Three years ago, I was attending at the English lecture during my freshman year at KAIST. From the first day of the lecture, the professor taught students “being the smartest guy in your closet is useless." It was very interesting statement for me because throughout my whole life I was educated to study more, but no one told me about the importance of promoting myself to others. The professor also told us an easy way to expand our social boundaries was to “meet new people from many different areas such as different majors and other nationalities." After listening to the professor, I realized that there was a student from the UAE in the same lecture. He was older than me and was taking the class so he could graduate. Even though he was older than me and the only foreign student in the class, I decided to talk to him and try to make a new friend. It was my first experience to make a foreign friend. I was a nervous but I thought it would be a good experience for me to make a new friend and hopefully he would feel the same way. After having a few dinners together, we were friendly enough to sit together in the classroom and we worked on some groups projects together. I even traveled to the UAE during the semester break and he showed me around.
After making a friend from the UAE, I realized that making international friends was not a difficult or scary thing, so I started to make more and more international friends. I currently have more than 100 international friends and it is so interesting to understand their culture and mindset. I learned many things while talking with them and they also learned many things about Korea while talking with me. I got more confidence and started to apply to international competitions in Europe. This summer I got to travel to Denmark to compete in an environmental technology competition. Every experience was possible because I took a chance and introduced myself to my friend Helal.