finished my final exams at my university in the United States of America.  I was tired from all the studying I had done the night before.  This was my last semester. My family from Korea called a month earlier and they needed me back in Korea.  I had spent four years at my university and no degree to show for it.


I wasn’t going back to America for a while so I decided to start fresh and study in Korea. I had spent the last 22 years of my life in America so the advantage I had was that I could speak English. I had lost interest in my previous majors, Psychology and Economics, so I decided to find a university which had an English program.  My mother told me that her brother studied Russian at HUFS.


In the December of 2012, I was finally able to apply to the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies College of English.  There are two parts to the application process. Part one is to send in all the required documents and part two is the interview.  Because I am an international student of Korean decent the application process was tedious but also helped me understand how to obtain information for myself. Besides having to get my transcripts from my previous university I also had to obtain my transcripts and attendance records from my elementary, middle, and high schools.  I went to the local government offices in my town to get a copy of my Certificate of Facts Concerning Entry and Exit and, Certificate of Nationality. When I had all the documents I needed I mailed them to the admissions office at HUFS and waited for the day of the interview.


A month later I headed to HUFS Seoul campus taking the number 1 line. Once I got off at the HUFS stop I was surprised how close it was from the subway station. Walking up to the campus I noticed a building which reminded me of a condensed version of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. (It turned out to be the administration building). The campus was beautiful. It felt like a small college campus in America.


I went into my interview confident and ready to prove that I was HUFS worthy.  The interview didn’t last more than 15 minutes and a couple days later I was accepted in the HUFS College of English.


I have recently graduated HUFS and it was the greatest two years and the best decision of my life.  I came from a highly selective state university where there are approximately 300-400 students per lecture, professors have a tough time knowing who you are.  The classes here had about 20-30 students per class and I’m sure all my professors knew who I was.  I didn’t have to take a bus to go to different campuses to take a class; at HUFS all classes are in walking distance.  There are so many clubs and activities that you can choose and participate in.  I joined one of the five intramural baseball teams and the team has become like family to me in these past two years.  Most importantly, the professors truly care about the students… something I rarely felt at my previous university.



Tags : Travel. University.

Abraham Kim is a Korean American living in the outskirts of Seoul, Korea. He loves movies, baseball and hip-hop. He is a self-proclaimed pizza and sriracha aficionado. He likes to live his life a quarter mile at a time.