OIA Fellowship Interview and Tips

Louise D. – Belgium

Hello there,

If you are reading this post it means that you are considering CAU for an exchange. My thoughts on the matter; do not hesitate and start packing! My name is Louise, I am 23 and I come from Belgium. I hope I can give you a brief of the amazing range of possibilities that an exchange at CAU offers!

Tips and tricks for your quarantine:
Due to Covid, I had to quarantine for 14 days upon my arrival,, you might have to as well. In Korea, everything can be delivered! Advantage of Emart, the website can be set in English and the prices are converted in dollars! Take advantage of the quarantine to workout, watch some shows, read about Korea, and start learning Korean. But don’t forget to rest, so that when you finally get out you are full of energy and know plenty of places to visit.

Food & Drinks
There are so many eating possibilities. At first, I felt overwhelmed because of all the restaurants. On top of that, do not forget to try the street food and go to a Pocha (you will see them a lot in Sinchon and Hongdae) My food preferences so far: kimchi, Korean pancake, Korean barbecue, fried chicken and Gimbab.
One tip: try to document all the things you are eating, because you won’t want to forget!

As for drinks, the obvious must try is Soju. My personal preference, the grapefruit soju. But I think that, the thing, I love the most here, are the countless cafes! Concept cafes, study cafes, regular cafes, Instagram friendly cafes… where you can have all sorts of hot and cold beverages. Before coming here, I hardly never went to cafes to study, but after one month I already know that it is probably going to be one of the things I will miss the most.

Seoul has plenty to see, and it’s convenient to get around, use the Naver maps app it gives you a nice overview of all the cultural visits you can do and how the city is divided in districts.

– Changdeokgung Palace and its secret gardens: my favorite visit so far
– Museums: National Museum of Korea, Seoul Museum of History (still on my bucket list) and check out the temporary exhibitions too.
-Temples: Bongeunsa
– Favorite districts: Hongdae, but honestly every neighborhood has its charms, and you should visit them by day and at night.
– Parks: Seoul Forest, the park between Sogang University and Hongdae and the park along the Jungnangcheon Stream
Favorite activities: go to an arcade, hike and sing to the best of your ability at a karaoke

GLAM, global ambassadors:
Get to know your GLAM, they are very kind and helpful! They will always give you tips and tricks that are extremely useful.

Elia G. – Italy

I am Elia, an exchange student from Italy 23 years old. I achieved my bachelor degree in Florence, my home town and after that I moved to Milan for a master. I had really high expectations from Korea, since I have been dreaming of visiting since last July and I can proudly say that these have not been disappointed. Everything in Korea works nicely, people are really nice. Nobody will ever cheat you, I can prove that! I left my wallet in the shop and it was returned back to me immediately when they found out!

I suggest you to visit Gyeongbokgung palace that is an old royal residence with an enormous park, Lotte tower that is the highest building in Seoul, Cat cafes and other concept cafes and Karaoke Bars. Food to try would be kimchi, dumplings, fried or steamed with pork, octopus, kimchi or prawn. Also the tofu soup, noodles, chicken and tteokbokki, be always careful about spiciness of what you eat.

Try always to be nice and kind here since everybody smiles you. Be respectful with older people. Learning some Hangul words will be really appreciated.

Evgenii Grigorev. – Russia

I believe travelling to Korea is absolutely not like a regular vacation to the southern seas resorts or to the monotonous medieval cities of the Old World. To briefly explain, one metaphor can be given. Coming to the “Land of Morning Calm” for the first time you travel simultaneously backwards and onwards in time. There are not so many places in the world where the past meets the future so close and organically. Because of the really long and considerable history of their own country, nevertheless, South Korea has not remained stuck in the past. Rapid economic development longing from the mid of the 20th century till present days, it is evident in the advanced level of modern technology.

As for a life in the capital city of Seoul, not visiting the most common tourist is rewarding you still can discover astonishing spots, whether it is an ancient Buddhist temple of Goryeo times, or a brand new public space equally convenient for studying and hanging out with your friends. To move faster between the places you want to visit, use and enjoy the impressive system of public transport. No need to be afraid of getting lost thanks to apps like Naver maps and Kakao Maps.I suggest you become experimental with food, feel free to taste anything you see. Just try to enjoy your residence in Korea in all possible ways and experience as many activities as you can. Try to learn Korean language since it’s very poetic and rich by far.

Udgeet Sachdev – India

Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is a huge metropolitan city with a population of nearly 10 million where modern skyscrapers, high-tech subways and pop culture meet Buddhist temples, palaces and street markets. There are endless things to do in the magical city of lights and celebration. Here, you will experience incredible art, history, culture, shopping, and transportation. This is list is truly infinite.

Here are the five must-dos I recommend for the first time Seoul trip.

Namsan Tower

Climb to the very top and put up a love lock for your significant other. Or you know, for yourself. Because, hey Self Love I’m all for it!

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Wear a hanbok and get a few pictures taken as you make a Korean pose, either a peace sign or a heart with your thumb and index finger.

Myeongdong Street

Buy A LOT of makeup from the best of Korean brands on the oh-so very famous Myeongdong shopping street.

and please while you’re there do not, and I mean DO NOT forget to go ham on the street food and get yourself one of these 32cm ice cream cones.

Han River

Camp at Han River, watch the lights of the bridge and feel the sprinkle of water on your skin from the fountains.

Starfield Library

Stare at the giant library and their fascinating collection after which you can pretend to read a book to get a picture taken.

Most importantly, take it all in, be present, and cease this opportunity- moment by moment…

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