Junior Year

I can't believe that after this semester I will have only one year left of my studies! I feel like time has went by so fast, but at the same time it feels like I had my first courses ages ago. I've noticed that my major, international studies, has its good and bad side. The bad side is that after I graduate I'm not trained for a specific career. I have knowledge of many fields, but I will not really be a specialized expert of just one field, so I might need to study more to specialize. The good side, of course, is that I have knowledge of many fields and I have had a chance to try studying many different fields. Politics, economics, law, and international relations are very connected and when I've been studying one of those topics, knowledge of the other fields has been complementing my study. When I applied to this university I was so sure that I want to study politics. I hadn't even considered studying anything else, so I thought I would focus on international relations and politics. Then in my second semester I took mandatory class of economics and got hooked. For a while I actually considered focusing on the study of economics, but the higher level you step, the more math you need, and unfortunately I'm not very mathematical person. Anyways, because of my interest for economics I chose my minor to be international economics and law. And guess what happened? I took my first law class being afraid that I would fail it hard, but ended up getting so into it. Now I try to take all possible law classes I can. I feel like I've found my new passion of study and at least for now I dream that I could afford to continue law studies in some form after my graduation. I would have never guessed! Life works in mysterious ways. Even though I'm still very interested in politics and international issues, I don't see myself pursuing career in international relations like many of my classmates will do, but maybe in international law instead?

Then few words about how my Junior year has been... Last semester I took 17 credits, 6 courses. I introduced my courses briefly in this post. I think the amount of work was actually pretty manageable and it could also be seen in my grades because I was able to raise my GPA a bit. Hardest part was definititely to write two long legal essays about laws I didn't know anything about! So researching took lots of time, but because of them I was also able to learn from areas of law I wasn't familiar with before, like the laws of Arctic and Antarctic areas. I have two similar essays coming up this semester too, so I think I should start to write those ASAP or otherwise I'll be fucked up if I need to write those while trying desperately to read for my final exams too. My favourite class of fall semester was International Contract Law. I studied very hard for it and I think I was able to give my best in that class. I got good results from my exams, I was able to give my fare share in class participation and help my classmate too. It was demanding but satisfying experience for me and possibly something I would like to study more in the future.

This semester I'm taking 7 courses, 19 credits, and to be honest I think it's a bit too much for me. Studying for midterm exams was painful! I felt like a depressed zombie studying over the clock every day. The courses I'm taking are Korean Economy and Law, Topics in Economic Regulation and Competition Law, ODA and Law, Korean Language 3, Law & Practice in International Finance, Critical Reading and Writing, and Korea History. ODA and Law is online course and very similarly structured than my FTA class last semester. Korean Economy and Law is similarly structured than my International Organization and Law class last semester. I feel like I'm not my best in these type of classes, but I'll try to learns as much as possible. Korean Language 3 is TOPIK preparation class and in short, hell. My teacher is very nice, she explains everything very clearly, and the class time is actually kind of fun and goes fast, but that stuff is just way too advanced for me. I'm so frustrated when I need to just keep guessing answers because I'm not familiar with any of the vocabulary... Because it's TOPIK preparation class it focuses on getting us familiar with what kind questions there might be in the TOPIK II exam, but it doesn't give us any guidelines on what vocabulary or grammar to study, so the questions can be be basically about anything in the world. I know I need to learn all of it to do well in actual TOPIK exam, but it's just not possible for me to learn enough in such a short time when I have so many other courses to study for. Korea History is what the name suggests and pretty good class for that subject. I'm taking it as a liberal arts class and have been able to deepen my knowledge. As an elective I chose the Critical Reading and Writing class. It requires some independent work to be done, but I've definitely learned more about good English essay writing there and my professor is very nice and relaxed. In Law & Practice in International Finance I have my favourite professor whose classes I always enjoy, but I don't think that international finance will be my field of law. This class is demanding and challenging so it allows me to learn a lot, but I don't feel similar passion towards the topic than I felt for commerce or contract law. Maybe because there is not as much mandatory rules for all parties? Anyways I'm so lucky to study with this specific professor! As as suprise my favourite class this semester is Topics in Economic Regulation and Competition Law. Competition law is very economics driven and complex field of law, but very interesting too. It's taught by professor I haven't studied with before, but she is great at teaching and a true professional in this field of law. While listening these lectures and reading my (long) materials for classes I actually feel joy of studying because it's so interesting! But it is very difficult too. Some experience of studying economics has definitely been useful for this class. Unfortunately, I'm afraid this semester will end up being one of my worst ones. I need to just try to give my best this last month of this semester so my overall GPA wouldn't drop too much...

These pictures are actually not from my university, but from Kyunghee University that is right next to it. Unfortunately we don't have beatiful buildings like this in our campus... :D

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