The programme officially started on July 4, 2017 so I took a morning flight from Kuala Lumpur to Incheon, Seoul a day before. The flight took approximately seven hours as the weather was bad, and I met a fellow exchange participant called Pei Ying. After we arrived, we located the airport pickup service provided by our host university, Duksung Women’s University.
The next day, we were given an orientation where we were provided a brief introduction on Korea (transportation, history and culture) and a booklet containing the dormitory rules and regulations. Next, we were introduced to our buddies and the rest of the participants. After the introduction, we tried on the Hanbok, Korean traditional clothes, and learned how juniors are expected to bow and show respect to their elders in Korea.
In our first Korean class, we introduced ourselves to the class and learned HanGul. The university used innovative and interesting teaching methods that are different from Malaysia. Games (Yut Nori) and songs (Three bear song) were taught to help the students understand the subject better. On the weekdays, we had approximately 3.5 hours of classes and the studies were focused on daily conversation, verbs and money value. Once the classes were over, we went to the canteen to have lunch.
During the weekends, we hiked Bukhansan (Bukhan Mountain). We were able to walk to the mountain as it was located within 5 to 10 minutes from our university. On rainy days, we still went on hikes in the mountain with an umbrella or raincoat.
On the last day of our class and the programme, we had a photo session with our respective Korean teachers outside the classroom. In the evening, there was a closing ceremony and our certificates were presented to us. After the ceremony, we had chicken and soju at a nearby restaurant and shared a last dinner together.
All in all, I have many great memories in Korea. For me, it was more than learning the Korean language and its culture as I was also exposed to the cultures of various countries such as Spain, Germany, Japan, China, Indonesia and Thailand. It was truly a very successful programme. This may only be their second time organising such an event, but the organisers were very dedicated and hands-on in their approach. I would like to give a big shout-out to our host, HELP University and Ms Dot for giving us this opportunity. There are no better words for me to express myself except that I LOVE KOREA! I LOVE DUKSUNG AND HELP UNIVERSITY.