Hey guys! So I’ve been in Korea for a whole week, and was very surprised and happy about the response to my first post. There’s real pictures this time, which is good because I don’t think my drawing skills can express how amazing this place is (although I may add some in another post later ๐Ÿ˜› ).

First of all, I’ve heard this song being played more times than I can count which is great ’cause it’s awesome and I love it a lot, but it’s reaching Call Me Maybe status in terms of radio play over here. I feel like you should listen to this just to hear what South Korea sounds like at the moment.
*Cue bad 90s fashion and way too many members for one boy band.*

Day 1
I achieved my first goal, which was to make it here. It was a lot less nervous than I thought I would be, and it was a pretty smooth process. Fly from Edinburgh to London then an 11 hour flight to Seoul. No problem!
We got a shuttle bus to the campus and I got settled in my new room for the next month… on the 12th floor.
We also had a campus tour with some of the CAU students, and two of them were nice enough to wait for a full ten minutes then ask a shop assistant when I got confused about what conditioner to buy.

Day 2
You get rice for breakfast, which is interesting. Also kimchi โ€“ kimchi always!
We had our orientation and we’re in groups of about 12, and we each have a leader who is a CAU student โ€“ our group went to Garosu-gil (๊ฐ€๋กœ์ˆ˜๊ธธ) and had dinner, then bubble tea time!

Day 3
We had our first lesson from 9am to 12pm โ€“ our teacher is really lovely and we were just learning Hangul so I got to practise that a little. Then we took a bus into Seoul and to Gyeongbokgung Palace and saw a guard-changing ceremony, then got a tour around the buildings themselves. This is the largest wooden building in Korea!
We also saw this sign in the subway station for a metal archway. If you walk underneath it, legend says you never get old. I think I accidentally walked through it twice so I’m either going to get doubly not-old or just age like a normal person. What are you gonna do.
We also took a trip to Namdaemun market and I got some souvenirs for probably all of the people who read this blog so I can’t tell you what they are. ๐Ÿ˜‰

They also have giant watermelons you can eat…
…and idol-themed socks.
N Seoul Tower is at the top of a really huge hill. Actually, pretty much everything here is on top of a really huge hill (including the dormitory) so I’m going to have legs of steel by the time I get back. Whoo.
Anyway, you can see the whole of Seoul from the top, and it’s a popular place for couples to come and put locks on the gate with their names. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค
‘Chanyeol’ is a member of EXO (see 3:13 rapper in Overdose video) and I see his name EVERYWHERE. On the back of bathroom stalls, randomly carved into railings… he’s a popular guy. Someone else on the trip told me her friend cut out pictures of his face and stuck them on her shoes which sounds like an awesome idea I’m definitely doing that with my favourite singer.
There are also ‘couple benches’ which curve so that you’re forced to sit next to someone. Cute idea, but not practical if you’ve just hiked up a mahoosive giant hill and need somewhere to rest.

Day 4
Another lesson on Hangul, and we learned some vocabulary like ‘please’ (์ฃผ์„ธ์š” = ‘ju-se-yo’) and ‘it’s too hot’ (๋”์›Œ์š” = ‘teo-weo-yo’) which it definitely is. Not in a nice oh-look-it’s-sunny way but in an oh-dear-goodness-my-face-is-going-to-melt-off-my-skull kinda way.
Then we went to a folk village and there were performances and ceremonies you could watch which were fun!
We also had bibimbap for dinner which is definitely as good to eat as it is to say.

Day 5
We took a two day trip to Gangwon Province. It took a while to get there but we had a traditional tea ceremony and walked around a place called Seongyojang.
We also went to the beach for a little while and I told everyone I wasn’t going into the water โ€“ so naturally I found myself neck-deep in the sea within fifteen minutes of being there. It was so warm!
We also visited Naksan temple which was beautiful.
We checked into a resort overnight where you can sleep tatami-style on a cushioned wooden floor. It wasn’t too bad, but maybe it was because we ended up playing some crazy kind of Korean game-show with lots of Gangnam Style playing and strobe lights and making tall structures out of shoes and cigarette packets to win multi-coloured fake money. I don’t even know what really happened to be honest, but I was tired by the end of the night.

Day 6
We checked out really early to head to Seoraksan National Park. I sat on a rock in the shade with some people from my group and learned some Korean words because it was too hot to do anything else, then we headed up the mountains in a cable car. It was pretty stunning.
In the evening, I went to Myeongdong and spent all my money found some EXO members chilling out in Nature Republic. Kind of.

Day 7
Today my phone charger stopped working, I ran out of money and I got lost in the middle of Seoul…

Actually, I just forgot to put my card in the little holder to make the electricity work in my room so it’s fine, my bank still doesn’t believe I’m in South Korea (neither do I) even though I phoned them up before I left, but I sorted that out too – and I went cycling beside the Han River with a friend I met at the airport and we eventually found a subway station to get back after 3 hours of walking. Not as lazy a Sunday as I’m used to but still good fun.
I also just had these and they’re delicious.
Hope you’re all having a good day today, and I’ll let you know how calligraphy, K-Pop dance and Lotte World go next week! ์•ˆ๋…•ํžˆ๊ฐ€์„ธ์š”!

Categories: Korea, Study Asia: Summer Scholarships

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