I'm so late with this post because I actually had my second anniversy with Korea (and second wedding anniversary too) already few months ago, but I still want to tell a bit how my second year in Korea was.
After a year I had established my own routines so I think that daily life had become easier and very predictable. I had adjusted to my university really well so going around and starting new semester wasn't stressful anymore. In almost every class I've went I have had some familiar faces and that's of course nice. Most of my time in Korea has been spent by studying, and I think I've figured out what kind of student I am, in what kind of subjects I'm good at, and I know how I should study. My third semester was a disappointment for me because my GPA dropped quite a bit. I thought I tried to study hard, but some courses were just too demanding for me and for some I lost my motivation totally. I just got my Spring semester's grades and my GPA raised back where it used to be. And I really worked for it! I'm most proud and most surprised that I was able to get an A of intermediate microeconomic theory. I don't know even basic math so I really struggled with this course. I decided that it would be my last course of economics because it felt so impossible and I felt like a total loser. I failed one quiz and my midterm result wasn't too good either... But I kept studying and apparently made some progress! I could never have received this grade without my husband. He was my math teacher and needed to show me in detail all equations I needed to make. I'm so thankful that he was so patient with me and always willing to help.
In my second year I started to see and realize things I don't like about Korea. Before that I also, of course, knew that Korea has its bad sides but they didn't had hit me too hard. Then I took a course about Korean politics in university and that was such an eye-opener to me. When I came to Korea I didn't know much about Korean politics or history. I just thought that Korea must be really progressive democracy because they had female president and that South had had a war with North. I was shocked while learning about Korean political history and what a struggle it has been to achieve democracy. Actually, I felt totally disgusted and finally understood why my husband had been criticizing his country so much. Then previous president's scandal happened and I learned that even though I thought that it's cool to have a female president the reality behind her presidency was dirty. I learned that foreigners shouldn't participate on protests or be politically vocal. I felt some anxiety because all these horrible political things kept bothering me in my mind. For the first time I started to feel uncomfortable to stay in Korea and truly appreciate the freedom of speech I had in Finland. But things calm down. Now we have new president with hopefully bright future, and I don't think about these things daily anymore, but the image I had of Korea has been crushed totally.
I think that our marriage grew stronger. I never try to hide the fact that marriage isn't always easy, we do fight sometimes. But I think that this year we learned to fight better. With this I mean that our fights are more constructive. We try to learn from our mistakes and try to understand each other better. We are still learning about each other everyday and the better we know how the other one works and reacts, the easier it is to be together and avoid conflicts. We have also realized that we have totally different types of personalities and we think and react differently on almost everything. That's why we clash sometimes and that's why we need to try to be extra understanding and considerate. But we also love each other more everyday! Even though we are very different, we get along so well. Our everyday life is very enjoyable without doing anything special and filled with love and happines to live this life together. Our marriage requires work like all relationships do and gets just better all the time! I have never regretted our fast decision to get married and I couldn't be luckier to have found a person like him to spend the rest of my life with. :)
Overall Korea is still pretty cool place to live in. I don't have much time to go or do anything special because I have my studies, but I know that if I want to there will always be something to do. I think my language skills have started to get a bit better too now while studying in intensive courses. I can have simple basic conversations with my in-laws and friends from Korean class in Korean. I've also made some friends and have plans to meet some online friends I haven't had chance to meet before. Even though I have struggles sometimes especially with the language I can survive here and I'm pretty settled down to life in Korea. I miss my family, the easiness to deal with some things (even with your own language), and some foods (mostly sweets) about Finland. Last week was one of the emotionally hardest weeks I've experienced in here, just awful in everyway, and I was so ready to book a plane ticket back to my own family to escape Korea for a while. I REALLY want to visit Finland as soon as possible and a little break from this country would be very needed, but I'm not ready to move away from here yet. My home is Korea now.
Here you can read how I felt after living in Korea for a year.