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.

Continue reading

Advertisements

[WOW Korea] National Hangeul Museum for all Korean Language Enthusiasts!

For anyone who knows a little about the Korean language, you would have learnt that the written language (or Hangeul; 한글 in Korean) was invented and propagated by King Sejong (yup, that’s the one sitting right at Gwanghwamun square!)

The inventor of Hangeul, King Sejong. Source: flickr.com

The inventor of Hangeul, King Sejong. Source: flickr.com

The Korean language in the past was only a spoken language and was written in classical Chinese characters (what we know as Hanja;한자 today). However, King Sejong worked towards creating an alphabet that was unique to the Koreans, which would correspond to the way the Korean language is spoken, instead of pronouncing Chinese characters in Korean language like before. And thus the Hangeul was born! I have to say that the Korean alphabet is one of the easiest to learn, because you just need to fit different pieces together and you would know how to pronounce the word already 😀 (And of course it is really much easier than Chinese characters)

Just last year, Hangeul Day which is celebrated on October 9th was made a public holiday in South Korea. Also in further efforts towards the promotion of Hangeul, the National Hangeul Museum was recently opened on Hangeul Day this year. The museum features exhibitions tracing the history of the development of Hangeul as well as artifacts related to the Hangeul.

Continue reading

Live chat event with current Underwood International College students!

After a few months of spamming you guys with travelling in Korea and education-related topics, I am finally sharing more about studying in Korea! Hope that you guys don’t mind because I do feel that you can learn more about travelling in Korea as part of student life, and education articles are a way of showing what activities you can join in Korea as a “SNS supporter” of a UNESCO organization.

This “SNS supporters” thing seems quite unique to Korea, basically organizations like to recruit university students to help promote them or some ideas on their own SNS channels. For instance, Wow Korea supporters aim are supposed to promote Korean tourism. And as UNESCO APCEIU supporter I join conferences or events and through writing articles I’m supposed to promote education for international understanding. There are many other organizations recruiting supporters too, such as KOTRA from what I’ve heard. So depending on your interests there are many such organizations you can join, outside of school!

But I digress. The main point of this post is this live event that I’m very excited about! So basically two of my best friends in school, Amalia and Thanh who are running the Woori UIC Youtube channel are planning to hold a live event via Youtube! What this means is that you get to chat with them in real time, and get all the answers to your questions immediately!

Continue reading

[WOW Korea] Day 3 – Jeonju, rich in cultural heritage and delicious street food!

[Transport]: Getting to Jeonju

From Express Bus Terminal station (Line 3 and 7), go to the Honam Line (Exit 8 of the subway, to the Central City Terminal) and take a bus for Jeonju. It costs W14,000 and takes about 2 hours 40 minutes to get there.

Alternatively you can take the KTX from Yongsan station, it costs W32,900 and takes 2 hours to get there. The cheaper Mugunghwa trains would cost W17,600 and take 3 hours 15 minutes.

 

[Attraction] Learning Korean paper art

First activity of the day was learning Korean paper art! We had the chance to make pencil cases from 한지 (Korean traditional paper)! To our surprise, it can stick with just starch water or at least just a little bit of glue ^^ Hanji is one of the prides of Korea due to its durability, where there is an old saying that paper lasts a thousand years and textiles (such as silk or hemp) last five hundred!

20141005105002593

Pencil case made from hanji (Korean paper)

20141005103216860

It even has hangul on it 😀

Continue reading

[WOW Korea] Day 2 – Gimje Horizon Festival, where history, culture and fun meets

After a good night’s sleep at the Gochang Hanok Village (refer here for more information), we headed out for breakfast!

[Food] Breakfast: Pungjeon

You might have heard of hangover soup (해장국) in Korea, which works wonders for hangovers, but is also a good meal otherwise too! There are too many types of hangover soups to list, and we tried the bean sprouts hangover soup for breakfast! I’m a huge fan of beansprouts, so I really loved this version of hangover soup. Moreover, the soup is not too spicy but not bland, giving a soothing but filling meal for breakfast!

A hearty breakfast to begin the day!

A hearty breakfast to begin the day!

The egg is placed below the steamed rice, and by taking a few spoons of the soup and mixing it with the now half-cooked egg you get a delicious treat! I’m still really amazed at how that worked out 😀

More information on the restaurant: http://map.naver.com/local/siteview.nhn?code=31378935

[Attraction] Seonunsan Provincial Park and Seonunsa Temple

After a hearty breakfast, we took a nice morning walk at Seonunsan Park to the Seonunsa temple. The name of the temple means to meditate among the clouds (禅云寺) and it’s 1000-year old! With the beautiful mountains in the background, it certainly feels like a peaceful place for meditation ^^

Continue reading

[WOW Korea] Day 1: Gochang, a hidden attraction

It’s been quite some time since I’ve travelled with #wowkoreasupporters to a 3D2N trip to Gochang, Gimje and Jeonju, and now that I’m done with midterms I finally have some time to sit down and tell all of you about the places! I am honestly excited for the blog post since I’ve really enjoyed myself on this trip, and I hope that through my post many more of you would discover these less known places in Korea ^^

As we went over a long weekend, the originally 3 hour trip became a 6 hour ride T____T So please take note, if you’re planning to travel over the long weekend, train is definitely recommended as the roads will be so congested!

[Transport] Getting to Gochang

From Express Bus Terminal station (Line 3 and 7), go to the Honam Line (Exit 8 of the subway, to the Central City Terminal) and take a bus for Gochang. It costs W15,900 and takes about 3 hours 40 minutes to get there.

There is no train station in Gochang, but fret not! You can take a train from Seoul station to Jeongeup station, then take a bus from Jeongeup to Gochang (buses run every 20 minutes). The train would cost between W12,900 to W22,000, and the bus costs W2,000. The journey would take about the same time as the bus as well.

