29 Sep 2011

Dinner with friends

You are right - lets skip the day part.

In the evening my girlfriend and me had meet up with my good friend from Korea. Who I had meet on my second day here in Korea.

We did not seen for long each other - few weeks. It still feels like ages - therefore we decided to go for some dinner near the university. We had small discussion on how the university life is going and if I enjoy it to be here. It is a great experience to be here, I can not imagine to going back to Europe. I actually feel to stay here, but if that would be the case it would be more working then playing as I do right now all the times. My blog may would then say everyday - Library - Library. So far I visited the library only to print out documents but not for studies.

I would recommend everyone to come here in Korea and study for a semester or a year. It will be an awarding experience. So far I have spent over a month in Korea and few more are to go.

Tomorrow would be an interesting day to meet up with the British Council.

28 Sep 2011

Duryu Park

After my morning class my girlfriend and I decided to go the local park on which myself also not yet have visited Duryu Park. It is easy to reach from the town - just getting on the subway which will lead direct to the park.

It is a nice a big park, we just walked any direction as many roads lead into different points and we found some statures of various people who either come from Daegu and important people to Korea. Nearby is also a baseball field, we heard some strange noises and found it. The game was unfortunately just finish - so we could not see the game in the park. As watching it on the TV is a bit boring, but if it is in front of you in the park is a bit more interesting.



We had taken a seat and I looked into my tourist map of Daegu and seen that in the city centre is a currency museum. We may could visit it before heading back to the university for a meeting which I will have.

We had asked the tourist information centre at Duryu Park on how to reach it the best - they mention to get on the subway and walk out a specific exit. There did not had been any information - we had asked then the subway information point on how to get there - but we had been pointed out the wrong bank. As when we walked down the road the city centre finished. The people here in Korea are very friendly and lucky own smart phones to show the way on a better map then tourist maps.

We had found the bank very easily. They have shown cased the old currency of Korea and how it has evolved to the latest currency on what we are using right now.  In the second hall we had International currency, and some of them are very nice from different countries. There was also a special section for North Korean currency.

It was already time to get back to university for an orientation session on the volunteering program which is due to start next week Friday. I will keep you posted.




27 Sep 2011

Study Day and IVF

Today is back to Tuesday. I had my study day, which started of with the first group quiz in the Logistic class.
 It was an interesting experience on how the group quiz was organised. As even though answer could be discuss the class had been silent and everyone first solved the question on their own before asking the group if the answers are right.

Let me know skip to the evening.

Today I had visited a new society a Christian society called IVF, which is a very nice society. I had met various type of people and we had been warmly welcomed. I hope by joining this group I can improve my Korean skills as it is straight after my class.

They have two parts of the meeting, but I only will be able to attend only the first part due to being in class for the first part of the session. I guess it also would make it difficult for them and happy that I can join only for part two as all the discussion are held in Korean.

I also forget to bring my camera for this day, so I could not take the picture on how they welcomed us. They suddenly all jump up and coming running towards us and started to sign a song.

I guess I will bring some of the ideas and things they do back to Newcastle for the society there.

26 Sep 2011

KNU AO Society

A new week lets see what kind of challenge it will hold this time, but first of all I shall study. As I have a small quiz tomorrow in my Supply Chain class.

It will be open book and my first exam in Korea, so I have no idea on how it will look like. I presume it will be solving the supply chain in a mathematical and logical approach. Therefore I concentrated my studies on learning and understanding the formulas as the quiz will be only 10-15mins long.

As it will be open book exam, I did not study to memorize the formulas as I will be able to open the books.

In the afternoon we have token the time to explore a bit of the area on where I study and found a nice market. It seems market are nearly in every street corner, and I ask myself do they actually mange to sell it. In my head is full of raised question of supply chain inventory management level. Do they know it on how to calculated it or will be lost of the food wastage? As everyone has so much and everyone is selling the same products. Who will eat all the food or who will it purchases - as market is going to close soon.

After we had return back to university, we had made our way to the KNU AO first society meeting for new members. We had been warmly welcomed to the society. They had shown cased us the instrument they have and which once we can learn to play. The format is very informal of the meeting and very sociable.

Afterwards we had a meal and alcoholic beverage to find more out of ourself and able to introduce ourselves to all the members. It is a good way of welcoming new members into a society. Standing up and saying "Hi" my name is ___ and whatever else you like to mention.





25 Sep 2011

Busan

(23th September until 25th September)

It is back to Friday – the weeks are going very fast somehow these days. It shall go a bit slower again. Today my girlfriend and I are setting of to Busan. As I don’t have any classes and no meetings we decided to go to the bus station just after breakfast and purchase a ticket. As Busan is only 1-2hours away from Daegu there is nearly every 30mins or one hour a bus leaving from Daegu station.



