I arrived at Incheon Airport on the 29th of February, when the coronavirus was blowing up and spreading uncontrollably in South Korea. Therefore, before coming to Korea, I expected a chaotic scenario at the airport, but everything was organized logically, and seeing everyone wearing masks was a relief. Seyoon is one of my most close friends in Mediapolis. When I just arrived at the airport, Seyoon’s father was there to pick me up and he drove me to my dormitory in Seoul. Thanks to him, I reached my dorm safe and sound.
I struggled a bit on the first day of figuring out how to charge the T-money card known as the public transportation card. Because that card can only recharge by cash, and I didn’t have any cash with me at that time either.
I was lucky that I have my old friend who has been living and studying in Seoul for 3 years. She helped me a lot with getting a new SIM card at a reasonable price, learning basic Korean language, and taking me around Seoul.
After I got the admission from Sungkyungkwan University (SKKU), I was added to a Kakao group with all the upcoming exchange students. Before coming to SKKU, my buddy (tutor) Yewon already contacted me to help me prepare everything documents and essential things for my exchange period. Because of the pandemic, we hadn’t had time to hang out with each other at first. But later, when the situation in Korea was controlled much better, we finally had a chance to meet up and catching up with each other about how everything was going on.
I’m always a big fan of the Korean concept and visual arts, so right after the art gallery and exhibition were allowed to open again, I went to some with my friends and my tutor. They were so well organized and mesmerizing. Sometimes, I didn’t need to go to any exhibition, because they exhibited some artworks everywhere, specifically, in the subway station
(Inside Magritte exhibition) (subway exhibition)
Because of the pandemic, I had online classes for the whole semester. Enrollment in Korea is much more competitive than in Finland. And to be honest, I couldn’t enroll in one course I like because I was late only a few seconds on the first enrollment day. I had to email the professor for letting me enroll in that course if there was any vacant slot for me. Luckily I finally got in. There was another story on my enrollment day. As I was so hustling to enroll in the course, I made a mistake in typing the course code, so BAAM! I enrolled in one course I thought I would never do which requires a lot of coding. I struggled a lot with that course, but thanks to that, now I got a new skill in coding with processing which I think I already forgot 70% of it. The learning system in SKKU is not that different compared to Mediapolis since we all studied online and had daily, weekly tasks after every lecture. In the last 2 weeks, we had some group meeting at SKKU campus with the professor for getting some instruction for the final project.
As normal, the spring semester would end on the 19th of June. However, this year there were a lot of things happened, so my semester ended much later (5th of July). After finishing the semester, I went to Busan which is a beach city in Korea with my friend as a short summer vacation.
Back in March, when I didn’t have many assignments and projects to do, I had a day hanging out around Seoul with my friend in Itaewon and Hongdae, and I also filmed it. You can check the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zW9ZYyY98jY
Photos were taken by Hy