Major Update #2

Update!!! After more than a year away……

The last time I’ve logged in to this account and the email account associated with this blog was sometime in the fall of 2015 after I just started my Master’s program in the US. Somehow today, as part of procrastinating my thesis writing (as everyone well knows), I came across an old email where my undergraduate professor asked for my “Top 5 List for Success at UIC” after my graduation. I immediately thought of posting this on the blog (for the past year or so I have conveniently forgot the existence because grad school occupies my mind and life 24/7), so I logged in again.

Anyway I was very surprised to see that:

#1 the total views I have per year is still on the upward trend despite me not updating for the entire of 2016

#2 I have 48 unread emails and I am extremely sorry to all of you to whom I didn’t respond to in time for your applications

#3 I cannot even begin to count the number of comments left since the fall of 2015

#4 In my last update I promised that I would be available over email (yeah and after saying that I didn’t even login for the entire of 2016….)


So I have made a decision regarding this blog…

I will not update the blog again unless there is really something important to share, but I will keep the blog as a platform for sharing information about studying in Korea which prospective students can still refer to. However, I am very sorry to say that it’s really almost impossible for me to answer to the emails now, seeing how I’ve not been able to login the entire of last year. You can still feel free to email and who knows I might have time once in a blue moon, but I really cannot make promises 😦

The reason being graduate school has really become my life. For those of you who are curious, I am pursuing my Master’s in Korean history and will graduate this May. I might proceed to PhD directly or take a gap year, but either way I cannot see myself running the blog or replying to emails on a regular basis, and I don’t want to disappoint those of you who emailed me in expectation that I’ll be able to help, but not receive any reply…

So I highly encourage you to check out my old posts, my FAQ page and useful links page and comb everything I have here! And for advice, there might be some running the blogs on my useful links page who are still active, or you could contact the universities directly.

I wish all of you the very best and I hope that my blog will be able to help you in some way 🙂

-signing off, January 2017

(PS I won’t reply to those whose apps deadline are already over, but for those who have already emailed I will try to reply to all of you who I can still help. Very sorry about that, but I might have to spend two whole days if I reply to everyone so ><)

Update for the blog

It’s been such a long time since I’ve posted, and many apologies to the countless emails and comments that I’ve yet to reply over the past 2 months or so. I’d get to them asap but if you have anything urgent you might find the FAQ page useful.

I just wanted to clarify what I’m doing now, and what I’ll do for the blog in future.

So…….I’ve actually graduated from Underwood International College this summer!! Finally the 4 years of my undergraduate studies in Korea has come to a close and I’m immensely thankful to every professor, staff and friend who’ve helped me along this unconventional (and certainly not easy) path. (Sorry but no photos because I wasn’t able to go to my own graduation ㅠㅠ)

So what am I doing now? This actually relates to why I’m so crazily busy. I spent June/July packing up my life in Korea and unpacking them in Singapore, then packing them up again for the U.S. I’ve been in the U.S. since August, studying for my Master’s degree! The jump to graduate school is weighing down on me quite a bit and I’m still adjusting to the best of my abilities, which explains my inactivity.

So what are my plans for this blog? For one, I hope that it will continue to serve as a point of information about applications to Korean universities, and while application procedures might change I hope some of my experiences will still be helpful in helping you make a decision.

Also, I will still be available over emails and comments to give advice as much as I can, but please bear with me if I’m taking forever to reply. I am trying my best but there is just simply limited time + too many emails and comments I need to get to. This is also the reason why I highly recommend you to look under the Useful Links tabs to find other blogs, because some of them have active bloggers working on them!

Lastly, if I ever find the time, I will still post about other topics such as career prospects (now based on experiences of myself and my friends who graduated), and perhaps travelling in Korea when I go back. No promises but I will try!

Before I sign off, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who’s been reading this blog and giving me the motivation to sustain it despite my busy schedules. It’s been a great joy for me to see many of you coming to Korea (to UIC!) and achieving your dreams, and I’m glad that I managed to help in some way. All the best to all of you who are currently in Korea already, and to future applicants, good luck and I wish the best for all of you too!

Spring in Korea

Spring has arrived in Korea a while ago, but I’m only writing now because I finally feel like I have enough photos to show! (Actually more like I was busy with midterms and thesis :P)

So spring, where the freezing winter is no longer and you see the sun more, the green shoot growing and the flowers blooming. I still can’t decide if my favorite season is spring or fall, but I love the feeling of warming days and finally being able to shed those down jackets in exchange for colorful knits and now it’s even warm enough for cardigans! Oh the joy 😀

So the signal of spring in Korea comes sometime around mid-March, when the temperatures begin to slowly rise above 0°C. Though the skies are still gloomy and your fingers are still frozen, you realise that the sun rises and sets a little later every day. By the end of March, the real spring weather (around 10-15°C) would have arrived in Korea usually! But by mid-May or June it would be the sweltering summer so make the most of spring!

Some features of spring in Korea:

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An evening in Sinchon

Spring is finally here!! The weather is finally humane enough for hanging out (at least for me), and the flowers are blooming everywhere and it’s beautiful~~

So to commemorate the beginning of spring I went with my friends to watch the film Twenty starring Kim Woobin, Kang Haneul and 2PM Junho! Some of the cinemas in Seoul offer English subtitles for Korean movies so be sure to check it out before heading down ^^ The Sinchon CGV is one of those that offer movies in English subtitles (for certain showtimes), as well as Hongdae CGV as far as I know.