We needed to go to Busan for two reasons, the main reason is for the examination of my girlfriend in her IELTS exam and the second just to travel and take a look around the Port city which had been shown cased many times on the TV Channel Arirang.

The bus journey has taken more than two hours, due to being a general service and stopping at every motorway junction to drop off and get on people. I wonder myself on how they manage to get their to the motorway stops and on how they will continue their journey if they had gone off.

All the time when you arrive with the bus you never get taken to the main city as you will be in Europe bus service or Taiwan bus service. They will drop you here off in Korea close to the motorway – in Busan case it is North of Busan. We needed to catch a metro service to City Centre. As we did not have an accommodation yet we made the decision to go to city centre and look around for guesthouses or motels.  

After we moved into the accommodation we gone for food hunting as it was already afternoon time, and there is a market nearly similar design to Andong. In Andong inside the markets had been food vendor, but in Busan or at least in this one there was no food vendor. We managed to find a place outside the market to eat something and to decide on what to visit.  The tourist map recommends to go to Songdo Beach and the port area of Busan. I feel the port is nothing special, maybe as visiting or living near a port.

There had been some confusion between tourist map, local people and Russian tourist on which bus to take. As arrived by metro to the designated station and exit, we asked local people on how to get to Songdo but either this did not speak or not understand English. I see then some tourist coming to our way – I am sure they must have visited the beach or may had an idea where to take a bus. They come from Russia, so I used Russian language to find out – they knew on the opposite side we could take a bus – but it will take to long for arrival of the number we waited for so we asked a local person which bus to take and given us a number. When boarding the bus we asked the bus driver if he will go Songdo Beach but he said – yes but on the other side so we shall wait for him or other bus to come.  We cross again a street and waited for the bus. Then suddenly a bus stop and I try to practise my Korean reading… and read “Song-do”… and quickly jump into the bus to ask if he will go Songdo Beach. Luckily he was indeed going to the beach.

After reaching the beach we had taken the trail which goes along the shore – which is very unique. I wish something like that will be built in Berwick-upon Tweed. That the promenade not suddenly finishes by the rock. I guess it will be a long dream due to all the Health and Safety issues – so I enjoy walking here in Busan along the shore on a secure pathway and hang bridges.

Tomorrow would be the exam - therefore after the beach we had made our way to the university. We shall see where it is and find the building. We had been stopped on our journey by a performance at the Busan Train Station.

 

More videos of the show can be found on their website here.  It was a very interesting show, showcasing again the Korean culture everywhere across the country.

After the show we continue our way to the final destination to the university ground.  The area did not different much from KNU area. Bars, shops, takeaways, etc. Just a bit more busier doing to being two universities at one place.

 Let me skip the part on finding the buidling and get to the eating part. We had some dinner on the street, as we already tried all dishes from restaurant but not the street food yet. We had chosen a few food to try out. Which was very nice and cost a little bit cheaper then in restaurant. After we continue our search for food, and come across an interesting ice shop. The lady is preparing fresh waffle (so shall be hot) and put in 3 spoons of ice cream inside. We bought one ice cream for  $Caribbean 5 as the lady is collecting foreign bank notes, we did not need to pay in Won. Actually we paid more in $ then the price would be in Korean Won. It was still nice and a great experience to try it out, and the waffle become cold with some tricks of the vendor so that the ice cream will not melt.

The next day has come up and it is the exam day. A very long day of waiting for myself. I had brought my Korean homework and study material to practise and read for small quizzes to coming up the following week.

After the exam was finish my girlfriend and me had made our way to Busan International Film Festival part of town. Where we also arrange to meet up with my KNU friends who also come to visit Busan. The only problem had been to communicate as due to my credit has run out and in Korea you can not top up your phone on the weekend due to being the server is down or something. Which is very strange, but at least the member of staff in the phone stores are friendly and let you borrow their phone to you to call your friends. Therefore recharge your phones before weekend or you will be stuck with out connection.


We managed to find my KNU friends and then look around the BIFF Sqaure, before going to get some food and visiting the bridge "Gwangan Bridge" on Gwangalli Beach. My girlfriend and I already seen it yesterday from the other side on where the cars drive on. As it isn't far away from the university.



It is a nice place for taking pictures at night - just need to find a good spot where not many people are walking or they either become ghost or block the view.

The day has gone to the end, we spend a little more time at the beach as we did not been in rush to return to the train station.

The next day we planned to go to visit the Fishery Folk Museum and China Town, and then we shall return in the late afternoon to Daegu.

