grad school love


Our meeting was a cinematic cliche: by a twist of fate, a young French-South African meets a young Filipino-American at a Christmas party in Seoul. It was a party we both weren’t planning to attend. Andrew was the last to arrive. We didn’t take notice of each other at first, but once we started talking, it felt like we had grown up together in Seattle or Monaco. There was something about him and us that felt very natural and comfortable.

Like most young people meeting for the first time, we bonded over our “facebook” interests: travel, Wes Anderson, and grad school. Andrew had been out of uni for three years and was planning to apply to York University in Toronto to continue his Sound Design studies. I was in the midst of applying to Cultural Studies programs in the UK. Since I had done more research on apps than Andrew, I offered to help him with his research proposal. We exchanged contact information and silly mini self-portraits.


It wasn’t too long before Andrew and I became official. However, ironically, even though grad school jump-started our first conversation, it became the bane of our relationship in Korea. Helping a significant other with research proposals can be extremely challenging if you come from completely different academic backgrounds, disciplines and philosophies. Fortunately, we managed to work out our differences and submit a solid research proposal for York University.

However,the proposal maybe wasn’t worth all the trouble. When Andrew went to visit his family in South Africa for a couple of weeks in March, we realized we wanted to attend grad school in the same area, so that we could stay together. It was too late for me to apply to universities in Canada, so Andrew decided to apply to one of my schools in the UK. He found an amazing Sound Design program at the University of Edinburgh.


Fortunately, we were both accepted and are currently studying and sharing a flat in Edinburgh. It’s been over a year since our first meeting. These days things aren’t so cinematic; we are pretty boring and spend most of our time on the computer. But, that’s okay with us.

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