There is no limit to how many clubs you can join including MUSE, DA C SIDE, Dance P.O.zz, Korea Club and many more.
MUSE, DA C SIDE, and Dance P.O.zz club members were interviewed for this blog post. Their clubs all have their own club room. You can see their location in the following two pictures from the exchange student guidebook (that all exchange students are given):
Building 107 is where all these clubs are.
The room numbers for each are: MUSE: 605, DA C SIDE: 604, Dance P.O.zz: 611
Join their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/caukc/
To find out about this club, you might have to find out about it through word of mouth or wait until the club fair since they do not yet have their own club room.
Learning about this club and their events can mean finding out through the exchange student group chat on Kakaotalk. Despite lacking, a club room this club knows how to advertise themselves very well so, it should not be hard to find out about it. Don’t forget there is also their Facebook group you can join or ask your fellow exchange students about it. This club is the one that is the easiest for exchange students to join because it is easier to communicate with the Korean members of this club as it is a club for Koreans and exchange students to hang out and have fun together. Koreans join to make international friends and practice their English skills so, it is a good way to make Korean and fellow international friends. After the first event and meeting, exchange students learn about the possibility of becoming an international officer. The Korean officers set an interview date for each potential interviewee and then interview them in groups of 5 or 6. Even though, not everyone can get picked many do. If you get to become an officer, you get to get closer to the officers of the club since you have to work on events together and go to the weekly officer meetings.
If you become an international officer then they will notify you on Kakaotalk about the weekly meeting locations, which are conveniently held in classrooms around campus.
As an officer you can go to as many events as you want and you get to really become a part of the Korea club. There are many events and it might vary per semester; this semester consisted of: social parties, hiking, a pre-chuseok event, a 2 day M-T (membership training) event at the beach, and an upcoming ice skating event.
On certain occasions after events Korea club members go out again to eat, drink or go to Karaoke. There are many skills that can be developed from being an officer in this club from public relations, advertising, management and many more roles or positions.
DA C SIDE
Location: Building 107 Room 604
This is a Hip Hop and R&B club for those who want to perform English R&B songs, and/or English Rap songs.
They rehearse a lot, many try to rehearse almost every day for a hours at a time. They are usually either good at singing R&B or good at rapping. They don’t just sing or rap sometimes they even make their own music and record themselves over beats they’ve created. They hold performances near school or sometimes around other areas of Seoul like Gangnam.
The club members vary in their levels of English language ability so, it might be hard to communicate with them sometimes but even so, they are friendly and can give you suggestions on what you need to improve on. Due to the language barriers, it may be harder to be a part of their club but they are welcoming to exchange students.
The good thing about this club is that they strictly enforce only rehearsing English songs. Therefore, if Korean is not your strong suit but R&B or Rap is then you will be able to at least rehearse and possibly perform.
To join this club and have the best experience, to be able to interact more with the members it is best that you know more than just Beginning Korean. Joining in with a limited knowledge of Korean, it is possible to make a few friends but if you join with a higher knowledge of Korean you will be able to develop stronger friendships with the members.
Also, the group chat is in Korean so, knowing about events is harder with limited Korean knowledge, even though there is a possibility about learning of the events through word of mouth from fellow members, it gets much easier if your Korean language ability is a high enough level. However, the members are nice so, if you ask for feedback while you rehearse some of the members are willing to give it to you.
Q: Can you introduce your club?
Jeong Tae Hong 정태홍: We write our lyrics and we make our songs Hip Hop and R&B Performance coming up these days so, we are practicing now and recording. The club is all about making songs.
Q: Do you work individually or as a group?
Jeong Tae Hong 정태홍: It depends sometimes individual, sometimes we make groups, for assignments we make groups and we make songs and then have a mock audition we show our songs to the other Sunbaes 선배 (Senior members) and they give us feedback.
Q: Do you have exchange students in your club?
Jeong Tae Hong 정태홍: In our 20 years as an official club we’ve only had 1 or 2 exchange students.
Q: Is it hard working with exchange students?
Jeong Tae Hong 정태홍: Different culture, sunbae 선배 culture, they just don’t come a lot or they don’t participate a lot.
Q: How would you encourage exchange students to participate more?
Jeong Tae Hong 정태홍: Let them know if they like music, we are always open, you don’t need to make songs or make groups but if you like just music you can play around and hang out.
Q: How would you advertise more to them?
Jeong Tae Hong 정태홍: We like Korean music but basically we like American R&B and Hip Hop a lot so, they can give us some good music and recommend more.