In the Fishery Museum, we could learn of the old Busan and traditional way of catching fish up to today's method on catching fishes. It is an interesting museum to explore on how the culture has change from the tradition to the modernization.

We had contiune back our journey into town on where we gone and visit China Town or Russia Town. Every second store had a Russian name "Magazin", "Coffee Bar", etc and in between Chinese and Taiwanese Restaurants.

As it is already being getting to late afternoon we decided for one more attraction to see near China Town which is Yongdusan Park. Is on a little mountain which does not need to be climbed up as they have a stair escalators to the top.

Some tourist will say that Busan is not an interesting place of visit. I guess it depends on what you like to see - as it is still a city but with few nature points left such as small parks and the beaches surrounding the area of Busan.

23 Sep 2011

KNU Societies

I am back to my busy time schedule, but I still do find time to join part in activities which are around the campus. Such as today was the society fair or as they call it the Club Recruitment Fair.

I had already left contacts for a few societies, but today I could find out on when and where they actually will meet up. I sign up to Photo and Friends, KNU AO, Table Tennis, Christian Society and Mountain Climbing.

I would be not able to join Photo and Friends as they meet up during my class time, but I do have time on Monday evenings for KNU AO and Christian Society on Tuesday after class.



In my other free time I may will go to table tennis, if nothing is planned for the evening. It shall be one of the best way getting to know a few more Koreans and able to use the language. As I want to improve the language skill of Korean.

The societies will start next week - so if I mange to have time I will let you inform on what has happen.

22 Sep 2011

Exploring Daegu

My girlfriend did not seen yet really Daegu, excluding Bu-ku (North) area where my exchange university is. The last time we had been to Daegu City centre, it was closed due to the Chuesok Holiday. There had been not much interesting to seen excluding the parks, but the food vendor and museum been closed.

I token her to the places which I had visited here on my arrival with my English friends.  We had a look around the town - there is just no more activities in the town as used to be during the IAAF Games. As all the tourist have gone home - the activities in town also have stopped.

Therefore we just had gone to buy some small gifts for family and friends.



21 Sep 2011

고고 Go!

(Go, Go, Go) 

It is back to Tuesday. Those of you who read all my entries will know on what I will say. Yes you right it is back to hard study day. Therefore let’s skip the day light part as nothing special has happen.
In the evening it did. I walked back to pick up my girlfriend and seen some drummers at the bus terminal of KNU practising and now I knew where the sound and what sound come from. I asked them on when they will perform and they mention Saturday. They did tell me that actually right now their friends do have a performance in the stage. I therefore quickly gone and pick up my girlfriend and we went to the show of “Go Go Go”.



There was an interesting drum play and traditional into modern Korean music had been played.  It was very nice and very well done. It is great to see on what Korean students are able to do while studying very hard for their degree. They still do have free time to perform and practise for shows.  They do not spend all their time in library as it is mainly presumed in the UK.

I really much enjoyed the Korean style of classical sounds, as it is more energetic as western style. I need to be honest, even though I like classical music it sometimes put me to sleep as it relax you, but in Korean style it is powerful and active as we been given for the second half light sticks to wave around during the performance.

20 Sep 2011

Group Work

It is back to Monday and I have my Strategic Management class. We had been told that we will need to give presentation and analysis various case study. The professor has now been kind to Group B which I am in and we only need to focus on the case study. We still have pre-spoken that I meet up with my team today – so we just went for some lunch to get to know each other a bit better that we can achieve the task set by the university.



In the later day my girlfriend and me had meet up with the Christian fellowship and went to their place. We meet their leader who himself studied abroad in America and spoken very well English. We just had a nice talk in their centre, and he needed to leave for a meeting. We stay a bit longer and played table tennis. As dinner time was a little bit too early, before we gone into the neighbourhood for some tradition Korean dishes.

19 Sep 2011

Suncheon

(16th Septmber until 18th September)

This Friday we, my girlfriend and me, had set off to Suncheon. Please do find on the right hand panel “Where is Artem?” to localize Suncheon. It is in the south east region (more in the centre of the South) in Korea.  There is not much bus service in the day to Suncheon, but on good times – they do not go all together. It was easy just to turn up at the station and set off to Suncheon.

In the direction off Suncheon, they only use “General” bus service, but it was more deluxe. It had a lot of room leg for a comfortable journey on the hot day.

