Greetings from Korea!

안녕하세요!(Hello!) I am writing this post as my 4,5 months exchange period in Seoul, Korea has ended. I was studying Visual Design at Seoul National University of Science and Technology.  Additionally, I learned the basics of Korean language.

I spent most of my time living in Seoul, the capital of Korea and lived in the university’s dorms together with many other exchange students. I knew I was bound for a huge megapolis that Seoul is, but I was nonetheless surprised by the vastness of this city. In Seoul, it feels like there are many smaller cities in a big one, because every district has something unique when you explore it and can be completely different from each other. I had a chance to visit quite many of these districts during my stay, but got a feeling that one can’t fully explore Seoul even after many years of living there.

Myeong-dong district
Insa-dong district
Dongdaemun district
Dongdaemun district

Korea is very rich in its culture, both traditional and modern and in Seoul these two are intertwined – you can find traditional Hanok architecture, but on the next corner you will find bustling, modern city vibes.
I also fell in love with Korean cuisine and was mainly visiting Korean food places.

Gwangjang food market

In the first half of the semester, I got a chance to visit East coast cities (Yangyang, Gangneung and Sokcho) that were quite different from Seoul.

Gangneung coast
Temple visit in Gangneung
Temple visit in Gangneung

 

One of my favourite places in Korea was Jeju island with its exotic vibes and beautiful nature.

Jeju – Korea’s Hawaii

 

Jeju’s waterfalls
Hallasan mountain climb
At the top of Hallasan mountain

At the second half of the semester, I visited Busan that is popular coastal destination in southern Korea and Jeonju city for its rich traditional culture.

Jeonju city’s traditional Hanok village
Busan

Regarding studies in Korea, I can say that the approach in education is quite different from Finland. The evaluation is largely based on midterm and final semester exams. However, in my study path I had also some courses with project-based evaluation, which is quite similar to Applied Sciences education in Finland. All my courses except one were held online, which was quite useful for me during the exchange as I wanted to travel to other parts of Korea. It was however challanging to keep up with both studying and leaving time for exploration.

Going for an exchange to Korea was one of the best decisions I made and I would recommend it to anyone who has a chance to do an exchange or just travel there.

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