Helo welcom 2 my websight
It has been over a month now that I’ve been here at 계명대학교. As you can probably guess, it’s been really busy and hectic, so I haven’t actually had the time to sit down and type something until now. Actually, having free time is a bit of a luxury. Even the time when I don’t have classes or homework fills itself up easily, but to be honest I’m pretty grateful for that. I regret that I can’t inform you guys more and post a bunch of pictures here every day or even play some video games at night, but what I do do is actually a lot more fun and makes my time here so much more valuable.
Sooo, please forgive me if I don’t post often. I’ll try to keep you all up to date well though!
Today, I want to write a little bit about my university, 계명대. Unlike the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, where I will do my Masters, I didn’t pick Keimyung myself, the National Institute for International EDucation (NIIED) kind of just split up all the KGSP applicants and placed them in one of five schools across the country. I think I was very lucky to end up here in Keimyung, because it doesn’t only have a beautiful campus (as I’ll show you in a moment) but the other KGSP people here are really great as well and I’ve been meeting lots of nice and interesting people here. I can’t speak for all the teachers of course, but I think our teachers are pretty good too. Even though we have a lot of classes, they still do their best and try to understand us as well. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me introduce my University to you!
Keimyung is located in Daegu, the third largest city in Korea. It’s slightly south of the middle of the country and it takes about 4 (very uncomfortable, believe me) hours to get to Seoul, but Busan is only about an hour away. Daegu is know for it’s warm climate (31 °C in the summer to -4 °C in the winter), being a ‘fashion capital’ (whatever that is) and for having the most 예쁜 여자s in the country.
Keimyung University has a beautiful campus. For someone from the Netherlands where campus..es? are not really a thing, it is hard to even imagine a place like this. It’s just like in those American movies – it’s like a small village all by itself with a huge wall around it and it takes more than 30 minutes to get from one side to the other. That seriously sucks when you want to go off campus, obviously, but when you don’t it’s quite wonderful and interesting. Actually, at first, I wasn’t a big fan.. Living in the dormitories with all these rules, roommates, shared showers and curfews was really putting me off of campus life, but nowadays whenever I go out on a walk to go somewhere, I usually run into someone I know and chat for a bit or do something for a while and it’s kinda cool. Plus, it helps that the campus looks amazing. The building styles are a bit…questionable…(what with the red bricks and the ‘Greek architecture’ and all) but there’s plenty of greenery and compared to Seoul it feels very fresh and comfortable.
The campus has its own little stores, several restaurants, some small shops and a fancy ass church sitting on top of the hills overlooking the grounds.
The previous picture here is actually of the ‘guard house’ outside of the dormitory area of the campus. Since there’s an 23:00 curfew, you’d better be around there around 22:50 to be yelled at by the 아저씨for coming in too close to curfew or you’re gonna end up having to sleep outside and possibly getting the dreaded DEMERIT POINTS.
So far I’ve been a pretty good 학생, always signing out when I was gonna be home late and sleep out, but it does suck a lot. At 23:00 the doors to the dorm literally lock and you can’t get in until 6:00. ‘For safety.’ Because staying out all night/sleeping on the street is a lot safer than going inside at midnight, I guess?
Anyway, apart from the curfew life here is pretty good. Inside the dormitory, the rooms are not as terrible as they could be, and even though we all have to shower together in one room like a bunch of 12 year olds after gym class I don’t mind all that much.
The dormitory rooms are…well..I dunno..I’m just not used to living with a roommate and it annoys me a lot especially at night or when I just want some privacy. I’ve been escaping to the 찜질방 목욕탕 more than a few times just to get some time by myself. 찜질방 are public bathhouses, and 목욕탕 are the actual bath parts of them. They’re separated by sex, naturally, so basically what it is is a bunch of naked Korean dudes taking a bath together. The 목욕탕 I go to here in Daegu is pretty big, and it has three super hot baths of which two are tea water, one large cold bath to swim in, one small bath that’s kinda squeezed in the side that’s the perfect temperature for my foreigner disposition and a bunch of saunas and showers. Although a lot of 외국인 don’t like 목욕탕, I see it as a really interesting expression of Korean culture and I really enjoy hanging around there. Because no one there speaks English I can just relax without being distracted and the warm baths are great after a week of nothing but uncomfortable showers in the dormitory.
That was a bit of a long deviation from the topic of my room..미안. Uhm..well..it’s okay I guess.. As you can see I put up a bunch of stuff to make it feel a bit more like home, but actually the whole feel of the dormitory and the way of living here feels very much like you’re just staying here for a few weeks before you’re moving to another place..which is actually the case so that makes sense.
As for the classes themselves, they’re pretty challenging. We have class every day from 9:00 to 13:00, and extra classes from 14:00 to 17:00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I started in level 1 since my Korean skill isn’t anything to be proud of, and the classes started off really easy but by now I’m scrambling to keep up. The 선생님 are very skilled and are clearly doing their best to keep all us foreigners along for the ride though so I feel like I should step up my game and study a bit more.
Since I guessed you guys would probably be curious about what classes are like, I took my camera in for a lesson a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, 선생님 immediately made me recite some stuff so you can also hear my dumbass lagging answers, but I guess that’s the price I have to pay.
The classes are a bit..well..you can see from the picture and the video I suppose. It’s a lot like being back in basisschool (grade school). Not only the fact that we’re learning babby’s first words but also the way the desks are, the homework, the way we’re treated sometimes and I’ve even noticed I’m starting to act more and more like I did when I was in highschool. Probably not a good thing..
But I’m enjoying learning new things, recognizing stuff I’ve heard before and learning to read and write faster.
I need to study a lot if I’m to keep up with these classes though so…
Next time I’ll tell you about what else I’m up to other than studying~