Tteokbokki is made from long cylinder-shaped rice cakes seasoned with either chili paste or soy sauce. The stir-fried rice cakes are a signature Korean dish and among the most popular Korean street foods. Corinna Hofler '22 is a very big fan. She's also developed an appetite for Korean BBQ, hotpot, and pho. Six weeks into a semester abroad in South Korea, and Hofler has enjoyed tasting her way through Seoul.
Her passion has been in the culinary arts, but in the classroom, Hofler is taking classes toward her English degree at Korea University. She's also pursuing a double minor in writing and communications and international studies. Until a month and a half ago, though, Hofler had zero international experience. It didn't take her long to fall in love with South Korea.
According to Hofler, she's never felt entirely safe walking on even familiar streets alone at night back home. In Seoul, though, she's never felt safer. Locals are eager to help, and the language barrier is rarely ever a barrier. She travels the country, sometimes with new friends and sometimes by herself. And while she has encountered some COVID-related restrictions - South Korea doesn't recognize foreign vaccines, so she's technically considered unvaccinated - they've been little more than a nuisance. And when she can't eat out, Hofler loads up on fresh fruits and vegetables at local markets and dines in. She just needs a good Tteokbokki recipe...
“My experience in South Korea so far has been one I will never forget. I've not only grown in the last six weeks, but I've flourished. The level of independence that comes with moving to a foreign country alone is overwhelming, yet incredibly freeing. The level of kindness communicated toward me here is indescribable. Although Asian countries are seen as nontraditional study abroad locations, I highly recommend Korea University to anyone looking to experience a brand new culture without any fear. Coming from someone who has never left America and had no prior Korean language experience, I wish that more people would take the leap and travel here.”
Corinna Hofler '22