Time flies. I feel like I just came to Korea, but in reality I have been here over three months. I never expected to do my exchange in this country, but now I can only thank myself for being this brave to get to know a totally new country and culture. I have been studying International industrial management (or something like that!) in Kyonggi university in Suwon for this semester.
The school itself is very nice and the location of the campus offers a fast way to get to Seoul. The english course list was not very impressive when I got it in the beginning of the August. As Tourism student, I really needed to think carefully what courses might suit and support my studies in TAMK. However, the course contents are very broad and the school offers lots of culture courses, so I managed to have a nice list of courses for the fall. I have taken courses, from management to Korean culture all the way to sports English.
The study style in Korea is totally different from Finland. It reminds me of the elementary school classes where everything had to be learned not by heart but in a way that you just have to memorize everything from word to word. Lots of the exams have been that the teacher has taken a phrase from his slides and taken one word out from it to be filled up. This has recuired a totally new way of studying but I think that maybe this will eventually benefit me in the future.
But the main point: Spare time! If you want to eat cheap and super delicious food and experience lots of cultures totally different from your home country. Korea and Seoul is the place to be. Our dorm does not offer any cooking facilities so eating out everyday is the basic condition here (which I really don’t mind!), you can get a proper big meal by less than 5€ and enjoy a glass or more of Soju with your classmates before continuing the evening to a local karaoke or one of the nightclubs in Hongdae or Gangnam.
During my spare time here, I have been trying to discover the city as much as possible, tasting as many foods as possible and get to know the culture as much as possible. I have seen more temples and palaces than ever before and enjoyed the Korean hospitality.
During the weekends I have been travelling as much as possible and I have been visiting other cities (Jeju, Busan etc.) and even hopped to another countries (China and Japan). Travelling has been the thing that I have appreciated the most while being in the exchange. The flight tickets are so cheap, so why not visit other countries while already being in this side of the world. Seeing the Great wall of China and the Tokyo tower has been the highlights of my exchange and thing that I will never forget!
However I still have to say that I would choose Korea every time if asked which Asian country I prefer the most! Couple weeks to push through my final exams and then I can go and enjoy my Christmas in Philippines (to where it is also super cheap to fly!)
I think I fell in love with Korea and hopefully I will come to this country again in the future! See you soon Tampere!