Korean film Twenty starring Kim Woobin, Kang Haneul and 2PM Junho!

Korean film Twenty starring Kim Woobin, Kang Haneul and 2PM Junho!

Popcorn is a must for me when I come to cinemas ㅋㅋ Large popcorn + 2 drinks + nachos is only W10,500!! Much cheaper than Singapore I think.

Popcorn is a must for me when I come to cinemas ㅋㅋ Large popcorn + 2 drinks + nachos is only W10,500!! Much cheaper than Singapore I think.

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Studying Abroad – Missing out on things at home

Today I write perhaps what will be my saddest post on this blog.

Yesterday on March 23rd, 2015, Singaporeans lost our founder, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. We enter our second day of mourning and Mr Lee will be put to rest after a state funeral on Sunday.

What prompted me to write this post was the reminder that his death has triggered in me. I will write with my personal experience, as a preview to those of you considering study abroad of what you will miss out on back at home, and those feelings of homesickness that might attack. Hopefully you might be better prepared mentally or at least know what you are getting yourself into when you decide to study abroad.

1) Homesickness

You definitely, I guarantee you 100%, will get homesick. It’s just how bad the homesickness is, and when you get it.

Some people like me had my first bout of homesickness right from the beginning after my parents left Korea. I only met my new classmates for 3 days so far, and it was a little tiring trying to fit in and make friends, and worrying about what was the “correct” thing to say. After my parents left I shut myself in my room (after talking a little to my new roommate who didn’t speak English that well so the conversation was short-lived).

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Studying Abroad – How to persuade your parents and yourself?

After being inactive for a million years, I’m finally back, and I plan to write as often as I can this semester before I graduate! (Yes, this is my last semester in Korea ㅠㅠ) It’s been a journey full of ups and downs and I really wish to document more of my thoughts and my life in Korea in these last few months here. Thank you for staying with me even though I haven’t been updating often, but I hope that my posts will be of interest to you!

As you can see from the title, I’m talking about something that might be a problem some of you are facing now – how to convince your parents that you’re making the right choice in studying overseas? In fact, I faced the same problem 4 years ago, and today I’m facing the same problem again as I intend to go to graduate school. Some of you have asked me the same question about how I managed to persuade my parents, so I thought I’d share with you some of my experiences and thoughts.First question is always, why Korea?

To be specific, the question my parents asked was “why don’t you want to go to NUS?” In the case for Singapore at least, we have pretty well-acclaimed universities and going to Yonsei appeared to be some sort of downgrade. I had good scholarship offers too, but the scholarship providers did not want me to go to Yonsei (and thus I rejected their offers in the end).

For this question, you would have to answer to three groups of people: 1) Your parents 2) Your relatives and friends 3) Yourself.

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[APCEIU] Interview with Toh Swee Hin: Importance of Peace Education is not its name, but what one does as an Educator

Dr. Toh conducting an activity at the 2014 Asia-Pacific Teacher’s Workshop organized by APCEIU.

Dr. Toh conducting an activity at the 2014 Asia-Pacific Teacher’s Workshop organized by APCEIU.

Toh Swee-Hin is Distinguished Professor at the UN mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. From 2003 to 2009, he was also the founding Director of the Multi-Faith Centre, Griffith University, Australia, a centre that promotes inter-faith dialogue towards a culture of peace. Born in Malaysia and a citizen of Canada and Australia, he has been a high school teacher and taught in Faculties of Education of universities in the interrelated fields of Education for a Culture of Peace, human rights, justice, intercultural understanding, environmental sustainability and interfaith dialogue, as well as sociology of education and education for national development. He has also contributed greatly in the field of education for a culture of peace, working on various projects in Uganda, South Africa, Jamaica, Japan, United States and the Philippines. Dr Toh has also contributed to several international networks and is especially committed to APCEIU as one of the members on the Governing Board and was involved as facilitator in various APCEIU workshops. He was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education in 2000 in recognition of his efforts towards peace education and peace building. I am extremely honored and grateful to Dr Toh for taking time out of his busy schedule for a skype interview to talk about some of his personal experiences, his thoughts on peace education and some of his motivations in overcoming challenges.

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[APCEIU] UNPAR International Student Conference 2015 on Global Citizenship: Sustainable Urban and Human Settlement – Creating a Smart City for All

NgYungHian_기사 사진(12월4째주)

The Parahyangan Catholic University (UNPAR) will be holding the UNPAR International Student Conference 2015 on Global Citizenship from January 16th to 25th, 2015, in Bandung, Indonesia. Under the theme of “Sustainable Urban and Human Settlement – Creating a Smart City for All,” the 10-day conference will see student participants from Indonesia and other parts of the world come together to discuss issues of urban sustainability with various experts in the field.

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[WOW Korea] Attractions in Gangwondo on Korea’s East Coast

I’ve introduced Gangwondo a few times on my blog, but I do think that it’s the most accessible place to travel to from Seoul and there are so many beautiful mountains and the sea that I really like Gangwondo very much too! So today I will be introducing 2 places in Gangwondo, and I’m selecting beaches since I’m quite missing the summer ㅠㅠ (kidding) but no really, I think these two places are really worth visiting ^-^

Jeongdongjin Sunrise Park, Gangneung

If you have watched “Reply 1994,” you might remember this scene where Yoonjin and Samcheonpo finally get together while watching the New Year’s sunrise:

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