Culturally and language things are really hard but just music is a Global language.
Q: So, you share the common interest in music?
Jeong Tae Hong 정태홍: Yes something to interact with. We try to copy some American songs (covers), we also try to interpret Korean music, it depends how much he or she likes Korean or American music. Some people use many English songs some people don’t use many it is case by case.
Q: When are the performances held?
Jeong Tae Hong 정태홍: About 2 or 3 months. March, May, September, November. These are the main performances. Sometimes in the university building, around Heukseok, and sometimes we go outside like Gangnam.
Q: How often do people rehearse for the performances?
Jeong Tae Hong 정태홍: If we have performance some weeks later almost every day. No performance then we have to study for class. We don’t need to participate every day. Case by case some people work hard, some people study hard.
Q: What do you like best about this club?
Jeong Tae Hong 정태홍: I like meeting people with similar taste in music. They can recommend me some music and I can recommend them too.
Q: Do you do R&B or Hip Hop?
Jeong Tae Hong 정태홍: Hip Hop
The culture in DA C SIDE:
Jeong Tae Hong 정태홍: We have a Sunbae 선배 culture. Looking up to a senior, to someone who has more experience in something.
Q: Aside from performances do you all hang out?
Jeong Tae Hong 정태홍: Drinking, having lunch or eating just hanging out.
Q: What happens during and after performances?
Jeong Tae Hong 정태홍: We sometimes perform with Dance POZZ. They dance and we do songs and drink together.
Q: Have you made any lasting friendships with any exchange students?
Jeong Tae Hong 정태홍: No, I think they are just afraid of Korean culture, they joined our club but they don’t participate a lot, maybe 1 or 2 times.
MUSE – MIDI Composition
Location: Building 107, Room 605
The few occasions when entering their club room, the people there were very friendly and encouraging. They said that even if you lack knowledge in a certain instrument one of their members would be willing to help you out in learning the instrument. The people here are welcoming to exchange students so, if you know or would like to learn how to play an instrument this is the club to join. Of course, it is not just about learning or playing music but about rehearsing, composing and then performing the music.
How to learn about the events and meetings? Their Kakaotalk group chat is mainly in Korean so, learning about events in this club is through in-person word of mouth. Just go into the club room, ask the Korean members and they should be able to let you know.
The members are very friendly and if you come into their club room the members will be able to help you. They said that even if you lack knowledge in a certain instrument one of their members would be willing to help you out in learning the instrument. The people here are welcoming to exchange students so, if you know or would like to learn how to play an instrument this is the club to join. Of course, it is not just about learning or playing music but about rehearsing, composing and then performing the music.
Sometimes there are periods in the semester when everyone is designated a time where they can use the room and that occurs before main performances or competitions. Even then people are very friendly and will welcome you if you come into their club room.
Q: Can you describe what this club is about?
Sihoo Kim 김시후: This club is about music composition MIDI. Our club’s name is MUSE but MUSE is short for Media Users Sound Evolution, that is our name. Our major play is composing music with MIDI and band music, playing with other people.
Q: How often do you and other members rehearse and how do you get ready for performances?
Sihoo Kim 김시후: We have a concert, small little concert. Two times per semester. We practice once a month. Our practice room is very small, hindering the quality of it, but we make do with what we have.
Dohye Kim 김도혜: So, we have a part time schedule
Sihoo Kim 김시후 and Dohye Kim 김도헤: We make a schedule so, everyone can use this practice room. We have our own schedule with using the practice room. We have no boundary for music sound.
Sihoo Kim 김시후: Yeah, music genre, we can play with jazz, rock and r&b but always rock. Sometimes we have done classic music but always rock. We have no boundaries.
Q: Do members collaborate or work by themselves?
Sihoo Kim 김시후: We sometimes practice together but almost time we have our own practice time because these club members are very busy. We have to manage our time schedule and it is very hard because we can’t use this room often, only twice a week. We have a big concert, a main performance that we have to prepare for.
Dohye Kim 김도혜 and Sihoo Kim 김시후: We have four concerts in a year.
Sihoo Kim 김시후: We play band music, sell the food we make, and earn money.
Dohye Kim 김도혜: We play music and at the same time we sell food and beer.
Dohye Kim 김도혜 and Sihoo Kim 김시후: In Summer, we have a concert named MUSELICA. This is our Summer festival.
