September 2012 - Vikingess Voyages

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Seoul Sightseeing: Bongsunsa Temple (봉선사)

9:02:00 PM
Today I got visitors at my campus here in Korea for the first time!! Haha..
Tomoya and I in front of the entrance gate to Bongsunsa
Tomoya and his friend Ryosuke had actually taken the ferry from Osaka to Busan, and from there they drove all through South Korea in Ryosuke's family car. Yesterday they reached Seoul, and we decided to meet up. I mentioned that there was a nice temple by the dorm at Kyung Hee GIP campus where I currently live, so they decided to take the car come over. Normally it takes about 2 hours to get to Seoul by bus + metro from the campus, but it seems like there was a lot of traffic today so instead it took them 3 (!) hours to get here. It was an interesting place to meet up with Tomoya, whom I hadn't seen in a couple of months. I do feel kind of bad for making the two of them come all the way here to the middle of nowhere to visit me. But at least it seems they liked the temple^^
Statues by the road
One of the main buildings
Bongsunsa temple was first built in 969, but as the temple has been burned down several times it has also been rebuild a couple of times through history. Still, it is a popular destination (mostly for Koreans), and during the weekend it is always filled with people. Thanks to this temple we do have a couple of restaurants outside the campus, because there is really not anything else in the area here.. xP
When I and the other foreign students in my batch went to the closes immigration office to register the workers there had great difficulties accepting our application at first, because when they searched for our address in their system all that came up was the Bongsunsa temple.. Haha..

Details from the roof of one of the buildings
Korean colours
Traditional style

More details
The main square at Bongsunsa temple
From inside the main temple
It's a quite peaceful place..

Anyway, this temple is the only thing to see in my neighborhood, and a place where GIPans usually end up walking to when there is nothing else to do. This was my first time actually bringing my camera here, but I'm sure I'll have more than enough time to visit again. And again.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Kyung Hee GIP life!

10:41:00 AM
Here comes a small blog update from Korea! Lately I have been quite busy with school, and as there really isn't a lot to do in the area here I haven't had the chance to do that much beside life here at the school. So mostly my time has been spent studying, but since I have to finish most of my second thesis this semester anyway I guess it might be a good idea.

I have started practicing taekwondo though! But since I used to practice karate I do feel that there are some things in taekwondo that does not make a lot of sense to me. For instance, when it comes to karate you're supposed to bend the leg you stand on when you kick. This is because it gives you better balance, so if someone pushes you while you kick you have a better chance to control the outcome. But for taekwondo you're supposed to keep the leg you stand on straight. I never really got any explanation of the logic behind it, but I suppose there might be a good reason..? Hmm..

Kyung Hee University: The GIP campus
Anyway, I like my classes, or at least most of them. The school have 4 required courses one needs to take in order to be able to graduate, and the "Human and Cosmos"-class is not exactly the most yielding  class I've ever taken, to put it that way. The teacher makes some strange comparisons between homosexuals and thieves when he talks about adoption rights. He also have a tendency to talk about religions, and here his favorite topic is catholics and the crusades. This week he actually walked out on us because one of the students in class criticized him for his way of teaching. She might have rised her voice a little bit too much, but the way he reacted as a supposedly professional teacher was quite questionable.

Besides these events I guess life goes on as usual. In two weeks I'm off to Tokyo, and I'm super-excited about finally being able to meet my boyfriend again. The career forum in Boston is also drawing nearer, and I have already has a couple of skype-interviews with some of the participating firms.

So, this was a pretty short update on what I've been up to lately.. Hopefully I'll have more to write about next time.. ^^

Update: Click here for more (and more detailed) blog posts about Kyung Hee and the GIP.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Student Life and Travels Illustrations from Invisible Paperclip!

6:53:00 PM
This post is dedicated to my friend Jostein, and his blog

Jostein is a really great drawer, and a little while back he promised me to make som illustrations I could use for my blog. And here you can see the result! Lucky! ^^

Invisible Paperclip is a blog where Jostein shares his drawing projects, and also teach you some of the techniques he have used to make his illustrations. The content is very varied, he has for instance his own comics and he also draws things on request. In other words, if you have some cool ideas for a drawing but lack the skills to get it done yourself you can always leave him a comment;)
Personally I have to admit that I unfortunately know very little when it comes to drawing, drawing techniques etc, but it is very interesting to see the different stages of his projects and I love to see how his drawings are taking shape. 

