Kategoriarkiv: Studera utomlands

Orientation days at Korea University

Since I arrived quite early in Seoul I had been able to visit the campus and taken a look around more than once but even so, when the first day of orientation came my heart was beating fast and my mouth started to become dry as I walked towards the area circled out on the digital map on my phone. All were signs of anxiety and excitement, a terrible mix which together with the hot weather made me sweat and feel cold at the same time.

(Picture: Main Gate of Korea University)

Something I really was thankful for however was that Korea University has a buddy program for exchange and visiting students, which means that I had already been contacted by a Korean girl named Choi Go-Eun who made sure that I knew all the necessary times and dates for the orientation as well as asking me if I needed any other help. Even if I did not need much more help than to know exactly how to get to the building, it was a comfort to know that I had someone who was familiar with the city, school and language that could help out if I ever needed anything.

(Picture: Campus Tour, Main Hall)

After the formal introductions had been made, the groups were put in the hand of the Korean buddies who then took us on a Campus tour, helped us with email registration, as well as took us to lunch in one of the University’s cafeterias.

(Picture: Meat with Korean side dishes, banchan; Sigeumchi-Naul, Kimchi & Kkakdugi)

The second day of orientation was very peculiar. The first thing we needed to do was to sign up for a Student ID card which would also be used as a bank card. We received a big  pile of papers which needed to be signed, all written in Korean. ”Sign here, date here, name here” was probably the line I heard the most that day and in the end I wasn’t even sure if I had just signed up for a Student ID card or for something completely different, oh well, we can only hope for the best.

Getting lost is an adventure.

I’ve found out two things since I’ve come here. Getting lost is scary, that I learnt when I was trying to find my Goshiwon. I had the address but no matter how hard I tried to find it, it seemed impossible. It wasn’t much the being lost that made me uncomfortable, but mostly I felt anxious and embarrassed that I could not find it. It was fine though, I did not give up and finally I managed to find it. The second thing I’ve found out is that getting lost is a whole other thing if you aren’t alone. As long as you have someone with you, being lost together is almost more fun than going on your planned route.

It’s my third day in Seoul I’ve already been walking more than I ever have in a month back in Sweden (that probably says a lot about me but let’s not judge here okay?). The first day was spent mostly in my neighbourhood where I walked around the streets after unpacking. I tried my best to just understand that I was actually here. Everyone speaking in the language I’ve been trying so hard to learn, loud music playing from every shop I pass and almost combining into one loud noise, but it was fine, it’s Seoul, I’m here.

I took the opportunity to walk to Korea University where I will be spending most my days at this semester and I was stunned. It was even more beautiful than I had imagined when I had seen the pictures before coming.

Impatient and wanting to explore the city further I made an attempt to meet some exchange students from the university by making a post in the facebook group I’m a part of. A sweet girl from Holland named Geke replied and we decided to meet up at Anguk Station as she suggested that we should go to Bukchon Hanok village, turns out it was the greatest idea, you will see why shortly.

Bukchon Hanok village is a village with traditional houses, so called ”Hanoks” that are today used as either tea houses, guest houses, culture centres and more. We received a map at the tourist information center where the helpful lady circled the main attractions and explained the route so that we could easily find our way to the beautiful sights.

After this point, we started to go off route and before we could notice it we had gone off the map, moving further up the hilly district. I think we walked for about three hours if not more. the feeling of not knowing exactly where we were, just looking around and enjoying the views we had was great, although I don’t think it would have been as nice had I been alone, but having someone by my side, it was more of an adventure with excitement rather than feeling the fear of being lost.

That’s all for this time, I’m still getting adjusted to everything here and I think it will take a while until I stop finding everything here fascinating, so I will most likely bring more serious posts then, but bear with me for now while I’m in this state please. Until next time!