All posts tagged: South Korea

Disgustingly Cheesy and Completely True Digital Storytelling

This past semester I have been taking a class called Intercultural Communication and Leadership. While a lot of it has been review of prior anthropology and linguistics classes and reinforcing of the morals and viewpoints my university in America instills in its students, there have been some features that have been surprisingly interesting and informative. For my final project in the class, we were told to create a digital story. At first I was let down and a bit annoyed to find that this was not actually a movie but rather was a video made of pictures and voice over. But once I got an idea for my story I started writing and was soon excited to start the process of collecting pictures to illustrate my story. I love writing (obviously…I by choice write a blog whenever I have free time) and I also am very introspective, so it is easy for me to journal and contemplate my life. However. It is not often that I share those inner musings with the people around me. …

Two Days in Jeju

So I went to Jeju Island two weeks ago, and since finals start this week I thought it would be a great time to procrastinate and tell you all about it. As you may know I like to plan everything to the last detail far in advance. I regularly have three or more lists defining my schedule for the day, the week and the month at any given time–and even those spontaneously multiply into the dozens. So when a friend asked me if I was interested in going to Jeju on Sunday (at this point it was a Wednesday night) I jumped at the chance (because not doing so would be stupid, and I like to think of myself as an intelligent person) and then subsequently had a tiny mental breakdown. What had I gotten myself into? I was literally in charge of nothing–I just had to show up on time and hope everything was under control. To make matters worse, the friends in charge decided that we were going to 밤세 or stay up …

한국문화: 2차 (The Korean Culture of “Second Round”)

In Korea there is something called 2차. No, not 2차 like 2 teas or two cars, but 2차 like second round…of dinner/drinking/playing/something social. I didn’t really understand it when I first came to Korea, but yesterday the weirdest thing happened to me which made me realize I had fully adapted to Korea life: I was sad to be going back to my dorm at 11:30pm and was looking for people to hang out with. After all, I had only been to 1차 with one friend group and it was a Friday…life not complete right? Three months ago I would have been dragging my poor legs, dreaming of a hot shower, alone time, and my pjs. But present day, somehow extraverted and enjoying it me, was baffled as to why I would be returning so early when it was prime time to spend with friends. What I have learned about and have grown accustomed to in Seoul though, is that even if you just make plans to have dinner–even if dinner is at 5:00 or 6:00–you …

Bukcheon Village and the Han River

Though technically there are no school breaks in the Fall semester in Korea, there is Chuseok which is in the simplest terms a Korean version of Thanksgiving. It is a harvest festival type holiday marked by traveling to your hometown to spend time with family, visit the graves of deceased family members, and lots and lots of food. This year Chuseok was September 26-29th, which is great for Korean students who use that time to travel and spend time with their loved ones….but for foreigners it is not the greatest. Sunday was actually Chuseok, and I spent that day with friends. But Monday and Tuesday I had no real plans and had no classes or really any homework to keep myself busy with. Luckily my program organized a trip to Bukcheon Village and the Han River Monday afternoon/evening in order to get us out in the city exploring instead of hiding in our dorm rooms eating food from the convenient store (lots of places were closed for the holiday) and binge watching dramas (hey, it …

Busan Film Festival

Ever since watching the drama Answer Me 1997 I have been desperate to go to Busan and hear real live people speaking in Busan dialect. Finally last weekend through my program I had the chance to travel (all three hours) south to the second largest city in South Korea. I still can’t get over how small this country is–I got to the train station at 8:00am, got on the KTX (bullet train) at 8:30, and was in Busan by 12:00. If we had driven or taken a bus it would have taken about 5-6 hours, but still if I drove that long I wouldn’t be able to get from one end of my home state to the other. The KTX was very nice, though I have to admit I missed the “train bento” culture that is present in Japan when riding the shinkansen. After dumping our things off at our decently nice hotel (located in a slightly sketchy section of the city surrounded by motels/love hotels) we all fled out into the city to explore …

Kpop Tour in Seoul

Last Saturday was one of my *many* favorite days in Korea so far. I had orientation for the volunteer work I will be doing at an orphanage/adoption agency in the morning–which I will tell you about in a future post–and then I spent my day and night scampering about the city checking out Kpop-related locations. It was a blast. CIEE Seoul is run by three fabulous people, one of whom is Tina. Tina is ridiculously obsessed with all Korean music, which has quickly led her to being one of my favorite people ever. Every semester Tina organizes a “Kpop Tour,” and this semester between having the largest group they have ever had and having so many of those people wanting to participate in the tour, we had to split up into three groups. Luckily for me, I got into the group led by Tina herself. ^_^ Our group started out going to the YG Building–which you might know is the entertainment company behind PSY, BigBang, 2NE1 and many more. We weren’t allowed to go in …