Exchange in Kimchiland

From Korea with Love

Tag Archives: School

The cherry blossom season

The cherry blossom season is already over and the summer is about to begin, but here are some pictures of my favourite season of the year – spring!

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Having a picnic after midterm exams.

Having a picnic after midterm exams.

The above pictures were all taken at Ajou University campus. Here’s a short video of the cherry blossoms.

Only few weeks ago it was still quite chilly in the evening but now it’s all hot and humid here. It’s very green and colourful and it smells like summer. Without the humidity it would be perfect, but the humidity makes you all sticky the moment you step outside. I’m glad the Finnish summer is not humid.

My midterm exams went quite well I think. We haven’t received all of the results yet though, so it might be either way. I did however get my results from Korean language and Taekwondo and I did well on those, yay!

The grading in Korea is a bit different from what it is in universities in Finland. Here they use the bell curve for grading, so someone always fails. Even though I did quite well it doesn’t mean I passed – if everyone else did better than me, I will fail. That kinda sucks! :-D

I won’t have any final exam for the Tourism & Culture or for the Current Issues in Korean Society, but I will have to do final research for those courses. Tomorrow is Buddha’s Birthday which is a national holiday, so we’re going to begin our group research for the tourism course. Our topic is toilets in Suwon, so we’re going to visit some toilets here. Actually Suwon promotes itself with its clean and fun toilets. Seriously. It’s a funny research topic I think!

Course selections

So the course selection for Ajou University has been open for a few days now. I was planning on taking four courses; Korean Language 1, Current Issues in Korean Society, Tourism & Culture and Taekwondo. I only got half of them. The Tourism & Culture plus Taekwondo courses were completely full and even though I sent an e-mail to the international office of Ajou, they told me that they couldn’t do anything about it. They did however tell me that they might add some more courses to the course selection later on if there are enough people who would like to attend them. Still keeping my fingers crossed!

Because I couldn’t get these two courses I wanted, I decided to select a course called Introduction to Korean History. That might be an interesting course as well! There were only like two seats left for this course as well as for the Current Issues in Korean Society one. The three courses that I selected are only worth 9 Korean credits (equal to 18 ECTS credits) together, so I’m hoping I can get additional one or two interesting courses added to my schedule when in Korea. Now it seems that every course that I might be even slightly interested in are full. They even sent an apology e-mail today stating that the exchange students might not be able to get as many credits during the Spring semester as planned. Well, I think I’ll attend to some after school activities to keep my hands busy! :-)

I sent my visa application to the Korean Embassy in Finland two weeks ago but I haven’t gotten my visa back yet. Hopefully I’ll get it during this week so I can get to Korea in time! I’m thinking of contacting the embassy tomorrow just in case if the visa doesn’t arrive with tomorrows mail.

One week to go!

The beginning

Annyong haseyo! That’s hello in Korean. This is a diary of my exchange period in South Korea!

I’ll be flying to Seoul, the capital of South Korea on the 22nd of February. I already booked the flight tickets for 600 euros; quite a good deal for a round trip flight (Helsinki-Amsterdam-Seoul-Amsterdam-Helsinki).

I won’t be studying in Seoul city though. Ajou University is located in the city of Suwon, about 20km away from Seoul. Although Suwon is an independent city, it’s still a part of the metropolitan area of Seoul.

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↑ Yep, that’s Suwon right there just south of Seoul.

Why Korea?

Before I enrolled to JAMK University of Applied Sciences I studied japanology (Japanese language and culture) as my major for three years. After learning so much about Japan and after living there several months for studies and work, I wanted to deepen my knowledge of the other parts of East Asia as well. Because the Korean popular culture (TV dramas and music especially) are a big thing in Japan right now, I started to gain interest towards the country and its culture while living in Japan.

I’m a food fanatic and I just loooove Asian cuisine. I also like my food spicy! Korea is well-known for its delicious BBQ and spices, so I’m really looking forward to enjoy the real Korean cuisine – every day!

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So, this is the beginning! There will be some posts about the exchange process as it proceeds during December and January, but there’s still three more months left before I’ll be landing to Incheon airport in Seoul. Until then, you can read about my life in Finland through my Finnish blog.

Hope you’ll stop by here later to read about my Korean experiences. Don’t forget to comment!

Here’s a cool song about Seoul for you to enjoy; it’s performed by two famous Korean pop groups – Girls’ Generation and SuperJunior! Just click the link below.

SuperJunior & Girls’ Generation ~ Seoul

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