I had so many experiences in Seoul, a single blog could never capture all the memories I’ve created. In order to give you a taste of what awaits you in the South Korean capital, I’ll divide this blog in several topics.

 

Social life and new friends

The first time I arrived in South Korea I was worried about meeting other English-speaking people. However, within my first two days I met some of the most amazing people whom I eventually ate breakfast, lunch and dinner with everyday as well as being in the same class too. We were a very diverse bunch with our group of friends including two girls from Kazakhstan and Malaysia and two guys from Hong Kong and Germany as well as a local Korean man. One thing I will say, do not worry about not making friends! Korea is an amazing place to be and many visiting international students will be in the same boat as you so you will immediately click with many people. Those were just a few friends I made, we actually got together with Americans, Turks, other pupils from Southampton as well as local Koreans on nights out.

Soju changed our lives! it’s a cheap alcohol around Ā£1 yet it’s one of the strongest spirits they had. it is around 20 degrees (not quite a vodka) and does get you drunk quite fast. My friends and I would pre-drink with lots of Soju and beer as this is a Korean tradition to mix the two and play drinking games. This is perhaps one of my favourite things to do in Korea as you get to spend quality time with friends and make new friends. Every pub we went into we managed to be the main centre of attention and drag all locals into our drinking games and fun atmosphere.

The best clubs to go to are at Hondae and Gangnam. Hondae is the better option though as drinks and entry prices are reasonable as well as being really well maintained. Clubs in Hongdae are amazing and sprawling with people from all different parts of the world. Every now and then you might hear people suggesting a clubbing neighbourhood by the name of Itaewon. Do not go there. The atmosphere is quite scary and resembles the worst parts of London where there is a chance of you being robbed, hurt or worse. Overall, clubbing in Seoul is a must and the music is also really good.

Food

The street food in Korea is so diverse and amazing not only in taste but in aesthetics too, you just can’t help yourself. Every night we would visit a new restaurant to serve dinner. There are restaurants offering traditional Korean BBQ made in front of you meanwhile others cook you a warm soup filled with many delicacies in front of your very ow eyes.

Food was not only great but cheap too. The entire class would usually order a huge portion of food and everyone shared after which we also shared the bill making it cost efficient. We split the cost for most things we did which made our time in Korea great fun and cheap too.

School

School was pretty fun. Do not expect a summer school to be very intense as they are short courses worth only around 3 credits in value. The professor we had was great! He took us out to dinner on several occasions, showing us traditional cousin as well as introducing us to the miracle that is Soju. (Alcoholic drink)

The various trips taken as part of the course and films watched made it seem more like fun group activities rather than intensive lessons. You do have to complete some work, but you still have time to explore and have fun. For example, our last lesson finished at 6pm therefore the entire class had dinner together and went drinking afterwards.

New country and cultureĀ 

In my first weekend I explored most of the biggest palaces and tourist sites recommended by google. My favourite is the Lotte world tower as it is the third highest observation deck in the world and the 5th tallest building in the world. The glass observation deck is frightening at first but you must walk on it and take photos as it is aĀ once in a lifetime opportunity. You do see people too scared to walk on the glass deck which is funny in itself but not doing so willĀ leave you withĀ regret in the future.

I got a taste of traditional Korean culture by visiting Buckchon village where traditional housing is showcased as well as the culture centre where you get first hand experience about how people lived.

Seoul Tower

 

The best amusement park I’ve ever been to is Lotte world (located near Lotte world tower). This place is a dream come true for children and adults who still love having fun. Its design and architecture is breath-taking as it gave you the possibility to sit in a circling hot-air balloon dozens of feet off the ground stuck to the ceiling meanwhile speeding roller-coasters zoom past you below. There aren’t words to describe how awesome this is. The virtual reality shooter games captivated my friends and I as the technology is so advanced, you really start to believe you are in the game as you walk around a custom-made arena with a gun in your hand.

 

Other opportunitiesĀ 

During my time in Seoul, I was given the opportunity to meet and speak with people in professional positions relating to my major. For example, a speaker from Luxembourg attended one of our lessons where she promoted the idea of moving and working in Luxembourg. She did such a fantastic job that my friends and I decided we were all going to get together again in Luxembourg after our summer school in order to explore the opportunities she spoke of. For example, speak to the company she represented and spent a bit of time in the country and see ifĀ we could live there. After all, Luxembourg is only a 7 hour drive for me and I could meet all the new friends I made in South Korea again.

My friends and I also went to Busan, a city in the South of the South Korean peninsula in order to see the Santorini of Korea as they call it. In a single day we were able to travel across the entire country by South Korea’s fastest train and see Busan tower, have fun at the beach, explore the city and even see the thousands of colourful houses resembling Greece’s Santorini.

Another amazing opportunity that came from visiting South Korea was my connecting flight. I got to spend a whole day in Dubai, UAE and explore everything the city had to offer from going up to Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world) and have the best view possible to enjoying sunrise by the palm island. I also had dinner in Dubai mall and walked around what is described as the biggest mall in the world. Sightseeing throughout the city was fantasticĀ and I even got to ride my first camel. AN ABSOLUTELY UNFORGETABLE EXPERIENCE AND OPPORTUNITY.

Going to Korea was one of the best decisions I ever made!

Dubai
Seoul 2018!

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One thought on “Seoul 2018!

  1. I really like reading these kind of post, because my dream is about study abroad in future but for me is a little hard. Thanks for sharing your experience in Sydney, so interesting. Hop you will share more about your student life in there!

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