Dienstag, 21. Mai 2013

Festival Week - when the whole university goes crazy

You wanna hear just one reason for deciding to spend some time at a korean university? Here it is: Festival Week!
We don't have something like this in Germany so i had no idea what to expect. Well, after some time in Korea I should have known.... What is popular in Korea? Alcohol and dancing/ singing people on the stage. Put these two things together and voila, you know how I spent my last week. 
During the festival more or less every major and big university club provides all over the campus food and drinks (soju, beer, makgeolli) and students perform on the two stages (why do we need two??). Furthermore some Kpop bands also give us the pleasure, but i haven't watched all of them. 

So what have I done? 

Monday evening after class (start of the festival): Playing (when a korean person says let's go playing it means soju + games to drink more soju) with friends and hopping from one place to the other always to meet other friends, leaving some behind, taking some with and getting to know new friends of friends. One of our stopping points is in the spanish major department, in a little room with music to dance. Why it is an advantage to be a foreigner? Food and drinks are free and the "entrance" to this little room as well. 
The day ended in a noraebang/ Karaoke (yaaay). Waah one of the things I will miss most back in Germany are noraebangs!
--> Coming home at around 5 o clock in the morning. I have absolutly no idea when the sun is setting in the evening, but can say very well when it is raising in the morning. And everybody who heard about the curfew in dormitories which says to be back before midnight: My dormitory doesn't care about it. My cute security ajeoshi is even waving happily at me when I come back at whatever time in the night/ morning. If he is not currently sleeping.

Performance list of the week excluding student performances

Tuesday: Sleeping until the next class and going directly after the last class to the concert right infront of the my lecture building. First the music department shows off their skills (pretty good up to wow) and later the band "Lunafly" performs. Also another new korean girlgroup sings on the stage, but I still have no idea who they are. But kinda boring and I cannot see any difference from them to all the other "I-am-so-cute-girly-singing-puppets" (sorry). One these girls says she is a freshman here in the university this year, if i have understood it right in korean.

The highlight of the evening, "4 Minute" and "Davichi" I missed because I have gone to my club's party. Yep I'm also in some student clubs, this one is music and dancing (street dance in my case). 
So after the party, which was at the begining a bit boring but later on really fun (except of this one totally annoying chinese guy who followed me around on the dancefloor all the time without understanding "pushing-away-when-you-try-to-kiss-me-means-GET-LOST" ) and tidying up the bar again it is ---> 6 am coming home....


Wednesday: ...When does my first class begin? 9 am. Nice.....Around one and a half hours sleep later sitting in class for three hours to listen about I don't know what philosophy (required course from the university for every major called "The world we live in") and going right back to sleep for the whole afternoon. In the evening of course again going to play with friends and later on at midnight making a suprise for my friend from Ethiopia. The real birthday party follows the next day.
---> Going home at 2 am (wow really early)

Thursday: No claaaaass! That's one of the awesome things during this week: Some professors cancel their class for us to go to the festival or rather to sleep during daytime for me. 
Like I said, thursday means birthday party and later on hopping again from one table to the other for meeting friends. 
---> Coming home... uhm when did I come home?? I think about 4 am. 

One if the student performances

Friday: Festival is over!!! So at least I thought I could have a calm evening, but right after i come home from spending the day with a friend I get a call: "Jessie, come to Noraebang! NOW!" What?? "NOOOOOWWW". okayyyy. Still going home early because I was invited to another birthday party on saturday where I have to sleep over, cause it is in Cheongju, around 2 hours away.

Saturday: Birthday party aaaaaand german food!!!!!!! Waaah *_* Yea birthday child is a german friend of me so she just had to say she will cook food from our home and I said I will come. 
Besides eating we go bowling aaand Noraebang! Three times Noraebang in a week is a new record for me. Afterwards playing drinking games in the appartment where we also sleep. 
--> Going to bed at 8 am. 

Sunday: Driving home to Suwon in the evening after everybody gets ready and the house is cleaned. But wait a second... Why am I in Korea again? Ah yea....studying... So... let's do the homework after arriving on sunday evening... Well my eyes don't like the idea and close every few seconds. Okay, go to sleep and wake up earlier before class and write the essay. It's not my first time here....

So, that was more or less my last week, but before everybody thinks I'm just here to make party, let's reveil some midterm results (dadadaam). Best one: A+ (still can't believe it). Worst one until now: B. One result is still missing, but I will get it tomorrow. And no, I am absolutly not that kind of person who is sitting all the time in the room to study. Ask anybody who knows me back in Germany about my high school results... Well let's not talk about it. But because I need my GPA of 3,0 I am kinda forced to get good grades, so yea let's study!

Samstag, 20. April 2013

Midterms! Midterms! Midterms!

Dear Scholarship,

you know how much I love you. I never dared to dream about you choosing me as a partner. But you did, and I still can't really believe it. 
I remember clearly how I met you for the first time. I was fascinated by you right away. But I couldn't tell you at this moment....It was a one-sided love, with just a very small hope, that you would feel the same for me. 
But finally I proposed to you! However, you couldn't give me your answer at that day, you wanted to think about it, for two long weeks... You can't image how nervous I was! Would you like me? Is there somebody better than me? Would our story end before it ever has begun?
And then...the day has come. At three o clock in the morning (stupid time difference from Germany to Korea) you have written me an e-mail.... You wanted to try it, you wanted to start a relationship with me. I was so happy to scream out loud, but the rest of my family was sleeping, so I had to go crazy silently (미치 GO!).
Since then we had a wonderful time! I admit, we also went through little fights, like every couple experiences it, but all in all I'm still so glad to be with you!
But I have to say, you are giving me a hard time right now. You want to test me during the next week, if I am still good enough for you, if not, you will put your eyes on somebody else.... Because of you my days are just learning and learning and learning, to reach your level.
I can't eat breakfast, cause I'm thinking of you. 
I can't eat lunch, cause I'm thinking of you.
I can't eat dinner, cause I'm thinking of you.
I can't sleep at night, cause I'm hungry.
I don't wanna loose you! So please, I know that you are very demanding, but don't turn away from me easily, don't forget the time we spent together!

