Once upon a time in Korea...

03:29:00



... there was a German girl called Leah who moved 8200km away from her home in Sweden to study abroad.
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It's been about two weeks now since I've arrived in Suwon. The first few days were a bit exhausting. Meeting new people, getting used to the city and the university, getting to know my room mate and all the other social activities. Not speaking the local language didn't really make things easier as well. Korean is f***ing hard, man. And it's not like I am not trying but the words are usually so long that I can only remember the beginning and end of the word but keep forgetting what's inbetween. Just saying 'hello' takes about half an hour already ... #prayforleah
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This post might be a bit boring for some of you but maybe someone here is interested in what life at Kyung Hee looks like. I, personally, wished I had found a blog post or something about it before I came here.  Unfortunately, the information you can find about Kyung Hee on the internet is rather limited. I didn't really know what to expect at all before I jumped on the plane, so maybe this will be helpful to one or two future KHU students.
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Below you can see the dormitory building and my room I stay in whilst studying at Kyung Hee University. The dorm is on-campus, yet I still have to take the bus to get to my faculty every morning - that's how big the campus is. Malmö University is about the size of an ant compared to here.
Sharing a room with one or more people is absolutely normal when you're in college in Korea. I was a bit terrified at first - let's be honest here - but I freaking love my room mate so it's not a big deal at all. We get along so well and I am pretty positive that we'll still do in the future, too. Any yes, I know... the room looks like a prison cell #orangeisthenewblack

I have paid 1,6500,000 won for four months in a double-room, including 100 food tickets (= 100 meals at the cafeteria). That makes approximately 1265 Euro / 1375 USD / 11 690 SEK for the whole semester. Not too bad, but also not a bargain. If you choose to have less food tickets or to live in a triple-room, the price will, obviously, go down a bit. 
When you are at home and sign for your dorm room everything looks rather strict. Especially the word 'curfew' is a word that makes most people hesitate. But don't... yes, there is a curfew between 10pm and 7am, HOWEVER, it's not enforced. You will always be able to enter the campus and the dorm building, no matter what time it is. Coming home drunk from a night out in Seoul in the middle of the night? No one will say a word. And it's not just because we're foreigners getting special treatment but Korean students do it just like us. If not worse... they just love to booze #soju
Before I got here, I read that KHU has one of the most beautiful campuses in all of Korea. And they were absolutely right. The campus is incredible. The buildings all look a bit out of context due to their Greek-style-kind-of architecture and, as I already mentioned before, size-wise everything is just big here. The campus offers everything a student could need - inside of my dorm building alone is a tiny mall where you can literally buy everything. It hosts several restaurants and cafés, a food court, a cafeteria, a bank, a photo studio, an electronic store, a drugstore, a small supermarket, a stationary shop... everything you could possibly think of, you'll most likely find it here.
Seoul is only about a 40-50min drive away and the bus stop with a direct connection to Seoul Station is on-campus and only a 2min walk away from my dorm. Buses to Seoul leave every 5-10mins which is more than convenient and definitely easier than I expected. It's also not expensive at all to go there, just about 4800 won (3,70 Euro / 34 SEK / 4 USD) for a return trip. In comparison, taking the tram for about 15mins in my home town in Germany from my parent's house into the city centre and back is way more expensive. Koreans just know how to public transport. They really do...
The university has a gym that is free to use for students until the late evening. You can also use the tennis courts, badminton fields etc. for free if there are no classes at that time. 
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Two big super markets, a cinema, a metro station and a shitload of restaurants are only a 10min walk away off-campus. Both of the super markets are comparable to a Swedish Coop Forum, a German Real, a Dutch AH XXL or an American Kroger's. So you'll definitely find everything you need #peanutbutter
The teachers focus a lot on class participation here. Also, they will check your attendance doing a roll call before they start their lectures, so being on time is key. Other than that, most of my professors seem to be pretty easy going. The courses I am taking this semester are:

  • International Security
  • Human Rights in East Asia
  • Culture and International Relations
  • Science, Technology & Society and last, but not least,
  • Understanding Foreign Policy 
I am also taking a Korean class once per week which is voluntarily though and just for fun #notalwaysfun

One lecture is about 75mins and I have two lectures per week for each course. The rest of the time is self-study which I am already more than used to from Malmö University - the queen of independent study #seriouslytho #malmöstudentswillunderstand
I have school Monday - Thursday, Fridays are always off-days #whoopwhoop #drunkthursdays
I still have to get used to having so many courses all at once. In Sweden, you only have one course at the time for about 4 weeks, then you hand in your essay or take the respective exam and after that you start your next course. 
What I like a lot about KHU is, that most things are really cheap here. You hardly have to buy any books here because most professors will scan and post them online for you. Or they have so-called 'readers', which are printed copies of all the necessary literature you'll need for your specific course, made into a book. Very convenient, but most importantly, going easy on the budget.  
Printing is for free as well, you only have to buy and bring your own paper. 
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So, that's life at KHU. What do you think? Sounds like heaven or more like hell? I will give my full review once the semester is over. I discover new things here every day and I am sure life will get a little easier as time goes by. 

또 만나요 !

P.S. 
At this time, I should probably give a massive shout-out to my buddy Choi who babysits and takes such good care of me, making sure I am not completely lost in translation here and prevents me from insulting the Korean culture all the time...! 감사합니다!





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