[Food] Lunch: Sugung restaurant

Honestly by the time we got to the restaurant it was almost 3pm, and everyone was famished. So even though I was not a fan of shellfish, I had a go at the Manila clam bibimbap (바지락비빔밥) and I can tell you that it was the best choice of my life because it was just. so. super. good!!

CAM02727

I took one look at the clam and I was really apprehensive since I really couldn’t take shellfish. But one bite and I was just won over!!

Continue reading

[WOW Korea] Gochang and Gimje Horizon Festival

In this week’s #wowkoreasupporters mission we will be introducing that places that we will be visiting on our 3rd tour next weekend, Gochang and also the Gimje Horizon Festival which we will be visiting! These two are not so common tourist destinations so I’m very glad that I have the opportunity to introduce them to you so that you can get more information when you visit these places!

Gochang

Gochang county is located in Jeollabuk-do, on the west coast of South Korea. It is really a place worth exploring because it is not only a place filled with many historical relics, but a place of natural beauty as well (it is actually a designated UNESCO protected biosphere reserve for its mudflats, wetlands and mountain park!). If you are visiting Gochang, here’s 2 recommended sites that you should definitely visit!

If you’ve watched some variety shows in Korea, you might have seen mudflats appearing very often.

Source: Kookje Shinmun

Lee Haru from popular variety show “Return of Superman” catching seafood in the mudflats. Source: Kookje Shinmun

Source: OSEN

Song Il-kook and his triplets also on “Return of Superman” playing in the mudflats on a recent episode. Source: OSEN

Have you ever wondered where all these mudflats are? Are they really so common in Korea? In fact, since I’ve not been to a mudflat where I can actually play in the mud or look at all these sea creatures, I’ve always wondered how it would feel to visit one of these mudflats.

Continue reading

[WOW Korea] Introducing Jindo Island

For this week’s #wowkoreasupporters mission, we are tasked with introducing one of the islands in Korea! It was a surprise for me to know that Korea actually has 3,358 islands, big and small! Apart from the already well-known islands such as of course, Jeju Island, I have decided to introduce Jindo Island!

Jindo is located at almost the Southernmost part of the Korean peninsula. Source: itv.com

Jindo is located at almost the Southernmost part of the Korean peninsula. Source: itv.com

Maybe for some of you, when I mention Jindo, you would think of this cute little thing:

Jindo is home to the Jindo dog. Source: theworldofanimals.proboards.com

Jindo is home to the Jindo dog. Source: theworldofanimals.proboards.com

Yes, the Jindo dog! It is a breed of dog which originated from Jindo. It is valuable to Koreans as it is native to Korea, it is a national treasure and there is even a Jindo Dog Research and Testing Center in Jindo!

But for now let us move on to some of the attractions in Jindo!

Jindo Bridge

If you’ve been to Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul right outside Gyeongbukgung, you definitely would have seen this statue of Admiral Yi Sun-shin.

Continue reading

[WOW Korea] Incheon Asian Games 2014

I’m very very excited about this post for a couple of reasons.

1) The main reason for this post is because I’ve been accepted as a WOW Korea Supporter by Korean Tourism Organization, a group of student supporters recruited to promote tourism in Korea! I am honestly very thankful for this opportunity and I am looking forward to more activities to come 😀

2) There will be weekly missions assigned, and personally I think this is very good for the blog because it will force me to update! And all of you guys will be able to get more information about life in Korea, travelling in Korea, etc 😀

3) It can also give all of you an idea of what are some organizations and activities you might be able to join in Korea! It may give you a glimpse of your future student life in Korea (:

4) Songdo is practically like my Korean hometown, and I can’t wait for the Incheon Games to begin!! I am really happy that I can share about the Games and more about Incheon with everyone~~

So on to the main topic!

 

Incheon Asian Games 2014

img_gameOverview

Credit: incheon2014ag.org

The 17th Incheon Asian Games will take place from September 19th to October 4th this year, with 36 sports being played and 13,000 participants from 45 member states.

Continue reading

Career prospects with a degree from Korean universities

Since I will become a senior in the coming fall semester, I guess this is one question I have become more informed about compared to my time as an innocent freshman. I do get quite some questions about this too, so I hope this post can help you a bit more in making your decision to come study in a Korean university.

Some basics you need to know about working in Korea before we start:

Local Korean companies vs Multi-National companies
For local Korean companies, they would definitely require Korean proficiency. And when I say Korean proficiency, it is not 반말 (the form of informal Korean you use with your friends), but formal, business Korean. So if your aim is to work in Korea, in a local company, you definitely have to be able to speak Korean well.
*Note: Korean multinationals like Samsung or LG are not really in this category

The number of multinational companies that choose to locate in Seoul has been increasing over the years, and Korean multinationals such as Samsung are becoming well-known brands worldwide. In this globalizing context, such companies have two tracks of employment. One would be the local track where they are looking for Koreans to work in local branches and contact with local clients, and the international track where they are looking to send employees overseas or back to their home countries, or deal with international clients. For the local track, it is the same as Korean companies – Korean proficiency is needed. Korean proficiency is not always needed for global track.

However the international track is becoming more and more competitive due to its better employee benefits and the opportunities for overseas posting. Also, working in the more global departments in multinationals gives one a higher chance of escaping from the strict hierarchy in local Korean companies, so many overseas Koreans are very interested and definitely well-qualified for this track as well. They are effectively bilingual in English and Korean, so they have an advantage over other applicants who only speak one language. So I cannot begin to stress the importance of Korean proficiency if you intend to work in Korea. Korean proficiency would also be an added bonus if you want to work in Korean multinationals as well, even if your aim is to be posted back to your home country.

Continue reading