The journey shall take around 3 hours as long the traffic is good, which it was and we had arrived well in time. As we needed to see the Tourist Information centre. We knew there will be a guided tour for the weekend.  An Eco-Tour which will run for two days, but unsure on how it will works and where to stay for Saturday night after the tour and start again.  The lady could not speak English in the tourism branch, so she called a friend off her to translate our conversation on what we wanted and read of the city.  With various method of communication we come to understand better on the tour and found out, we will stay in a local village overnight and finish the tour in the afternoon by next day.  After the phone call with the friend and tourist information centre, the lady asked – if we actually could speak Chinese.  Indeed we can, not myself but my girlfriend. In this way we had found out more in detail on what is going to happen tomorrow.  Why did she or we do not asked straight away if we could speak Chinese language?

After we paid the tourism information the fee for the tour – we gone out to find first a place to stay and afterwards went to the local market to find a place to eat.

In Korea isn’t very hard to find where to eat – but I usually look out where elderly people eat. I feel more assure that the food is clean.  Sometimes I feel that the place does not look clean, it might be just the design of the building or the attitude of working. (As you can see I have a bit of culture shock down slope.) We did found a place and I see a nice picture of noodles. As I had so much rice in these days I thought I go for the noodles. My Korean is still on zero – therefore I need to trust the picture.  Never again trust noodles in Korea – there had been very cold. I wanted something warm as it was for my dinner, but still a positive experience to receive food which I may would not order if I could have read or seen the ice cube in the picture.  It was a big partition, I guess it would fill me up but as it was cold it was just like a dessert to me with Kimchi.  I asked my girlfriend if I can look out for something warm to eat later on, as she was (un-)lucky to receive something hot but spicy.



We knew there is a river in this city and close by and had made our way to there. As it looked very interesting place when passing by over the bridge with the bus.  Indeed the place is nice, very relaxing. People cross the river by human made stone bridge – instant of using the bridge on the road. It is I guess more interesting and keeps you fit.





The next day has started and the tour is due to start at lunch time. We brought our bag pack to the tourism office and then had a look around the market. We may find something interesting to eat.  We found a vendor who is selling rice cakes in different colours, but we had been unsure if we need to boil them or can eat them like that. We try to communicate with her with hand and feet but it did not work. Suddenly a car drive pulls up her stall and just tokens a few of the rice cakes and ate them.  This is what we wanted to know, and bought couple of the colour full rice cake to try.

There is so many good things to try, but unfortunately I do not have a kitchen in my dorm to cut or even cook the fruits and vegetables. You also can not try them in restaurant as they mix it with other ingredients and the taste either gets lost or mixed with the others.

The time was getting closer to lunch time and we return back to the tourism office on where we meet our tour guide and the bus driver for the day. Not many people joined, just three couples (including ourselves).  We had also a big bus – at least 40 seats. We had therefore lots of room for everyone.

The first stop had been the Drama Set where many modern Korean drama been filmed (but set in the 70s and 80s). One of the most popular one is East of Eden. It is also apparently the biggest movie set in Korea – but actually it does not look as big as it had been promised on the tourism web pages. It is still a nice place of visit those who are interested in Korean drama.


The next stop was Seonamsa temple. It was more interesting and a nice place to visit. It is located a few kilometres inside the mountain and forest and a bit away from the city. You are fully surrounded by nature.  The tour had been done in Korean language, but we just could read the tourist board on information of the temple. Sometimes the tour guide could explain in English on the building or trees. We had stayed at the temple for three hours and mainly followed the tour guide.  If you come on your own, I am sure you need to spend a full day there. You can walk from Seonamsa temple to Songgwangsa temple.  I guess it is better to have a tour operator on who can pick you up from the other side of the temple. As I did not saw, any local bus station in this area.

The day is coming to the end and we get taken to our place where we will stay. It is in Suncheon Gaeraengyi Godeulppaegi village. It was truly a great experience to stay in one of the traditional houses of this area. As not sure if the opportunity will arise again. We had been told that we will receive simple food, if this is what the provided is simple food what would be the best food? We had various side dishes and the main course.

After the meal we had been given the opportunity to prepare Kimchi. It was an intressting experience on making Kimchi - and also finally knowing what exactly is all inside the Kimchi. We could take the Kimchi back home.



After the dinner my girlfriend and I token the chance to explore the area. As it was dark already we could not see much excluding fireflies who flown around us. It was also looking to be a thunderstorm as we could see the lighting, so we decided better to go back. When we return back, some of the tourist had been sitting by the fire. They have asked us and the rest to join, so we did. Only one of them could speak English. Maybe the others could understand us, but just not respond.

The next day has broken up. The two places of visit today would be Nagan Folk Village and Suncheon Bay. After the breakfast the tour operator come to our place and pick us up. Today we had a different tour guide, and she could not speak English. We still have followed the group until she given us free time to take a look around ourselves in the village.  The village is very nice, as people still actually live there or rent them for overnight stay to tourist. We had spent about two hours in the village and found a nice place on the wall to sit and relax. Where we also could see part of the village from above. 