Dohye Kim 김도혜 and Sihoo Kim 김시후: Next week, this semester. We have a main concert.
Sihoo Kim 김시후: This is what I practiced for. This is our biggest main concert. Everyone practices hard with their own composition. This club’s main existence is composition so not a band’s composition.
Dohye Kim 김도혜: Not copying other bands.
Sihoo Kim 김시후: Our original music is our main content. So this main concert we have our original music only.
Q: Is it only this concert when you have to use your own compositions?
Sihoo Kim 김시후: Other concerts don’t have to bring our own music.
Q: So you can do covers?
Dohye Kim 김도혜: Yes
Sihoo Kim 김시후: Yes, we can do it.
Q: When is this concert, is it next week?
Dohye Kim 김도혜: Next week, Friday.
Dohye Kim 김도혜 and Sihoo Kim 김시후: In Hongdae.
Dohye Kim 김도혜: In Blue Light Hall.
Sihoo Kim 김시후: Yes, in Hongdae’s Blue Light Hall.
Dohye Kim 김도혜: We have no fee.
Q: Is the concert Free?
Dohye Kim 김도혜 and Sihoo Kim 김시후: Yes, it’s free
Dohye Kim 김도혜: But it is a little foreign because they don’t know our music.
Sihoo Kim 김시후: It can be a bit boring because the other people don’t know their music because we only play our own music. There is no song they would know.
Sihoo Kim 김시후 and Dohye Kim 김도혜: Last month we had a midi competition that means that our club’s members have their own music so, they bring it for this competition and compete and explain their song.
Sihoo Kim 김시후: You can think piano competition is the same, like the piano competition we have MIDI competition and who wants to compete with other peoples can bring their own music and other people can hear it and vote. The most popular song who gets first prize we give a gift.
Q: Is there only one winner in this competition?
Dohye Kim 김도혜: There are three winners. They get a prize related to MIDI program. Like a headset.
Sihoo Kim 김시후: We give a gift for the first prize like a headset or MIDI program, an equalizer for music, all related to the competition.
Q: Where do you hold the competition? Is it only club members who can go?
Sihoo Kim 김시후: We compete in a borrowed classroom and only club members can compete, and vote. We also have piano competitions.
Sihoo Kim 김시후: We are different from other clubs, we can enter new members always.
Q: Do you encourage exchange students to join this club?
Sihoo Kim 김시후: Yeah always.
Dohye Kim 김도혜: We have Nick.
Sihoo Kim 김시후: We have a foreign friend named Nick and he is very good. He is very good at music and we are all friends with him.
Dohye Kim 김도혜: He plays drums next week.
Sihoo Kim 김시후: We often play performances and he scheduled to perform with his main band.
Location: Building 107 Room 611
They have performances 2 times a year, once per semester. Aside from those two main performances they have: some small performances, and festivals. They rehearse in many different teams or groups, with different types of street dance and every group has their own choreographs. The conductor has to try to unite all the different performances into one even despite how diverse they are. DANCE P.O.zz originated from Jazz but has developed into a variety of dance genres. The members include current students of Chung-Ang University and past students or alumni who keep coming back even after they graduated. They do hang out after performances with their dance team but not all together since they have so many members about 70 not including the alumni. They go out to eat, hold MT (Membership Training) events, dance for fun (i.e. cyphers – a dance circle for free-styling). They welcome exchange students especially now that they have a member that can help out any incoming exchange students. It can be hard for both Koreans and exchange students to interact because of differences in language and culture. Despite that, they welcome exchange students and anyone else to join if they like to dance.
Q: Can you introduce your club:
Seungkee Hong 홍승기: It’s a street dance club. There are many kinds of dance. Different kinds of genres: Bboying, Popping, Waaking, Jazz, Hip Hop. Actually, our club is originated from Jazz dance club a few years later we changed the main dance to street dance. We have 2 main performances each semester.
Q: How often do you rehearse?
Seungkee Hong 홍승기: We rehearse a lot for our performance, before the performance we need a lot of exercise and practice so were always rehearsing.
Seungkee Hong 홍승기: He is our main conductor of this performance.
*Seungkee Hong 홍승기 is referring to Jonghoo Wi 위종후 who just dropped by.
Q: Do you perform together or in separate groups?
Seungkee Hong 홍승기: Yeah in separate groups, many teams.
Jonghoo Wi 위종후: We have our performance on this Thursday.
Q: Is there some people that it’s their first time learning to dance?
