Happy Fourth of July: It’s Departure Day!

photo-3First, Happy Fourth of July! It seems very fitting to set off on my journey as a so-called cultural ambassador on America’s 237th birthday.

I’m currently writing this at 36,000 feet on my Virgin America flight to Los Angeles. Upon arrival, I’ll have about 5 hours of layover time before the 12 hour and 40 minute journey to Seoul. This morning was a blur: final packing, ripping of DVDs (Cinderella Man, Finding Nemo, and Planet Earth, what?), the ever-suburban  neighborhood July 4th parade, and a feast of hot dogs/hamburgers, and one final glass of Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA.

Right now, I still can’t believe this is real. When I planned my study abroad to China, I knew I was going almost a year in advance; there was a lot of time to think, reflect, plan, and prepare. Although I applied for my Fulbright in October, I didn’t find out that I was accepted until the end of May/almost June. As I sit on the plan, a lot of the bigger doubts and questions are rising to the top of my head:

As someone who considers himself a bit foreign-language challenged, just how am I going to learn Korean?


photoHow am I going to manage to come up with lesson plans for my students every week and teach them multiple times?

What’s it going to be like being so far from friends and family for this long?

These are cliché questions for someone moving abroad, to be sure, they still seem relevant. Yet, it almost seems like these questions aren’t worth stressing about, that they will resolve themselves in due time.

The momentum is here and I’m excited take advantages of the opportunities ahead. See you in Seoul!


About Jonathan Rice

Fulbright Fellow, Pitzer College alum, and communicator passionate about telling stories that make an impact.

Posted on 07/05/2013, in Fulbright South Korea 2013-14 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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