I´ve arrived! After being nominated for exchange studies already in October last year, I have been counting the days to go to Korea!!
The flight was rather unspectacular. I tried to sleep ( not as successful) and the food was great. I had Korean bibimbap ( boiled rice with vegetables) and it was the first food I ever had on a plane which had a taste. Good start! If airplane food is good, how bad can the actual food in Korea be?? I basically started documenting everything I eat the second I left the airplane.
First day in Seoul
I arrived on the 20th, a few days before the orientation. I wanted to have some time to get used to the time difference, the climate (HUMID, is all I can say) and get to know the city. I stay at a guesthouse off campus, which is super convenient and only 5 minutes away from uni. The university offered on-campus housing, but I was rather terrified of having to share a room with other people for 4 months and the strict rules in the dorms were rather unattractive. Guesthouses are a good option. Clean ( just like everything in this city), quiet ( rules exist here too) and affordable. Basically only exchange students live here, including the whole Malmö delegation. We are a group of three people that study completely different things, but get along great. SVERIGE!!!
Before coming to Korea, I read some books about it and studied my tour guide. Preparation is everything! I knew how to get to my Guesthouse from the airport. Well, in theory. Practice is always different. But after short period of walking around the airport trying to find the subway station, the lady at the Tourist Information could help. From then on it was a walk in the park. A mongolian man helped me (even carried one of my luggages) to master the public transport. I eventually found my place, luckily bumped into the manager and was able to settle into my room straight away. All super fast. I was really surprised, I had imagined it to be way more complicated. People that came by taxi apparently had more problems. I even always had someone to help me with my luggage, real gentlemens here in Korea. BUT, just to be clear, I always carried the big luggage myself 😉
Getting around in Seoul is super easy. Stations have numbers and are written in English. Public transport is cheap, convenient and safe. I straight away bought a prepaid card for the public transport to get around the city. The strange thing is that even though Seoul is famous for it´s nightlife, the subway stops at around midnight and starts again in the early morning at around 5:30. I have been told that this is because they made a deal with the taxi drivers ( luckily cheap too). When you use the subway frequently you even learn some korea. Amazing.
I immediately felt welcome in Korea. People are so friendly, even if communication sometimes is a big problem. Around Anam (where I live) there are lots of shops and cheap restaurants. It really is a student residence area. All exchange students were assigned a buddy. A buddy is a Korea University student that helps the exchange students around. They organize events and try to guide the students, like ESN basically. My buddy is super nice and she helps me with everything. When I have a question or struggle with something she know what to do. Really helpful!
I´ve visited many places already, but that´s for another entry. Follow me on Instagram, as I´m constantly uploading pictures there! Instagram: Swedenlover94
Some pictures. Trust me I do a lot, but somehow I can’t upload that many here.
Myeong-dong, shopping street.
– Chenggyechon stream, artificial city in the middle of the city
Stay tuned! Coming up next: a summary of the Orientation (including a short presentation of my uni) and the places I´ve visited so far.
Hopefully, you enjoyed reading this. I first have to get used to this whole blogging thing, including figuring out how to use the blogging website.
Sunny Greeting from the Seoul- The Soul of Asia!