International Education Week: Sheridan Fenner

For International Education Week (Nov. 13-17, 2023), BHSU is highlighting students who have recently taken part in international experiences and educational opportunities. BHSU student and psychology major Sheridan Fenner spent this past summer in Seoul, South Korea studying at Konkuk University.


What was your experience like? What were you doing in your time abroad?

It was so much fun and felt like it flew by! I was taking classes in Korean language, learning about the basics of Korean including the alphabet, grammar, and vocabulary. I also took classes in Korean history and culture. During these lectures, we learned about important events in Korean history, the government and economy of the country, as well as aspects of the Korean culture, like the more traditional culture of hanbok and hanok, as well as more modern culture, like K-pop, K-drama, and dating culture. When I wasn't in class, I was exploring the many different districts of Seoul with the people I met in my program and experiencing all it had to offer from amazing food to shopping to singing karaoke!

What was your favorite or most exciting experience that you had?

If I had to choose just one, I think it would be experiencing Gyeongbokgung Palace while dressed in traditional Korean hanbok. We were able to see the changing of the guard ceremony which was a really amazing experience. The palace itself was so stunning and getting the chance to fully embrace the culture was absolutely incredible. Plus, I felt like a princess the whole time!

Were there any challenging moments during your time studying abroad? What did you learn from those challenges?

There were challenges, for sure. The language barrier and just learning a language in general was difficult to navigate sometimes, especially being that it was fully immersive. But it was really rewarding when I was finally able to grasp aspects of the language and use it. Plus, the people I met in my program and locals were very kind and understanding along the way, which helped a lot.

Did anything surprise you about study abroad?

Before going abroad, I was really worried about being the only person from BH and making friends with other students, but once I got there, I was really surprised how easy it was to make friends with the people in my program. By the end, we were all really close, so it was really hard to leave. I still keep in close contact with a lot of the people I met there, which I'm really grateful for.

Has study abroad impacted your future career? If so, how?

My study abroad hasn't necessarily changed or impacted my future career; however, I feel like I learned a lot about myself and new cultures while abroad. Studying abroad allows you to see the world and a new culture from a completely different lens. I've definitely gained an even greater appreciation for travel and these sorts of once-in-a-lifetime cultural experiences. 

Do you feel that your classes at BHSU prepared you for this experience?

Absolutely! The classes I took while I was abroad were structured very similarly to the classes I've taken here at BHSU, so I definitely felt prepared and right at home when I was in class.

Do you recommend study abroad to future students or have any advice for students considering studying abroad?

100% YES! Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I'd definitely encourage those thinking about to take advantage of. It may seem intimidating, but it's so worth the experiences you'll have and memories that you'll make wherever you may end up. Soak in every moment while you're abroad!! And believe in yourself!!