The next and final stop is Suncheon Bay, but before that we had gone for lunch. It was served somewhere on the way to the bay. The food had been nice, but as we all already just had breakfast we did not ate much.

As we arrived in Suncheon Bay, the tour guide just given brief information of the place and told us we can go either left or straight ahead.  Actually is better to go left as, at one point you need to turn left to go straight. You pass through the Reed forest and continue your way up for 2km to the mountain point where you can observe the bay from the top. The measurements of distance do not take them too serious here. As it said 1km to walk, and next time it will say 1.2km to walk.  Just enjoy the nice walk up hill; it only takes around 30-45mins without stop.

Suncheon Bay
 I really recommend visiting Suncheon, it is so far the nicest place for nature. 

16 Sep 2011

Job Fair

It had been again a busy day at university – I already explain on which module I take part two days before.

Let me tell you on what I experience new – it is the job Fair. It is not my first time to attend a job fair. I have attended a couple of job fairs in Newcastle before, which had been hosted in St James Park or in the University. This one here in Korea had a totally different approach; companies have spent time and effort to advertise that they will be coming and where they will be. I was very curious on where they stood. As I can understand a bit – Company Name – Building – Date. Therefore I had found Samsung Electronics and E-bay and had a little chat with them during my break time.



I have seen on how important it is to continue to learn Korean language, even though English language is required for most companies to work for here in Korea.

15 Sep 2011

New friends

Today I had Strategy Management. The professor had assigned us into groups for the semester on where we will be working teams on case study and group project. The professor gave a deeper understanding of Strategy and make sure to have next time a study for the class.

After class I went into the book store and purchased all the books I needed for class and also finally a bag so I do not need to carry my pen and paper in my hands from class room to class room.

Later for lunch I met my new friends on whom I met last week. We had gone for some lunch and cup of lemon juice.  It was a great place, which maybe on you would never find. As the Koreans like to build good restaurants and bar on top floor, and usually myself looks on stores on the ground floor.

Later in the day my girlfriend and me had meet up with my friends at the fountain to practise our presentation speech for Persuasive speech. The area on focus is the usage of body language. I knew I had a few problems, but with the help of Toastmaster and A1 Speakers in Newcastle – I managed to resolve some of the issues.

We had just a few chats, as they met my girlfriend for the first time. It was a nice relaxing chill out again at the fountain.

14 Sep 2011

Chuesok Holiday

(9th September until 13th September) 
  
As you may read the last article it stated I am in the airport. Here it continues.

My girlfriend had arrived and we meet up with our friend from Korea who we meet in Newcastle. He lives himself in Seoul and he has shown us around his city. We had been to a small market street near to our hostel and continue along to the National Museum where we met up with his girlfriend.  While we visited the Museum, most of us felt very sleepy as we all did not sleep well or had jet leg off the long travel.  We decided therefore to head back for a little sleep all of us and meet up again at night time for Nansam Tower in Seoul.  It was a great view during the night onto Seoul.

In the second day we had gone to the bus station to purchase tickets to Andong, it is better to do in advance due to the holiday. Everyone is travelling back home to their parents or a meeting point with all the family.  After purchasing the tickets from the East Bus Station (DongSeoul), we had taken a look on the map where we could go. I saw that just few stations away the Olympic Stadium of 1988 was nearby. Therefore we visited the Olympic Park of Seoul Games 1988.

We then taken the Subway back into town of Seoul, on the way back we come across a stop which called “Market” and decided to have a look. We found out it is a whole sale market and was very interesting to see on how they sell it. It is sometimes very hard to purchases something as they try to sell you either the full box or a bowl of 5 fruits. We only just want to try the pears, peaches and apple, therefore are not willing to purchase the bowl.  We manage to find some stores on where we could just buy one apple, and at some other stall one peach and one pear.  We had a look around the market and continued back on the journey to city centre on where we try to find the market at Nansam and maybe to have also some dinner.  As it is the last night of Seoul, I also liked to see the river as I only seen from the car while stuck in traffic.

We manage to get a subway to the river where we stayed for an hour before traveling back to the hostel and take a good rest for the journey southward to Andong.

It is Sunday now and tomorrow is the day of Chuesok. It is a Korean thanksgiving day, where family member get together and worship their ancestors.  We had made the way the to the bus station and had around a fours journey to Andong. The bus was full and I did not been aware we will drive direct to Andong – so great service. I was as well surprised that 50km before the destination we take a 15mins break.  As 50kms is not anymore a long journey.

We arrived late afternoon in Andong and still manage to visit Tourist Information centre before closure, so they could tell us on how to get to the famous village in Andong. The most important aspect on where is the best place to stay overnight. They had given as a few suggestions and then we made on the way to ask for the best price.

