Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Banking and Finance
For a person who suffers from acrophobia, I will never forget the experience of going on a roller coaster for the first time in my life. This happened in Yongin, a city in Gyeonggi-do province, South Korea, at the Everland Resort, dated on the 9th of August, 2015.
Yes, what a strange thing to remember, but for me, it was a good journey of self-discovery. “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of shore,” said Andre Gide. I could not agree more on that.
Our ‘new normal’ life abroad began when we arrived at Incheon International Airport. We headed to Chonbuk National University the following day, to participate in the 2015 Summer Feeling Korea Programme. This short experience as an exchange student in the Republic of South Korea was something that I will never forget. Simply put, it was a breath of fresh air and an opportunity to have a deeper insight and better understanding of their culture and language, and especially of myself.
Aside from their traditional foods, there are many more Korean memories that I still hold close to my heart, for instance, the Korean Language classes conducted by our respected lecturer, Ms. Kim Mi-Jeong. The evening activities allowed us to explore a better understanding of their traditional practices, customs and culture and not forgetting the famous places we had visited, such as the traditional Hanok Village, the world leading Hyundai Motor Factory, and the great Jeonbuk Hyundai Football Club. These were all an eye-opener for a first time visitor like me.
Of all the events we had taken part in, the two most imprinted memories for me, belong to the weekend’s events, the temple stay at the Geumsansa Temple, Gimje-si, Jeollabuk-do, and the largest South Korea’s amusement park, Everland in Yongin.
A temple stay is a unique cultural programme which provides us with a distinct experience of the Buddhist practitioners’ lives at the traditional temple. The temple stay was held at the Geumsansa Temple and they allowed us to partake in the bell meditation, seon meditation, walking meditation, Buddhist ceremony, monastic formal meal (Baru Gongyang), the early morning service, tatami room for resting and the special concert conducted by the monks.
During the short period of two days, one night at the temple, I could feel the unusual peacefulness, it was calm and my mind was cleared during the meditations, and it was amusing how the monk actually led us to search for our True Selves. Another interesting activity was the mandala. Mandalas, according to the utterance of the monk, was a construction made by the sand to transmit positive energies to the environment and to the people who view it. Our mandalas were slightly different as compared to the actual mandalas, because it was due to the way we made it by paper cutting and pasting them onto the self-innovated designs that we drew on mfah-jong paper. It was really fun to complete it together with my three other teammates, Li Yin, Gao Yu and a new Spanish friend called Eduard Cuspinera Matabosch.
The incredible experience at the Everland amusement park was scheduled for the following day. I would like to recommend paying a visit to this amazing place, which I feel is like a clone of Disneyland. There are rides to accommodate the extreme adrenaline seekers to the not so adventurous. The rides are divided into a number of themed zones that included the European Adventure, American Adventure, ZooTopia, Magic Land, and the Global Fair.
We, as a group of approximate 25 people, went on to the world’s steepest wooden roller coaster – T-Express, as our first stimulus challenge. I was not sure about anybody else, but this was the first ever thrill ride in my lifetime. I still can’t believe that I had successfully made it – with the companies of this bunch of daring friends. Thereafter, we continued to explore the park by joining the Thunder Falls, Colombus Adventure, Hurricane, Bumper Cars and the Royal Jubilee Carousel.
Besides that, the Lost Valley Safari Adventure in the ZooTopia was another attraction that offered us an up close and in person opportunity to learn and experience how we can coexist with other animals. That was the last place before we were ready to end the amazing 7 hours of invigorating fun at this park.
Overall, what impressed me the most throughout the programmeme was not only the ways the Koreans have their healthy balance diets every day and their high attention to the environmental protections, but their good manners and politeness. They really are warm-hearted people.
Last but not least, I would like to say a thousand thanks to my respected teacher, Ms. Dorothy who granted me this opportunity to add this memorable and valuable experience to my life. And, not forgetting my best pals – Li Yin, Zhao Yen and Hui Sze, who travelled along with me and lent me a hand when I was in need. They have somehow annotated, “A journey is best measured in friends, rather than in miles.” Awesome!
Templestay at the Geumsansa Temple
Templestay’s wears with 5 pretty girls
Early morning’s forest run
Newly invented Doraemon’s Mandala
The female’s Tatami room
Resting beside the stream
The male’s Tatami room
Insane Experience at the Everland Theme Park
Group photo followed by arrival at the Everland
Another wonderful scene that caught my attention
Another wonderful scene
Extremely heart pumping T-Express
Bright Colour Views
Random capture of the joyful moment
Another wonderful scene that caught my attention
Wefie before the Colombus Adventure fly falling Candid shot credited to our photographer, Erkin
“Cheers” on the dizzying Viking ride
The RIO 4D experience