Awesome Korean Adventures

Living and engineering like never before

Campus Life Chose Me

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Everyone probably knows that Asian, and Korean food especially, is very spicy. Well… knowing it isn’t going to help much, which I soon learned. The first place we went to eat was the cafeteria that, luckily enough, is very close to the dormitory. Good thing they have forks and spoons around here, although I’ve yet to see a knife, because I would starve to death in a day with only chopsticks. I’ve been trying to self-learn the technique using two wooden ones, but it’s completely different in practice and I just end up looking like idiot.

On the cafeteria entrance is a glass showcase where you can see the different kinds of meals available on that day. Usually there at least two, a Korean meal and a western meal ranging from French to Hawaiian, but sometimes even four distinct ones. The international meals include meat, pasta etc. but they usually have rice and other Korean stuff in them as well. Korean food on the other hand is usually a bunch of unidentifiable and indiscernible stuff mixed together with rice and served in bowls instead of plates. That’s not necessarily a bad thing since it tastes good and the portions are very large. The food is always very spicy, however, so you better have cold water on deck.

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Life in the dormitory is pretty simple, at least when people aren’t yelling in the corridors. We have a hot & cold water dispenser in the kitchen next door. It is basically the best thing ever in this weather and alongside spicy food. Additionally, there’s a refrigerator and stoves for everyone to use, and by everyone I mean that the same 2-3 guys use them every time. Other than that, we have bathrooms with showers and laundry machines, a gym and an ATM to withdraw money as well. Speaking of money, almost everything here is cheaper than in Finland, especially food and drinks in restaurants. That’s why many people, including Koreans, like to eat out and party. School food is very cheap as well, considering the magnitude of it. I’m still not over the fact that I’m paying 3,500 for food; feels like I’m a big shot!

The world outside of the campus seems massive. It feels strange when the closest place you know your way around is thousands of kilometers away. Almost like exploring uncharted territory, I guess. Anyway, I’ve been trying to get to know the lay of the land by not only walking around the campus, which is quite big, but also in the streets of Suwon city. From what I’ve seen, it seems that foreigners, other than students, are few and far between in this area. That said there are tons of places around here for food and hanging out. We’ve been eating out a couple of times and also checked out an arcade with other Finnish exchange students. Luckily, one of the guys has been around for one semester already, so he knows all the good places. Although most Koreans have a hard time with English, they have been very niceu and helpfur so far.

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