End of the Week!

Hello all. It’s Friday here in Korea and what better way than to celebrate with Korean BBQ?!

Sorry, I actually forgot to take photos, but you’ll just have to trust me that it was delicious. And only ten dollars Canadian. The media and documentary classes got together for dinner, along with the director Yong Ki Jeong after a class with him as a guest speaker. Our professor, Chang, payed the difference after we all gave him the ten dollars. Not bad for what was essentially all you can eat and drink. 


Korean BBQ at its most basic is basically grilled pork belly, which you can wrap in lettuce along with kimchi, onions, and garlic. We also had fried rice of some sort, topped with seaweed and egg roe. Delicous!

In our media class next week, we’ll be able to meet Yun Ji Lee, and Jeong Se Oh, who both starred in the movie “Couples” (directed by Yong Ki Jeong). So excited for that (I wonder if we’re allowed to take photos?)! Yong Ki Jeong came today as a guest speaker, and I don’t quite know what to make of him. I feel like some of the advice he gave for aspiring film makers was kind of like “follow your dreams,” type stuff, which just seems a little not so practical to me. I’ll just assume it got lost in translation. No doubt though, he is very successful, having directed movies such as “Once Upon a Time,” and “Couples,” as well as many others.

I also tried the famous “Choco Pie” here, a snack which often takes the place of birthday cake for poor students. Apparently, it’s also really popular among the boys in the military. Unfortunately, they’re not actual cake, and pretty much just a Korean version of Wagon Wheels. Ah well, they killed my sugar craving for the next month.

As a side note, it’s still pretty rainy over here and I actually had to wear jeans.

Choco Pie! Well, the no name equivalent anyways.

Last Day at the Hostel and Random Food Pictures

You’ll have to forgive me as posts will now be slightly out of order. I’ll have the rest of my pictures up pretty sporadically, and today you’ll have to suffice with my last day staying at the hostel in Myeongdong. That, and pictures of food.

Last day here so Jiyeon took me out for lunch.
Tall icecream in Myeongdong. Well, technically we got strawberry and yogurt.

I don’t know what this is, but apparently it’s famous in Myeongdong. It’s like hotpot… but with salami and hot dogs… and I think spam…

Add noodles, kimchi, and canned beans.
Mix! Surprisingly, I actually liked it.
Red bean paste bun from Namdaemun.

Black bean noodles and jiggae. I forgot to take a picture it was so good!

Watermelon popsicle/ice cream. So cute!

Oh look who I found. But I still can’t find TOP.

Classes!

Hello. Today was the first official day of classes at Hanyang. I’ve enrolled in three: beginner’s Korean, crisis management, and the Korean media industry. However, I’m planning on switching from crisis management to biology as that will take the place of my last science course. And apparently the professor gives away chocolate (according to my roomie at least).


The weather here in Seoul was nearly as bad as Calgary today. When my roommate and I started walking to class at 8:20 in the morning to pick up text books and avoid getting lost, it was cool enough to wear a cardigan. By 8:40, I was ridiculously hot even after taking off my cardigan. Darn this hilly campus. During my last class, there was a torrential downpour in the area. The thunder was loud enough to make the curtains in the classroom shake!

Classes were pretty good today though, and we were let out as soon as we took a placement exam in my Korean course. The exam was entirely in Hangul, so most of us just wrote our names on it and handed it in. There’s a reason we signed up for the beginner’s course, which in the course description said it meant for those with no knowledge (or very little) of Korean. I know a lot of students were complaining that coming to class was a waste of time due to only spending five minutes to take the test, but I think the teachers were just trying to see if they could split a larger class into two or more based on how little they knew (for example, I can read Hangul, so the fact that we have an entire week to memorize the alphabet is a bit wasted on me).

The crisis management course if pretty much public relations all over again. And for all my j-school friends who took the PR introduction course, you’ll be pleased to know it’s almost exactly the same in that I need to read two chapters and then teach the class about said chapters. I’ve decided to drop this course, as I’ve learned (albeit not in as much detail) about crisis management back at Mount Royal, and I really have no desire to teach a class for two days. Not to mention that I’ve been sent on a mad hunt for the textbook, which apparently can be found at any bookstore in Seoul, except for the one on campus. Instead, I’ll switch to biology, where the text will only cost $5 (compared to $50 for crisis management) and the teacher gives out chocolate. Cheap and free food! What more could a student ask for?


The media industry course is definitely going to be my favourite. I might be a bit biased though, as the professor, Changhee Chun, reminds me so much of all the journalism professors in first year (right down to taking shots with him!). He’s done plenty of film work both in the States as well as Korea, including documentaries and music videos. Not to mention that he’s trying to bring in someone from an idol group to talk to us. The course is pretty work intensive, with five-minute presentations and a short essay due every week. It’ll be worth it though.

I’ve also met some great new people so that’s always exciting. Tomorrow is the Seoul City Tour, which will wrap up the rest of the touristy things I need to do. So many picture posts to do over the next few days! The plan is to visit Gyeongbokgung, a traditional Hanok village, and the Seoul N-Tower.

My one complaint is that the school seems to be a little disorganized at this point. I’ve mentioned the textbook fiasco, but there has also been some issues with paying fees (as the fees for Mount Royal students are being waived) as well as with the dorms. As I was placed in an off-campus dorm, we were notified by a sign on the main entrance this morning telling us we would need to pay for gas and water once we check out. Not something you want to hear when you’re already paying the university dorm fees. It’s been sorted out now, and confirmed that the students will not be charged for gas and water (after mass confusion on Facebook and emails sent to the coordinators). All in all, not a bad day.

I’m Back!

Sorry for the little hiatus there everyone. It ended up being a busy week doing the rest of my touring and then moving into the dorms. I’ll have pictures of the places I visited up in the next few posts, as well as of the dorms and campus. For now, you’ll just get to read a description of Hanyang University.

Hanyang University is situated on the top of a mountain, or perhaps a very large hill by Korean standards. By Canadian standards however, it could definitely only be called a hill. And here I thought I was done climbing mountains/hills. I must massage my calves vigorously (to quote my dear friend) due to all the climbing.
I was situated in an off campus dorm, which is about fifteen minutes away from classes. Uphill in the morning and downhill at night. I suppose it’s good exercise at least.
On a more positive note, our dorm has a kitchenette! Thank God for Daiso, because buying pots and pans at the local market was pretty expensive in comparison. Also, we found some cheap bags of rice, laundry detergent, and some glass tupperware to use as bowls. We also found a Daiso about a half hour walk away from our dorm, meaning we won’t need to go all the way to Myeongdong again if we need anything else!
We’ve also managed to figure out the hot water system here. For the first two days, we had to use cold since we just couldn’t figure out how the boiler worked. There’s a control panel and we were just flipping buttons on and off, and upping the temperature. Luckily, we now have hot water, although we haven’t figured out how to turn off the heated floor without shutting off the hot water as well.