Harry is a BA Philosophy and Politics student from Essex who had an amazing experience during his year abroad in Korea during 2022-2023. Harry is keen to share his experience and encourage other students to consider such an opportunity.

What did you learn on your year abroad?

I have learnt an incredible amount this year, with amazing new ideas from my professors here. I came to Asia so i could understand Eastern philosophy, as that is something the west generally lacks in. As a Philosophy student, I felt as if there was a gap in my knowledge which needed to be filled, so off to Korea I went to truly finish my Philosophy degree.

The most interesting thing I learnt this year was Eastern thought of understanding spaces and relationships people have with them and generally each other. Whereas westerns seem to excel in absolutes, it was presented that eastern thought seemed to excel in the concept of ourselves/us as in a relationship with all things, and that harmony should be respected with them. To summarise, how I treat an object will greatly affect me as it is an expression of myself.

How did the year abroad impact you personally?

This impacted me on many levels, I was taught many abstract concepts this year which have been fascinating to wrap my head around. Concepts such as 우리 which means we-self, something which describes ours. Korean society uses this phrase much, about many things, showing that in the west we focus on the "I-My" self of everything, but in Korea they've taught me to focus on the "we" as we share in each other's lives, we cannot ever truly just be "I". 

students in traditional Korean dress

This has certainly changed how I think about life, and how the formation of language can truly change every aspect of everyday society.

What are your thoughts on your general overall experience?

My experience in Korea will be something I look back upon for my entire life as something I'm glad I committed to do. It has developed me far beyond words and given me confidence as a global academic. I would recommend the year abroad programme to anyone, as to know philosophy means to learn as many aspects of humanity as possible, and to do that you must travel - Adventure is out there.

Inspired by Harry’s story? Find out more about Study Abroad opportunities