Independent University Newspaper
Copenhagen Business School

Popular searches:

Independent University Newspaper

Copenhagen Business School

South Korea?

young woman with mask

"I don’t think there is any one way to cope with self-isolation, but I do believe the best advice is to accept the situation," says Frederikke Viltoft Mygind from her Airbnb in South Korea.

Go on exchange |   28. Aug 2020

Frederikke Viltoft Mygind


In January, I received an email saying that I had been accepted at Korea University in Seoul in the fall semester of 2020.

However, as we all know, it is not the same world today as the one we knew back in January. The level of uncertainty continued to rise every day from when I received that e-mail, to the point where just days before I was due to leave I would still address it as “I think I’m going” and I had the date marked in my calendar as “South Korea?”.

Nevertheless, after a 17-hour journey wearing a mask, shield, gloves, and going through several security and health checks, I finally made it to Seoul.

South Korea had its first case of COVID-19 in January but as the result of quick action, extensive testing, and technological innovations, they have managed to flatten the coronavirus curve at a level where everyday life can continue with some modification, with people wearing masks at all times and social distancing.

I’m very appreciative that this is 2020 and not 1990

As a safety measure during the current situation, all long-term visa holders are subject to 14 days of self-isolation upon arrival after testing negative for COVID-19. I have always loved being busy and staying active, so these two weeks seemed pretty unimaginable. However, at the same time, I have always loved a challenge, which this definitely seemed like.

So, how does one cope with self-isolation in a foreign country, living out of a suitcase in a small (but clean) Airbnb, where both the language and the alphabet are very far from both Danish and English.

You are not allowed to leave the apartment under any circumstances so all meals have to be delivered, you have to keep all your trash inside the apartment in a big special orange plastic bag, and check-in on a government app several times a day with your temperature and answer a list of symptoms.

a view from a window in South Korea

This might all sound a bit extreme, but I appreciate that they are taking the situation seriously and taking every precaution to protect everyone, which makes going on exchange during a pandemic feel a lot safer.

I don’t think there is any one way to cope with self-isolation, but I do believe the best advice is to accept the situation. You are not going to be as productive as you want to be with all the extra time and your circadian rhythm is put on hold.

Here is a bit of advice that goes against everything I stand for, but I have come to find accomplishment in putting on real clothes and sitting by the table and not lying in bed.

I have also spent a lot of time ordering food, which is quite a process, since most delivery services don’t accept European credit cards. I see this time as my chance to catch up on all the Netflix shows I would not have the time to watch at home, learn how to crochet, read books that are not school-related, and for once be the friend that has time to talk whenever it suits the other person.

There are, of course, also downsides to it all, but as I was aware of the current situation when I left, I stay focused on the fact that my life can go on semi-close to normal while I adapt and follow regulations.

I guess change is the new normal and part of the experience when going on exchange during a global pandemic

Today I’m half-way through self-isolation and fortunately, I’m both less crazy and lonely than I thought I would be. The past week is a blur of Netflix, take-aways, and YouTube workouts.

I’m very appreciative that this is 2020 and not 1990. A lot of my everyday life is spent talking to my friends, boyfriend, and family back home, which really gives a nice sense of reality in the midst of the hand sanitizing and temperature taking.

During the past week, the COVID-19 situation has progressively been getting worse with cases spiking to heights not seen since March, which has led to nationwide enhanced social distance rules to Level 2 (on a three-level scale) This is, of course, worrying but hopefully, they will be able to get it under control soon.

I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to go on exchange despite everything and grateful to be in a country that is on the front lines with the situation. Even though this is indeed a very unique and not very social beginning to an exchange stay, I am still looking forward very much to staying at the dorm, meeting everyone, and getting a sense of the culture.

Maybe I will appreciate it all even more than I would have if these had been normal circumstances. I guess change is the new normal and part of the experience when going on exchange during a global pandemic.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

South Korea?by

  • News

    Staff layoffs: What happens if you’re fired

    The clock is ticking. On Thursday morning (5 October), CBS employees will know if they are up for dismissal or not. But what will happen on the day? What emotional stages are you likely to encounter? And who will be there to pick you up when you are feeling the blow of being laid off? CBS WIRE has talked to HR and the consulting agency Actief Hartmanns to provide you with answers.

  • News

    Network, network, network – CBS graduates advise on getting your first job

    There are many approaches to finding your first job. Three recent CBS graduates talk about how they landed theirs. Their approaches were quite different, yet they all highlight networking as a key element.

  • News

    A-Z of the dismissals

    In these final days of September, the fate of a number of CBS employees is being decided. The final amount of money saved on salaries via voluntary severance agreements (aka redundancy packages, Ed.) and senior agreements will be known.  After this, the actual number of employees up for dismissal will be decided by management – and then the individuals will be selected.

  • News

    Layoffs break the crucial trust between organisation and employee

    CBS is laying off a number of employees soon, which will affect our university in different ways. When employees are fired without having done anything wrong, it shatters the trust between the organisation and employees, while also taking a toll on productivity, according to a CBS expert. Layoffs also affect the ‘survivors’, who are forced to adapt to a changed workload and the loss of cherished colleagues.

  • News

    Here to help – at the touch of a button and at Campus Desk

    Exam anxiety? Lost student card? I’ve wedged my car between a Fiat 500 and a lamp post, can you help? You never know what you’ll be asked next. But that’s just how the Campus Desk team like it. And if they can’t fix your problem, they’ll know someone who can. CBS WIRE asked the team about the whole range of topics they advice on every day.

  • Gif of the week
  • News

    CBS Quiz Time: Unraveling the success story

    A successful university environment such as CBS is often associated with academic pursuits, but campus life extends far beyond the classroom. At CBS Quiz Time, a student society motivated by creative thinking and social engagement, students join in a refreshing range of creativity, excitement, and social interaction. CBS WIRE talked to Celine Møller-Andersen to find out about the society’s vision, strategies and the factors that are driving its rapid expansion.

  • News

    Why so sudden? The CBS financial crisis explained

    Employees and union representatives have posed many questions in the wake of the 17 August announcement of a firing round. In this interview, University Director Arnold Boon explains how Senior Management has been working with the budget and a change of financial strategy since the fall of 2022, and why layoffs are now necessary.

Follow CBS students studying abroad

CBS WIRE collaborates with

Stay connected