EDITING : 2024.4.22 월 18:51
The Gachon Herald
Hawaii, the Place That Brought Life to Life
kweagle  |  g.herald1984@gmail.com
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Updated : 2021.09.09  21:57:00
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 One of the biggest things on my “to-do list” when applying for college was studying abroad. After moving back to Korea at a young age, I never had the chance to visit the States.
 To be honest, I was lucky to have the University of Hawaii at Manoa as an option. It was a new program when I was a third-year student, accepting applicants that were willing to study their major for a whole semester while staying at the school’s dormitory in Hawaii. I remember passing by our dorm when I visited Hawaii as a fresh high school graduate. I didn’t know that it would be right in front of Waikiki, which was a very attractive location. I promised myself that I would apply for the short-term program at Gachon, but didn’t know that I would find myself studying for a whole year.
 Like I was saying, I was really lucky to be considered and get the chance to study both majors at such a beautiful location with such perfect weather. As a double major in Tourism Management and Global Business, I registered for both courses. Along with my major, I took an extracurricular class, acrobatics, as I wanted to have something physical. It wasn’t easy to follow up but I really enjoyed the energy and it had me sweating at least twice a day. (The campus was super big, having me make a 25-minute walk from the IB building to the acrobatic building). I didn’t meet any exchange students in my classes and having to participate in team projects was a challenge for me, but all the lectures were really interesting. The University of Hawaii Manoa Campus has various business majors under Shidler, and students would be majoring in a specific study. I met HR majors, IB majors, finance majors, and so on, all of who were very passionate in their field. Seeing them, influenced me to study with more passion and to put 100% effort into my studies. I enjoyed marketing, management, sales, and business, but when taking my HR courses, I found myself eager to learn more. I was able to find what I really wanted to focus my studies on, and what I was most interested in. HR was where I wanted to see myself in the near future, and today that is what I am currently doing. Hawaii, the chance to study as an exchange student, was the baseline to the second act of my life. A fresh graduate, passionate and eager to learn and build experience in HR. I am not sure if it will stay as my priority field, but for now, I’m positive about it.
 But before anything, my effort to actively interact in class and jump into an experience as much as I can, helped me make great memories that I will never forget. I met great friends and professors who helped me throughout my time abroad. Taking various courses, joining social clubs, working part-time at the computer lab, every experience was different and special. I had the chance to spend time with friends that took me to the greatest places and food to get, people who have visited Korea before and were in love with the culture, professors who were really passionate in their field, I enjoyed every minute of meeting new people. One of the most memorable events was when I attended a Skal meeting that was registered on Google maps. The Club memberswho volunteered for a fundraising event were all invited and sponsored to join an annual professional event. I had the chance to meet and interact with not only students who were interested in business but also managers and owners working in the business industry.
 It is true that time does not come back and it depends on how you spend it. When I first decided to go, I was in an anxious position as I would return in my last semester. I didn’t think I would be prepared to graduate, while others would have finished an internship and built a strong resume, ready to get a job. However, I changed my thoughts knowing that I wouldn’t waste this time. With this mindset I earned and experienced more than I could’ve ever imagined, along with being lucky to meet close friends both on and outside campus.
 My favorite quote that I try to live up to, is how I spent my years in college and plan to continue my journey in life. Living every moment and moving forward with memories and challenges, I am always excited about what is ahead of me. Either if it is Hawaii or any other chance to study abroad, if you have the chance and opportunity you should take it. I learned and gained so much experience that keeps me motivated today.
▲ Sharon Moon
Dept of.
Tourism Management
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