We token a walk in Andong and seen a nice park which looks many hundred years old, but was just recently build for its local citizen to relax and for us tourist after the long journey from Seoul. It was a good place to relax.

The next day has broken in and we been had been given the information on bus services to Hahoe Village which is not very frequent. Therefore we decided to take an early bus, maybe a bit too early.  It was good as no tourist expect us had been on the side of arrival, and you got the best spot on taking pictures of the village. No one will appear in the peaceful village.  As today is also Chuesok holiday I will not expect many visitors coming, but later in the day more people joined from Korea. Maybe some of their family member used to live in the village. As they worship their ancestor as mention above.

As we only would spend one day in Andong we decided for lunch time to head backwards and see if we could visit the bridge, but before that look on how to return back to Daegu and stop by Tourist Centre. They advise us that the train and bus service would be very busy and indeed the train service was fully booked, so the plan change and we gone to bus station to luckily manage to purchases tickets back to Daegu or may would stuck in Andong.

After purchasing the tickets we went to the longest pedestrian bridge in S Korea. It was something special, as usually a bridge is just for walking over, but on this one you could take a rest in the shadow as you do on the river bank in Korea.

In our tour guide it had been mention that the chicken dish is original from Andong, so we shall try it here. We went to the market on where many vendors been and just decided for one and ordered the dish, being unaware it is for sharing.  As my girlfriend is vegetarian I had the whole plate for myself – I am sure you can imagine on how I felt after finishing the dish.



This was the end of the Chuesok, thanks for taking the time to read the blog. As this was a long blog entry so far.

9 Sep 2011

Incheon Airport

Today I had again mine busy schedule of classes from early in the morning until early evening. We continue to study the basic understanding of each of the module. The professor made it again important to all students to purchase the book, as we needed them by next week and we may go to have exam any time.

After the class today I have hurried back home as my girlfriend will be arriving at Incheon Airport at around 3am. I knew there will be a direct train to the airport at 10pm, from Daegu so I had two hours’ time to reach it. But, due to upcoming holiday Chuesok many people will be traveling to Seoul due to a 10 million people populated city. I wasn’t able to purchase a direct ticket, but I knew that the last subway is at around 11pm from Seoul Station to the airport, and if they give me the ticket to arrive at 10pm I have one hour window to get the subway. I did not had any trouble to reach Incheon Airport on the night and had 4 hours waiting time, but when I was on the subway they had screen of departure and arrival information – and I see the information New York flight is delay. Maybe it was due to the hurricane, but there was no correct information on how long the flight will be delay.

There is nothing I could do – just wait and watch on Samsung TV MBC News or MBC Drama TV. It was very quiet at the airport until Tokyo and Beijing had arrived at around midnight and stayed for some reason at the airport a few passenger instant going on the shuttle bus to Seoul Station (Central). Maybe they are unaware like me that there is actually an hourly bus service from Seoul Station after subway has closed. I therefore did not needed to be worried that I will not arrive at midnight to the airport.

8 Sep 2011

Relax at the fountain

Today I visited the Immigration Office with KNU to apply for my Alien Register Card and Student Visa D-2.  It was a fairly easy process, KNU thought we would spend 2-3 hours but we already been on the way back home after 1 ½ hour.

For the rest of the day I had no plans so just wondered around and saw a society for photography and I asked them if I could join them.  Therefore I have joined them and they told me they will get in touch with me in October time for orientation (welcome) session of the society.



In the evening I had met up with my friends at the fountain of the university to socialize with a few chicken and snack. Chicken is very common to eat as students here in Daegu. The plan was to play a few card games, but we did not come to it. We had so much to talk and shown pictures of our home countries or home university cities where we study. 

7 Sep 2011

Study Day

Tuesday and Thursday are mine busy days at university. Therefore I usually do not have much to write on it about. We had started to learn on our various modules Logistic, Macroeconomics, Persuasive Speech, Russian II and Korean I.

Let me go through on what we have done briefly, as it may not all of you interests. I suggest you to skip today’s blog post if you not interested to study in KNU.

Logistic Management

This is the initial module name, but as I already had learnt in Northumbria the module name shall be Supply Chain Management. Therefore he had change the name of the module. This week we just had discuss the concept of supply chain and introduction into the area. I already had taken the module in Northumbria, but I hope to get out of the course Asian experience on how they handle and think of supply chain structure and methods.

I did not purchase my book yet as I want to make full usage of 10 per cent over at the union. I still await a reading list of other modules. It is very important to bring your text book to class and have at your side. The reading list isn’t heavy as back at home, is only one book per module. I had been told this only applies to English taught class.

