Hello! My name is Joonatan Berg, you might have seen my face since I’m the person who edits the magazines and makes them ready for printing! This past month I’ve found myself in a series of sudden changes and one thing led to another and now I’m now going to spend a year in Seoul, South Korea on exchange (I’m as surprised as you are!).
Since I’m here, I’ll be able to provide some insight on how our Korean friends are handling the sudden changes that the pandemic has caused. For the first article on this exchange view I’ll share my knowledge on how to survive those grueling 14 days that most countries force visitors to go through. Alright, got your notebooks ready? Let’s go!
Eat everything they give you
This sounds pretty self-explanatory, but in a country where food culture is vastly different, a quarantine is the best form of a grace period to get your body accustomed to the country’s cuisine. For me, the university I’m attending gave me food 3 times per day and it was nothing like I’ve eaten in Finland and you can probably imagine what my stomach thought of that. If you’re not provided food by anyone, order local food if possible. Also remember to take some lactic acid bacteria pills with you, they help the digestive system ton!
A side note to this tip: bring your own comfort food. Getting used to food will take time and any kind of food that you enjoy will help you adjust more smoothly.
Bring your own entertainment
I can’t stress this enough; the quarantine will bore you out of mind. Any form of entertainment that you like, bring it! Netflix, games, exercise, anything that passes time. Getting your mind off the time and the fact that you’ve still got X amount of days left will help you mentally.
Use the time to get over jet lag
This happens to everyone when traveling long distances east or west. Getting over jet lag can be very hard, but thankfully the pandemic gave every visitor a nice 2-week window to sleep it off. It can be hard, but here’s the most crucial part: don’t take naps. Naps are your sworn enemy, one minute you take a nap and the next you wake up at 2:30 AM and can’t sleep at all. Just trust me. Don’t. Take. Naps.
If you can’t fall asleep at the right time, some light exercise might tire your body out enough to fall asleep.
Don’t get too excited after quarantine
Congratulations, you’ve survived the quarantine. You step out of your cave and taste the fresh air for the first time in 2 weeks. You probably want to start touring all the local places immediately, right? This is from personal experience: don’t. Unless you’ve been actively exercising in your room, your muscles will be absolutely weak and need time to re-adjust to the concept of walking. Just take it slow and build up eventually, you’ve got many days to see all the cool stuff that the country has to offer.
And that is about it. These were the ones that me (and my fellow exchange students) felt were important tips, so hopefully you’ve taken something from this PSA and remember to stay safe everyone!