Exchange in Kimchiland

From Korea with Love

Monthly Archives: March 2011

Everland & Club Activities

One week ago we did a trip to the biggest amusement park in South Korea. The trip was organized by “Friends Club” which organizes activities for exchange students. The club is, as its name says, for making international and Korean friends. It took less than an hour from Ajou University to Everland by bus. We got a great deal and had to pay only 38 000 won (24€) each for a two-day amusement park ticket and one night in a cabin they had rented for us. Amazingly cheap!

Here’s a video I made of the Everland trip.

T-Express roller coaster had huge lines but it was all worth the waiting!

T-Express roller coaster had huge lines but it was all worth the wait!

This is the group we hanged out with in the amusement park. Amazing people!

This is the group we hanged out with in the amusement park. Amazing people!

The club activities also begun last week and I already decided to skip the Glee club (choir) since I don’t think I’ll have time to practice the songs that are all in Korean. The song we practiced last week was awesome though. Click here to hear it on YouTube (the song starts at 3:45, the link should take you directly there). The song is called “Animation Medley” and it consists of Korean animation opening songs. How cool!

I’m going to stick with the Japanese language and culture club which have meetings twice a week. On Tuesdays we’re discussing about the current issues in Japanese society and on Wednesdays we’re having a Japanese language study circle. Many members of the club can speak Japanese so I’m glad we have a mutual language to communicate – many of them are too shy to speak English.

Dinner with the Japan club members.

Dinner with the Japan club members.

This weekend we had a MT (Membership Training) with the Japan club in an island called Jebu-do. Jebu-do is located west of Suwon and it takes about one hour to drive there by bus from Suwon Station. You can get there by bus number 1004 for 1 700 won (roughly one euro). While waiting the bus (we had to wait more than an hour to get into the bus because it was the busiest season for doing MT in Jebu-do…), the Japan club members told me that the bus number 1004 reads “Choun-Sa” in Korean and it translates to as “Angel”. Cute detail!

The road to Jebu-do gets flooded during high tight so you'll need to check the bus timetables carefully. There's no way of getting there by bus during the high tight.

The road to Jebu-do gets flooded during high tide so you'll need to check the bus timetable carefully. There's no way of getting there by bus during the high tide.

I highly recommend every exchange student to join the club activities so you’ll get to know the Korean culture and learn the language through them and of course to make unforgettable memories and amazing friends!

There is life beyond school too

The classes are beginning for real this week, so it will become busy soon. Still, there is some time to do sightseeing and other fun stuff too. Actually, one of our professors told us, that we must NOT study during the weekend – weekend is for getting to know Korean culture by travelling etc. He told us not to stay at our dorm during the weekend. The same professor will take us to Seoul for an overnight trip to experience Korean popular culture via art and clubbing. Sounds like fun!

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Last Saturday we went to Seoul with the exchange students and our tutors to visit some nice places. The above photos are from king’s palace. Seoul is such a huge city! It takes about an hour to get to Seoul by bus. There are direct buses for every 5 or 10 minutes from the main gate of Ajou University. The one-way ticket is 1 700 won which is a little over one euro. Super cheap!

We got to try the traditional Korean costume, hanbok.

We got to try the traditional Korean costume, hanbok.

The signs of the western shops in Insadong area in Seoul are written in Korean alphabet. This is Starbucks!

The signs of the western shops in Insadong area in Seoul are written in Korean alphabet. This is Starbucks!

I also filmed two video clips of the Seoul tour. The first one is from Gwangjang market and the second one from Gyeongbok palace. Just click the links to see the videos.

First week of school

The Spring semester begun on the 2nd of March, so I had my first classes yesterday. This first week is an introduction week so you can basicly just look around the courses and choose the ones that are interesting. Next week there will be a course change period so you can add and drop courses as you wish. Yesterday I attended Korean History and Tourism & Culture courses. Today I went to the Current Issues in Korean Society course and later today I’ll attend Korean Language course. I’m planning on dropping the History course because it seems like a lot of work and I’m really not that interested in ancient history anyway. The Current Issues in Korean Society seems to be a  really interesting course as well as the Tourism & Culture one, so I’ll definitely stick with those. Next week I’m planning on going to the Taekwondo class even though I haven’t registered. If everything goes well, I’ll just stick to my original plan and do four courses; Current Issues in Korean Society, Tourism & Culture, Korean Language and Taekwondo.

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For these past two days the Ajou students have been promoting their clubs (after school activities) on our campus. Today I went to visit their booths and joined to Glee (choir club), AJESS (English/Korean study club) and Japanese language and culture club. Why don’t they have club activities like this in Finland?

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