Persuasive Speech

Today we had formed a few group and shall practise the “ice breaker” to introduce ourselves to the team and if we been lucky or unlucky to present at the front to the whole class. We learned a new word or phrase to use in any time sittiuation, but most likely will apply to a job interview. The word is “pet peeve”. I never heard of this word, but it is a very good usage to describe something negative into positive sounding.

Macroeconomics

As last class had been cancel, we had been given today an introduction and basic understanding of Macroeconomics in Korean. Due that I had been the only International student in the class, but the professor had asked me if it would be ok with me. I did not minded to be taught in Korean – actually also prefer. As I may do not get another chance to see a class taught in Korean here in KNU.  The professor mention also same as Logistic Management to have a book at the side while studying as it provides more understanding on what he will be teaching.

Russian II

This class is fully taught in Russian. The class consist of conversation, therefore the professor is showing a movie and we have a little Q&A on the movie. In the beginning we also talk on what everyone had been doing on the weekend. As the professor only can communicate in Russian, it sometimes hard to find out if we have correct understand on what she said.

The last class of today:

Korean

We started to learn 10 sounds (Hangul) – 5 vowels and 5 constant. The Korean Hangul must have at least one vowel or the sound is wrong.  The rule is always Constant + Vowel or Constant + Vowel + Constant (on bottom). There is not really much on to explain on the module due it was the first class and as mention learned a few new words.

The day has finished, just been with friend to the local takeaway. I only had breakfast for the day and small lunch. The take away are very filling and healthy (believe) for just £2-3.

5 Sep 2011

Strategy

Today was again Monday and the university actually really shall start today as begin of the week.  I have only one class and it is Strategy Management and today we had a guest lecture from Durham University. It was interesting on how the Korean professor stop the speaker and ask the other students if we could follow him. He had a bit of Northern accent, but not much as he spoken clearly and slow so that everyone could follow him.

It had been a great introduction into the module and I am sure it will be a great pleasure to the end of this module to learn Strategy and find out why business are doing this what they are actually doing.

I did had any big plans and walked later around city centre and found near by the Train Station a German coffee shop. After a few picture taken off it I token the bus back to campus and heard there will be some activities, so I walked pass the key locations.  There was not, on the way back into the dorm I meet a few guys who just been standing around. I had with them a little chat but could not stay for long as I was meeting a friend who had been to Slovenia for her exchange year. She liked to have come to Northumbria, but was chosen for Slovenia. She still had a great experience, and she likes to introduce me to her friend who will come to Northumbria. I already meet him, but we still can hang out together at some point.

4 Sep 2011

IAAF Marathon Men Final

I have taken this day easy on. I had been still a bit tired of last day, but I really wanted to see the Men Marathon in Daegu. So I had make my way down to the Memorial Park, which is around 15mins walk from Main Gate.

It had been a bit busier as the week before when the Women Marathon had been on. Not sure if it is because Kenya is running for its World Record. Indeed he had been running and also has won, just one minute slower as 2009. I guess it is pretty good in his age, as he was also three minutes faster as the second place behind him. While I been watching the race I meet the Team Doctor of Ethiopia. I was surprised to hear that he is a doctor, as I thought he would be a trainer.

I walked into town after the run to see if any activities been held but everything has been taken down. Only SK had it stand for free calls. Not sure if they had many visitors on the last day of the games. As nothing happen I decided to travel to Apsan Park and see if I can see anything on the bottom of the park, but only been things on the top so I just gone back to the dorm.

I knew today would be fireworks on, so luckily my Javanese friend ask me if I like to join her to the stadium to watch it from the outside. This had been a good experience to watch the games from the outside the stadium, nearly every Korean got out their smart phones and watched the games on it while it had been inside.

Daegu has done a great job for the games, as a first time holder of Athletic Games in its country. It has hold a few marathon and half marathon in Daegu, but on this scale. I am sure they did a fantastic job.

3 Sep 2011

Daegu Down Town

Today we had meet up with a friend from Japan, Malaysia and Germany at the main gate and decided to visit the city centre (down town). As some of them did not seen it yet. The plan was taking a city tour bus, but I guessed due to the 50km Race Walk it would be hard to find or even does not take place as it needs to go through the race parts. We still could explore the town on our own, as I had been there a few times I acted as a little tour guide.

The first stop had been the Medicine street, where we had try out various medical products. They shall be good for our body and natural from Daegu, at least we presume they are.

As we come just for lunch time, there did not had been many activities inside the city, I ask the group if we may shall check out the two parks. The 28th February Park and  Gukchae-bosang Memorial Park. Neither of these park had been any activities, just young people and elderly hang out together and played music on the open Piano or played cards. In the second park we walked a bit around and token a few pictures and suddenly we saw our friends from America and France. It had been a big surprise to find them in a one million people city. The plan was to go for a Korean ice-cream, therefore we have invited them to come along.

