Sign up for a mentor, find a friend for life!

Being a foreigner to a new place can be difficult. Don’t get me wrong. What I am trying to say is that it is always good to know somebody you can count on, when travelling, especially if your destination is out of your comfort zone.

One of the best things about my coming to Seoul and being an exchange student at Hanyang University was the opportunity to sing up for a mentor when completing the application form.

I would strongly recommend this to everyone.

When I ticked that box I didn’t quite realized what will come out of it. The only thing I knew was that my mentor would contact me upon my arrival.

In fact I got an e-mail a few days before I flew to Seoul. It had the word “Hanmille” in the subject field. Now you probably wonder what it means.

I did my research and it turned out the term is a combined word, formed from the words “Han” and “Simille”. Han obviously stands for Hanyang (the name of the university) and Simille comes from the Korean “si-mil-le”, which can be translated as an everlasting friendship. Yes friendship, and yes everlasting if you make it so.

This year there are about 100 mentors, each having one or two mentees. So imagine how many possible friendships could be formed.

A week after we have arrived in Seoul almost everybody has got the chance to meet with their mentor.

What mentors do is they show you around the campus, they could help you with any issues such as alien registration card, opening a bank account, translating or simply show you the best places to eat, what to eat according to your taste and where to party of course.

We were friendly and greatly greeted by our friends on a so-called mentors-mentees meeting. Basically this was an evening of getting to know each other in a better way.

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It held place at the HUBS building. To be honest the mentors side have put a lot of effort to organize it and make it possible to happen. It was great fun as the have prepared games and lottery with gifts for us, as well as food for dinner after the whole program. In my opinion this was also a good chance to meet other exchange students as well as spend some quality time and bond with the mentors/friends.

 

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All in all a place like Seoul holds a lot and has a lot to offer so it is always good to have somebody to share the experience with. And who else better than your mentor friend by your side helping you to get most of this adventure?

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By Jani from Bulgaria

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