Wednesday, December 9, 2015

My First Week in South Korea

여로분 란녕하세요! 저는 마리테스 입니다. 저는 건국대학교에 공부하고 있어요. 만나서 반갑습니다.
(Hello everyone! My name is Maritess. I  currently studying at Konkuk University. Nice to meet you.)

I only have 2 weeks left here in Seoul, South Korea. Yet, I felt that I just have been here yesterday. I guess time flies fast (way too fast) when you are having fun.
So, what did I do for the past months of my stay here? Do you want to know? If yes, feel free to scroll down and I hope this might inspire you to study abroad too.

My first two days here was agonizing. I don't know anyone. I don't have someone whom I can talk to. Also, I don't have a roommate to share my room, which kind of adds up to my misery (that's what I thought during that time). I felt terrible on those two days that it made me think whether or not I made the right choice of going here.
This picture was taken on my second night here. I was leaving alone and hoping that my roommate will arrive on the following day.

However, as the orientation took place, I was glad that I met some friends. In an instant, everyone clicked with each other and become good friends. From then, my circle of friends keeps getting bigger and bigger. I was really thankful that I met them, since they basically saved me from being alone. We mostly do things together such as eating, travelling, studying, and etc.
(My first time going out of the campus!)

During this day, I experienced a lot of things for the first time. My first time going out of the campus, riding the subway, and going to the club (hopefully the last since it is not my style). But, it was not really bad because I was able to meet other exchange students all over Seoul.

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Daytime vs. nighttime in 건대입구

    On the following day, me and my friends decided to go walk around the area near the university. One of the things I noticed while walking around was the store hours. Most of the stores, whether a restaurant or a clothes shop, open during the afternoon. That is why you can freely walk around in the . But, as the night approaches, it is really crowded. There are many people going out to hang out with their friends and/or their loved ones. Also, the street vendors are also opening their shops.

Street food shops

Street food shops are a little similar to kiosk but less fancy, well not all of it since some vendors uses trucks. They normally sell different types of street foods as shown in the picture. There are more varieties of street food that are not included in this image. The street food that I tried were Sundae, tteokbokki, odeng, twigim, hotteok, cup chicken, and others (I forgot the names of the other foods I ate). You can either dine in, meaning stand in front of their shop and eat (others have limited chairs available) or just eat while walking. If you are not fond with this kind of food, I suggest to at least try Korean dessert or bingsu.
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Other than eating foods, I spent my last week of vacation going around other places such as Gangnam, Insadong, Gwanghwamun, Han River and Changdeokgung. On the same day that we visited Changdeokgung, there were two events held at Gwanghwamun. The first event is the Thai Festival, which we went to because of our Thai friend, and the second event is the 세월호, which is kind of a protesting and at the same time reminiscing the Sewol ferry tragedy. During the Thai festival, we had a lot of fun. We were able to see and feel Thai culture various Thai activities such as, dance performances, songs from a famous singer, free Thai desserts, and authentic Thai foods. We were also able to do the Loi Krathong, which is the name of the traditional festival in Thailand. We really had an amazing day that it made us kind of exhausted, so we decided to head back to our dorm. But, as we were heading to the subway, we passed through the Sewol Ferry tragedy event. The ambiance in Sewol tragedy event made us feel sad because we felt the same sentiments of the students’ families. We offered flowers and our silent prayers to those people who passed away in the said tragedy. From then, we decided to stay a couple more hours in the Gwanghwamun Square lighten our moods.

At Changdeokgung with other international students from Sungkyunkwan University.

Thai Festival

It was fun travelling to different places, for you are not certain as to what will happen along the way. 

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