Jonghoo Wi 위종후: It’s fine, most of our freshman don’t know how to dance at first and we teach them how to dance. We used to have sessions for different genres of street dance which includes popping, locking. After 3 terms in we were trying to focus more on the choreographies itself, getting the venues and things like that. It is kind of different perspectives from how we teach these freshmen how to dance, now it is more focused on the choreographies. Some people do know how to dance when they first come to our club so, it depends.
Q: Do you have any exchange students?
Seungkee Hong 홍승기: We used to have some,
Jonghoo Wi 위종후: Most people came in Spring, summer semester and they were gone in the summer. Now we have foreign students who are not exactly exchange students.
Q: International Students?
Jonghoo Wi 위종후: Yes international students
Q: Do you collaborate with other clubs like DA C Side?
Jonghoo Wi 위종후: This Thursday and usually, we do our own thing but occasionally we have some sessions where we do collaborate with DA C SIDE, it’s more of an occasional
Q: How many groups are there, for the different performances?
Jonghoo Wi 위종후: We call it teams,
Seungkee Hong 홍승기 and Jonghoo Wi 위종후: We have 17 teams,
Jonghoo Wi 위종후: They come up with their own choreography. I as a conductor make that into one full thing. How many people in the club?
Q: How many people are in your club?
Jonghoo Wi 위종후: 17 groups and some people are included in multiple teams so, numerically speaking 70 people.
Seungkee Hong 홍승기: People who actually work in this club right now is about 70. People who have graduated, there is a lot more.
Q: Do you have a certain period to schedule how many people will use the club room, since it is so small?
Jonghoo Wi 위종후: You have to schedule it well because there are so many groups who want to use that practice room, yeah we really work hard to schedule that wisely.
Q: What are some cultural differences?
Jonghoo Wi 위종후: Of course, we have some problems that happen because of cultural difference and linguistically different, we really encourage exchange students to come here and join us. Of course, it would be difficult for both the exchange students and us because most of us are Korean, speak Korean, and have Korean culture. It may be different; I personally really encourage them to come. Some people really have difficulties in speaking the language (Korean) there are some Chinese members but some of them shy away from joining because of the language difficulties.
Q: How would you encourage exchange students to join your club?
Seungkee Hong 홍승기: If you want to learn about dance, we welcome you.
Jonghoo Wi 위종후: We wholeheartedly encourage people, if you want to join our club, then join us. Even some of us, now we have a Singaporean in our club she speaks Chinese, Korean, and English so she can help the exchange students or international students. That helps a lot I think.
Q: Where do you perform for your main performances?
Jonghoo Wi 위종후: We try to include as many genres as possible. Popping, locking, break dancing, jazz. After that we try and hang out. We have alumnis they also come here to see us perform so, we have really a lot of people for just our club. So it is really hard to have a public hangout. So, after that we conventionally have our private after parties.
Q: Do you feel like there is more diversity when there is exchange students in your performance?
Jonghoo Wi 위종후: Two years ago there were some exchange students, one of them was really good at waaking but he had to leave after a semester or so.
Q: Do you have anything valuable that you gained from this club?
Seungkee Hong 홍승기: We learn how to dance, more friends, more diversity in college life other than lecture.
Seokwoo Jung 정석우: You can get a lot of street dance information about dance lectures, battles and performances from this club.
Q: So you guys go see other performances?
Seokwoo Jung 정석우: Yes, I (dance) battle a lot.
Q: What are some cultural differences that happen when you have exchange students?
Jonghoo Wi 위종후: We have hierarchies of age, depending on how old we are. In hierarchies, we try to respect near older person.
Seungkee Hong 홍승기: Such as 선배 Sunbae or seniors. Regardless of how old we are or how old she is. Hierarchy is our position in our club and how we are there in the club.
Jonghoo Wi 위종후: It’s really hard for us to let foreigners comprehend the differences because of the main difficulties in speaking English.
Seungkee Hong 홍승기: It’s hard for Koreans too.
Q: What do you enjoy most about this club?
Seungkee Hong 홍승기: Practicing with friends, I also prefer doing cypher, and playing music.
Jonghoo Wi 위종후: Do you know what a cypher is? Cypher is like a circle made of people and one by one come in and just dance.
Seungkee Hong 홍승기: Go inside the circle and just dance. Freestyle.
Jonghoo Wi 위종후: Cypher means more to us enjoying ourselves and going inside the circle and just dance.
Written by: Glidiany Vallejo
Photos by: Glidiany Vallejo