Student Spotlight: Quinn Connor Explores New Horizons

February 27, 2024
Quinn Connor on study abroad in Korea

When Quinn Connor graduated high school in 2021, she decided she wanted to attend college somewhere other than her home state of New Hampshire. 

But that was only the beginning of her wanderlust. Before deciding which college she would attend, she knew she wanted to spend a semester abroad, just like her three siblings did.

As soon as Connor was accepted into San Diego State University, the child development major started researching her options for traveling abroad. She quickly decided CSU International Programs (CSUIP) Exchange was the ideal choice for her, and she began mulling options, including South Korea and various countries in Europe. 

Connor was no travel novice, having visited Europe multiple times, lived in New Zealand twice, and even backpacked Central America. So, she sought to step out of her comfort zone and explore another country. 

Seoul, South Korea would be her home for the Fall 2023 semester. 

Connor attended Chung-Ang University in Seoul, where she took four courses, three of them taught in English and one in Korean. She explained that while the Korean class might have been the most challenging course she had to take abroad, she had a relatively easy time learning the Korean alphabet and made the best out of the opportunity. 
“My teacher was super sweet, she was there to educate us about the culture, and she wanted us to grasp the basics, so it was not stressful but that was probably the hardest class I had.” 

Connor also took two courses that counted towards the general education requirements for the child development major. She had the opportunity to enroll in another course that contributed to her major, a social work course, in which she learned about alcohol addiction across various countries and its impact on children.

When asked about her favorite experience abroad, Connor shared that the people she got to meet made the experience memorable. 

“I made very, very good friends there, foreigners that were studying abroad, and Korean friends,” she said. “My favorite part was just getting close to them and going out and exploring the country together.” 

Connor also explained that she feels very proud of her efforts to put herself out there and explore an unfamiliar city and culture. In the abroad program that Connor chose, students are accommodated in the college’s dorms. 

"There are other programs where you live with a family, and they set up all these excursions for you and introduce you to the (local) people,” Connor said. “But with mine, you kind of had to do all of that on your own, which was really challenging for me because I really wanted that to be part of the experience. 

“I am proud of myself because I think I did a good job."

Connor also added that she would recommend going to Korea to anyone. She described the people she met as friendly and helpful. 

“I think that people could get scared of going to an Asian country because people might not speak English and it is just different, but it is so cool,” she said. “I think if anyone would ask me, I would completely recommend going there, especially if studying abroad.” 

She also talked about her love for Korean food and the “amazing” experience she had trying different places around the city. 

Now back at SDSU, Connor said she is passionate about understanding the psychology behind child development. 

"I realized during my classes how important the formative years are, and how much knowledge people need to have in order to raise kids properly,” she said. “It scared me, realizing that a lot of people in America don't know how important that is."

She is set to graduate in 2025 and has plans to pursue a master's degree in the future. But perhaps not right away.

"I am very open to waiting just to make sure it's exactly what I want to do,” she said. “I think that I would be very much interested in teaching English abroad for a little bit." 

Learn more about study abroad opportunities for Colege of Education students.

Categorized As