So this coming August, just for a semester, I am studying abroad in Chung-Ang University in Seoul, South Korea.
Because of all the threats coming from North Korea, however, my mom wants me to withdraw my application. She in convinced that I will somehow be in harm's way. I completely understand her. From her perspective, I am her oldest daughter and because we're Filipino, this will be my first time away from her for a long period of time. It's natural for her to worry about me. But I do feel as if she's scaring herself by filtering out the positivity and just googling the bad news about both North and South Korea.
The point of this discussion, I suppose, is to ask foreigners who have been to or have studied in Korea, how safe did you feel during your stay there? Walking alone at night? In the morning? Taking the taxi, bus, other modes of public transportation?
I would also like to extend this question to native Koreans. How do you feel about the current situation in North Korea? Do you feel safe? How likely is a war to happen?
Please be honest in your answers! I am very much looking forward to seeing them. This is just for my piece of mind. I am not withdrawing my application. If I do, I won't do it until the last minute. I just wanted to get opinions from people.
Thanks in advance to whoever answers!
I'm a native Korean and have some foreign friends living in Seoul. Naturally I've got similar questions from people like your mom quite frequently.
It's perfectly normal to ask such a question to start with. Especially as a mom, safety should be one of critical issues for her.
Anyway when I get those questions I always answer them "It's safe in SK. We're not going to war with NK." Simple as that.
It might be a little difficult for someone who knows SK only from media to feel safe living here. But I assure you once you come here and live, say, 3 months, you will understand what I mean. If it had gotten serious, people would have left already.
Besides, it's a great opportunity for you to come to SK and study! Don't let it slip just because of this stupid political situation!
I have been to South Korea several times over the past 5 years. Visiting Seoul, Busan, Jeju island and countless other places.
I have always enjoyed visiting there and felt safe. I've lost my wallet and passport there, because i am really forgetful and clumsy but i have never been a victim of crime whilst there.
I felt safe on the bus/ taxi etc. And a lot safer walking about there at night than the place I live
And im visiting again for a month in May/ June :). My mom is also concerned about me visiting and asking me to check the foreign office advice on visiting korea https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/south-korea . There is some good advice for tourists on this site, it might also be worth checking your foreign ministry for advice
I think if there is a conflict on the Korean peninsula it would be disastrous not just for korea but for everyone on the planet, it could quickly escalate into a global conflict. So hopefully this doesn't happen.
I am sure you would have a great time and it sounds like a wonderful opportunity.