Courtney Bryant

Courtney learns about herself in Korea

Courtney didn’t know if she wanted to spend her undergraduate years at Iowa State or the University of Illinois. But after her first campus visit, she knew Iowa State would give her the full college experience she wanted, so she packed her bags and headed to Ames.

While here, Courtney had a specific item on her bucket list. She wanted to study abroad. After doing some research, she found a semester program in Korea, applied, and was accepted.

“I was really excited,” she said. “I wanted to go to Korea for a long time since I have extended family there.”

In August, Courtney boarded the plane and headed off to Korea. Once she arrived, she couldn’t believe it.

“I remember thinking, ‘am I really here?’” she said. “It was weird being in a different country on my own, but after a while it started to feel normal.”

Courtney spent time studying, but also made the most of her adventure. She met her mother’s relatives for the first time and spent a week with them. She also enjoyed weekend getaways around Korea with her friends.

“We did all kinds of things,” she said. “It was nice being around a group of people who took me outside my comfort zone and helped me try new things.”

From the food to spas, Courtney learned all about Korean culture and enjoyed every minute. Now, she intends on traveling more through dental mission trips when she has her license.

Courtney encourages all students to study abroad if the opportunity arises.

“I think anyone who loves to travel should study abroad,” she said. “But don’t overthink things when you’re there. Experience the culture and enjoy it.”