Events On Campus
Like I mentioned in my previous blog, this time I will talk more about events that happened on campus in Handong. Students here organize many different kinds of events to make the campus life more exciting for the rest of the students. It means you can enjoy a variety of events and get entertained for a while before having to go back to your studies. One of the events is called “Culture Night”.Where international students prepare various foods and performances. Which show and introduce their own culture to Korean students. Therefore garnering their interest in foreign culture. I participated in this event with my European fellow students. We prepared an assortment of food and desserts, which were typical for Europe. “Culture Night” was a very interesting and informative event. Events like that were plenty to be found in Handong. For example watching a mini concert of Eric Nam, who is a very popular Korean solo artist. In addition to that, there were musicals and dance performances ready to be showcased. One very interesting event, was “Alice in Wonderland” themed. It took place at the university and was over the span of three days. You had the option to leave campus and go home for the three days off. Or enjoy a funfair like atmosphere at the campus. Including food booths and games, prepared for the staying. Organized by students, a performance of “Show me the money” contestant and winner “Bewhy” could not be amiss.
During my stay in Handong I made friends, with not just the locals. I met great students from different European countries and American states. I connected to the Korean students and spend a lot of time, learning about their culture. Even though the work load took a lot out of my time. And this is the reason why, saying goodbye was hard on me. Four months may sound like a short time. But a lot has happened in those days. And I made great memories, that will stay with me forever. Not just the family-like community, that Handong offered us. But also the close friends I made. Memories of events, of study nights and panics before exams. We shared worries, questions, happy moments and four months. The local students were forthcoming to us internationals and always ready to help. However special gratitude to the OIA office, the international office, as they paid special mind to our worries and questions is due. All in all I can say, that this is the reason why, it was so hard to say goodbye.
Traveling Through Korea
A before mentioned topic is travel. To which I’m coming back now. Taking time after the semester ends, to see Korea is important in my opinion. The workload was too great, as to be able to travel around and enjoy the country. And therefore you should consider of spending a few additional days or even weeks.
I visited Busan, Jeonju and Seoul and had a great time in each of these cities. Each of those cities held their own charm and in no way was inferior to the other. I already talked about Busan before. Which is why I will concentrate on the other two for now. Jeonju was a traditional city, with the opportunity to lend a Hanbok (a traditional dress) and take pictures in beautiful scenery. Then there is of course Seoul which has a lot to offer, hence the reason for my lengthier stay. Seoul is not just limited to fashion and shopping. You can climb a mountain and visit a temple. Pictures are of course a must, whenever you’re faced with beautiful scenery. Unique cafes are a must by now. And if you have ever wondered if Korea ever stops short on ideas for cafes. Just remember, there are racoon, cat, dog, sheep and many more themed cafes. Places of interest are impossible to miss. For a great view? How about Seoul’s famous Namsan Tower? Where you can see the whole city (hot tip: even more beautiful during the night). In Seoul you can also enjoy the many street markets which offer a grand selection of delicious Korean food.
Getting around Korea is definitely easier than anywhere else in the world. It’s very well structured, especially the subway system. Another advantage of Korea is that entrance fees to sights are very cheap. Between 3 and 8 euros (4,000 to 10,000 Won) you could visit every single sight. Namsan Tower being the most expensive one with 8, seeing as it is very popular not just among natives, but even more so among tourists.
Finding a guest house in Seoul is very easy, since Seoul has them everywhere. But one can definitely find a cheap way, to stay in Seoul for only ten euros per night. Depending on how cheap you want to stay in Seoul, you might consider having to dorm with several girls. Rooming with other girls, allowed me to create friendships and travel with two girls for the rest of my stay.
Final Words And Advice
In conclusion, choosing Korea for my stay abroad was the greatest decision I could have made. Even with difficulties at the beginning, nothing was greater than the experience I made. The semester abroad made me grow and mature. I am more organized than I used to be. And I think that’s thanks due to the strict boarding life in Handong. I will definitely miss my friends and the memories we shared in Handong.
For people who consider to go to South Korea I would advise to be open minded and just immerse yourself into the awaiting experience. The Korean culture can be very multifarious and therefore you will learn and see many different and interesting things. It will definitely be an tremendous experience for you so don’t worry, pack your bags and begin an adventure.