It’s now a week to the day that I shuffled sleepily off a Korean Airlines plane and formally ended my expat experience in South Korea. While I’m back amongst crisp winter air, comparatively barren trains, and of course the English language, I still find myself falling into the rhythms of life in Seoul.

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At the Australian Embassy in Seoul. Photo by Hyo-jin Lee

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My final week at the Korea Herald was punctuated by many goodbyes: with my editor Paul; the other interns across the culture, business and digital desks; and our friendly security guard. After filing my fourteenth and final story on Friday, I headed out for one last makgeolli and pajeon feast with the Herald gang.

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Dinner options at Gwangjang market. Photo by Louisa Studman

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Here in South Korea, most people abide by the seemingly counter-intuitive summer tradition of coping with hot weather by consuming hot foods, particularly soup. This past week brought the first ‘sambok’ day of summer, chobok, one of three non-consecutive days that are meant to be the hottest of the season according to the lunar calendar.

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Seoul subway map. Photo by Louisa Studman

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6 pm on Friday was a fairly bittersweet experience for me this week, because I’m not pleased with the speed with which my time here is moving. In any case, this rainy Sunday morning has given me the time to reflect on the week that was.

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Sunset from my rooftop. Photo by Louisa Studman

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Home after a long hot day of strolling around palaces, museums and art galleries, rounded off with a quick wade in Cheonggyecheon stream, I’m ready to reflect on ten full days in Seoul. Having just moved into my apartment in Insadong after a fun week in a hostel in Hongdae, I’ve even whipped up a dinner involving kimchi. I’m well on my way to assimilation.

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Gyeongbokgung Palace. Photo by Louisa Studman

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And so begin my dispatches from the media front lines of Seoul, South Korea, where I will be interning for the Korea Herald until the end of July. I may have only clocked 26 hours in the city so far, yet this first day in Seoul has been punctuated by a number of exciting events. Whilst at breakfast, I was able to nab myself a physical copy of the Korea Herald for the first time. Founded in 1953, the newspaper holds the position of the top English-language newspaper in the country, getting over a million hits online each day. I’m delighted to have the chance to spend a month learning how a large publication operates and having such a wide audience for my own work, thanks to the University of Sydney, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) Australia-Korea Foundation, and the Korea Herald.

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Canvassing the international print media landscape this morning. Photo by Louisa Studman

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It’s been just over two weeks since I got back into Sydney and I’m still riding escalators on the wrong side and running into people. I find it incredible just how much six weeks can change the muscle memory developed over 21 years.

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Last lunch with the full cohort of media interns. Photo by Jinny Lee

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About the Blog

Parallax records the experiences of final year students of the B.A. (Media & Communications) degree who have won competitive overseas internships to work in Asian, Indian and Latin American media organisations.
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