As we had been now more people, we have ordered a giant ice-cream to share in Korean way.

It is very unique on what I also had in Taiwan. As in Korea they dont stack the fruits to a mountain, they just lay them down and put also a few cereals inside. It has then a different taste, as all of it gets mixed together instant eating from top to bottom.

If you ever come across visiting Korea, you shall try to find an ice-cream shop and eat a Korean ice-cream.

After the ice cream we had split ourself up, as some needed to go back to dorm to meet other people. A few of us stayed in town and thought something still must be happen. We decided to walk up the shopping street and come across the park Gyeongsang-gamyeong Park, where activities had taken place of Korean culture. One of the activities had been to play the traditional Korean games and wear traditional clothes of Korea.

We also had been awarded by staying longer that at six o'clock the played the bell in the park.

I will try to keep this post short, but it just to much has happen on one day. As we also had been to a kind of Korean McDonalds to try Bimbibam (my spelling might be wrong). It is a traditional Korean dish and the night was finished of in a Western Style rather then Korean style with a beer in the near by bar.


2 Sep 2011

KNU AO Summer Concert

The Friday has started not early as I don’t have any lesson on Fridays.  At lunch time I had meet up with my friend our friend and a person who will join Newcastle Business School (NBS) this coming up January. He already had been in touch with a student from Northumbria who spend last year here in KNU and also a member of staff of NBS. He asked me just a few questions more on the student life aspect and what to take care off on arrival.

I could not stay long for lunch as in the afternoon I had the internship orientation and also needed to fill out a few visa documents with the International office.  I am glad that I had revised my CV before coming to the meeting, as we had a small interview. It’s always also hard to explain on what I shall say International or Home student, I chosen the word International student at Northumbria. It does not need much explanation.  Let’s see in which company they will stick me in, as all of them sound very interesting. Is really just learning about Korean culture, and getting a few work experiences while on study aboard.
In the evening there had been a concert on the campus. I have invited a few of my friends to come along.

In the evening there had been a concert on the campus. I have invited a few of my friends to come along. It was great fun to listen again to classical music after such a long time. It was a two hour program and very well organised. I thought first it will be just basic, as they are just students who do it for fun and started off from zero most of them. They started to learn the instrument since they started university.

In the further night our friend from Korea has taken us to a “secret” bar behind North Gate where we had a few drinks and games to close of the evening and to expect what the next day will deliver us. My plan is to go to Apsan Park, but many of them did not seen the town yet. We will see tomorrow.
It was great fun to listen again to classical music after such a long time. It was a two hour program and very well organised. I thought first it will be just basic, as they are just students who do it for fun and started off from zero most of them. They started to learn the instrument since they started university.
In the further night our friend from Korea has taken us to a “secret” bar behind North Gate where we had a few drinks and games to close of the evening and to expect what the next day will deliver us. My plan is to go to Apsan Park, but many of them did not seen the town yet. We will see tomorrow.

1 Sep 2011

Hurra!!

The first day of university and everything had been put ready, paper, pen and the campus map. Today would be a busy schedule due to having 5 modules in just a day. Back in the home university, you would be happy just to have maximum 3 modules or 3 lesson.

I guess please do not complain of not having free time between lesson. Come here and you will honour that our university back at home is generous with timetabling. As I only had time for breakfast at 8am and the next meal I could go for is dinner at 8pm. There had been not much time of getting some lunch in Korean style.

I had nearly all of my chosen modules today, Logistics, Persuasive Speech, Macroeconomics, Russian II and Korean I . The last module is Strategy but it would be next week Monday.

The professor are very friendly here so far, as long you are friendly to them. All of the modules are get taught in English, excluding Russian and Korean. Which is very handy, as there is no chance of speaking English as no one will understand it. You need to use one of the following language and try to explain in a different way on what you like to say. The Russian class has a Teaching Assistant student, but she only can translate into Korean not English.  Somehow you can get around and the professor will know on what you like to say and improve your words.

Each of the module there would be an exam, either weekly or mid term wise. Even for attendance you get a percentage, failing to attend without notice results into minus a point.  All professors like to give the students an A+ (equal to 90% for UK system), but then the student shall attend all classes, do the homework and ask question to the professor and may visit them in office hours if question occur.

So far I enjoy the introduction into the module, and I really can not drop any of them actually if there would be no exams and the day would just be 6 hours longer a day I may would chosen one more.  There is a good selection of module, and you will go to class with students from Korea and international students.