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Journals from Spring and Fall, 2012 South Korea

2012-04-13 Get Involved!

First I want to apologize for keeping you hanging. I was sick the past week and was literally just sleeping as much as I could. But it’s never too late to tell some stories.

I won’t be able to tell you all enough, but Korea is wonderful! There is just so much to do and so many things to explore. But all you have to know is that if you just immerse yourself as much as possible you will be able to learn so much more about the culture and how the people relate to the world around them.

Getting involved is just as easy as getting involved at Linfield. As long as you have a passion and time to be a part of something, you’re in.  I chose to do this through the clubs that I decided to be involved in. I am apart of three clubs at Yonsei. Mentors Club is one that is very active. The club separates the international students into groups with Korean student leaders. Since they do it at random, not only do you get to meet new international students but also have mentors that you have direct contact with to ask any questions you want. Depending on your group, there are several activities. For example, my group is heading to the house of one of our leaders to have a BBQ and to see a different part of Seoul. She actually lives about an hour and a half away from Yonsei and has to travel to school every day. So this is a very good club to get involved in. I am also involved in Emmaus. Being a Christian, I think this is a very important club for me. I am able to make connections with other Christians on campus and be part of an English-speaking church. Not only that, but there are retreats where we take a weekend and go to a remote place in Seoul to just hang out and get to know each other more (just like the picture!).

But even if you don’t get involved in a club, as long as you’re open to the community around you, there are so many places to experience. Just gather up a group of friends (super easy to do since most of us all live in the same dorm) and roam around and find a place that you haven’t been to. I know there are many people who just decide to get off at a random subway stop to see where the city takes them. Seoul is so big that almost all the subway stops are still in Seoul! There is just so much to see and so many different types of people to be exposed to.

Some of the most common activities to participate in are:
- Clubbing
- Noraebang (Karaoke Rooms)
- Jimjibang (Bath House/Spa)
- Nanta (Korean version of Stomp... using Kitchen utensils)
- Art Museum
- Concerts
- Live TV Recordings

One advantage of being a foreigner is that you have favor among the media. They enjoy having foreigners at their events. I know my friends were able to get VIP seats at a fashion show as they walked in (of course, this is just what we assume, since I am sure not everyone gets VIP passes as they walk in). But literally Korea is at your fingertips. It is just a matter to putting yourself out there and being willing to explore.

Dana Hellie

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