For those of you who want to check out the technique he has used for these icons, please check out his post!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gangnam Style & Britney Spears

10:53:00 PM
Well well, I guess this post is a little bit different from my other, more serious (?) posts.
But since I'm currently living in South Korea I can't help but write a tiny post about the most popular Korean song at the moment, the so-called Gangnam Style. For those of you who still aren't familiar with the song, here it is:

This song has actually become quite popular not only in Korea, but it has also spread all over Asia and to Europe and America as well. A couple of days ago the artist, Psy, even taught Britney Spears to do the Gangnam-style dance on "The Ellen Show".!

My classmates and I actually used this song for our batch performance during the first week at school, so I guess you could say that this song will forever remind me about my year as a student in Korea. Haha..
Anyway, what do you think about the Gangnam style? :)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Korean Radio Debut at TBS!

1:12:00 PM
Yesterday I had the honor of getting interviewed at the TBS eFM's raido show "1013 Mainstreet" along with three other students from the Graduate Institute of Peace Studies at Kyung Hee. We talked about various topics, such as our experiences before coming to Korea, and our plans and dreams of (hopefully) making the world a better place in the future (oh yeah;)). All of the others really have a lot of knowledge and experiences, so the time in the studio really flew away fast. I have to say that I'm really happy to have such inspiring classmates and 선배s (senior students) ^^
Anyway, I'll probably post the interview here when I get it later, so for now all I have to share is some pictures from the studio.
Inside the radio station. This is the room where some of eFM's shows are being recorded
This experience was all thanks to my dear 선배 Dianne, who invited me, Ace and Nazzina to join her in the studio. Dianne worked as an intern there during the summer, so she's already an expert when it comes to the radio, how the machines works, etc etc. Originally the interview was meant to be only with her, but she asked if she could bring some friends too! xD So we got to see the studio, some of the rooms where the recordings are taking place, and a lunch with the 부장님 (chief). It was also my first time since I came here to really get away from the GIP campus.. So great! :)

Interview preparations
Ready for action
On air 
Group picture with the hostess of the show, Ahn Junghyun
From inside the studio

Doing recordings for an intro to another radio show

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Introduction Week at Kyung Hee University (경희대학)

7:43:00 PM
My first week at Kyung Hee University is over, and I must say it's been an interesting week in many ways.
One of the statues at campus
I came here through Ritsumeikan University's Double Master Degree Program, and Kyung Hee's Graduate Institute of Peace Studies (GIP) will be my new home for the coming year. The campus is really beautiful, with a lot of statues, and the buildings are all in classic greek style. Although I have to say that I had hoped that the school would have been a little bit closer to Seoul: It actually takes about 1 1/2 hours to get to the city from the campus.

Also, all of the other students gets a scholarship which means they get everything covered from the school, including tuition fees, books, free accommodation in the school's dorm and three meals a day. So out of all the 40-or-so students staying at the campus I am the only one actually have to pay Kyung Hee for my stay here, and this comes in addition to the tuition fee I pay to Ritsumeikan University (Which including the scholarship I received as a DMDP-students equals about 6370 US dollars for the year in Korea). When all the other newcomers received their scholarship on our entrance-ceremony I have to admit that I felt like being considered an "outsider", or "less worth" then the other students. Even my entrance letter to the school stated that "all GIP students are awarded a scholarship, removing the normal financial burden of tuition and accommodation expenses that can be an obstacle to intelligent students seeking a graduate education". Although I understand that I have entered the school on different premisses I would have liked to believe that I still fall under the category of "GIP student", especially as it is written in my acceptance letter. Anyway, I'm still happy for the chance to be here at Kyung Hee.
Kyung Hee University
Besides this minor issue I believe that my year at Kyung Hee will be a good one where I can learn and grow a lot, both when it comes to academical performance and also as a person. It is a quite strict environment, with mandatory meditation every morning at 7 am led by the senior students, where we even do a daily recitation of the GIP creed. Formal wear is also mandatory during lunch and classes (but this is something that apparently depends a bit on the different professors). This week we have had a leadership program where we had a variety of different courses intended to inspire us to hopefully become good leaders in the future.
Our dormitory
Formal wear at lunch
Korean style lunch
Formal wear in class
Meditation training with a monk from the temple outside the GIP
The real courses starts on Monday, and I'm looking forward to begin working on the classes I have chosen. I managed to avoid Friday classes, which means that I have more time to go travelling in weekends. As I'll be attending the job fair in Boston in October I was a bit afraid that I would loose a class, so I was pretty happy about this. Although one has to be careful not to miss too many meditation classes; apparently there is a penalty if you fail to show up more than 4 times.
Anyway, I've already met a lot of nice and inspiring people, and I hope I'll have a great year here at Kyung Hee. I'll definitely do my best.

All my posts about Kyung Hee

About Me

Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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