Forever in love, 

your Jessie

Everybody struggling with the midterms, Hwaiting!

Mittwoch, 3. April 2013

And the Award for best acting goes to....

....Me and Dyane!! Why? Let me tell you:

Just a few minutes ago we have been sitting innocently on a bench in the dormitory, enjoying our ice-cream and talking about random stuff. Suddenly a korean girl/ young woman arrived and asked if she can sit down next to us. I thought: Sure, maybe she's interessted in talking with foreigners and wants to practice her english at us. Well... After two minutes I already had a bad feeling. Another two minutes later and I know I was right.

 "I want to talk with you about God."

Not again!!! I mean, yes I'm Christian, I believe in god, but why do I get asked every single week about it in Korea???? 
So what to do? How can we get rid of her? 
Me:"Sorry, I don't have the time to participate."
She: "Yes, you are a student here. So you can talk about the bible with me"
Me (thinking): What don't you understand in the sentence I don't have time?? Okay, let Dyane speak with her and think about a way out of this situation, without being rude, followed by her or any other case. hmm.... IDEA!
Me: "Dyane, est-ce que tu peux m'appeller?"
The good thing is: Both of us speak french. So i just asked Dyane in french, if she can call me. She understood my plan immediatly and letting a minute pass, my phone began to ring. 
Me: "Hey, ... Yea, sure.... Yea, alright, I'm coming right way!" "Sorry, I have to go!"
Dyane: "Oh really, already?"
Me: "Yea, I'm sorry. Let's go!" 
Once again saying sorry to the girl and both of us going away, trying not to burst out in laughter. 

Yeaaa I'm proud of us!!!

Trying to become the best actors on campus, Hwaiting!

Montag, 25. März 2013

Stories from the Classroom

My lectures started now already three weeks ago and in another three weeks my midterm exams are running by (ahhhh)... 
The classes theirselves remind me much more of a highschool, than actually a university, even if the topics for example in economics are completly the same than in a german course, i've taken before, it is just much easier explained and the professor talks for ages about one part, until everybody gets the point.
Because I am german, one of my professors thinks I know everything, I have about everything an opinion and absolutly want to share it with my classmates. Ah well... No, thanks. Still I'm getting asked every single lesson, what I think about this and that and whatever. Last time I tried to rescue me in a coughing attack, but my prof just waited until I can nearly breath again, so I can tell the others about my glorious thoughts. 
Another special person in relation to this is my political science professor. As far as I know he spent some time in Germany or "can" at least speak some German. So also nearly in every lecture he tries to impress me and the class with his german skills, writing any random words related to politics on the board and asks me to translate, explain, interpret or correct it. Korean friends told me, they don't critize teachers...sorry, I still correct writing mistakes, infront of everyone :-P
So who else is there... Ah yea, economics... I guess the professor is not bad at all, sharing stories of her horrible singing skills, scaring of the neighbors and what relation this has to economics. The only problem...her english sucks. She spent 13 years in the US and sometimes I am still not even sure if she is speaking korean or english right  now.
Because I am a regular freshman here, I have to participate like everybody else from my korean classmates in some obligatory courses, unrelated to my major. Including a Freshman seminar, completly in Korean. Do I speak korean? Eh.. okay let's skip this question. 
By the way, I am taking part now in a korean class with such an enthusiastic teacher, I would have loved to have in a highschool language class. She offers us to come earlier in the morning and staying longer afterwards, giving compliments and talks in korean as much as possible. Also her little daughter tries to entertain us, when she thinks our brain needs a break (or she just wants to go home), pulling down the shirt of her mum, giving out a view of her underwear... Oh there were suddenly so many interessting things in the classroom to look at, like the door, the table or the light on the ceiling.

Just one more thing about the classes: Homework, reading, reading, reading, studying... I really have never studied as much as in Korea, spending parts of the weekends in the library. I still can't believe it, that I am really lookin in my books so often. Dear Highschool teachers of me: You see, if I want I CAN study, it was just that your lessons were totally boring and it was more interesting to go out with friends, travelling through germany and making party at concerts.

Totallly scared of the Midterm exams, Hwaiting!

Mittwoch, 13. März 2013

It's picture time

I promise I will write more of a text in the next days, just today i need to finish my reading for tomorrow's class and my bed is screaming very loudly for my.
So today I will just upload a few pictures, because my last post is allready some time ago...Sorry for that!

By the way, my timetable is fixed now (finally, after throwing it upside down a hundred times). My courses are now: Introduction to political science, Economics 1, Introduction to International Relations, The world we live in (really have no idea why I have to take this class and still not really what it is actually about), Understanding documentary and a freshman seminar, which is completly in korean, so i understand maybe around 1%  from what they are talking about. At least I don't have to write exams in it. But debate... Well, it will be really fun to debate in korean if I'm not even able to say the word "debate" in korean. Freshman seminar, Hwaiting!

A korean kindergarten, where my korean class will take place 

Some food in my dormitory

My Political Science Book... Yees everybody who doesn't believe it (including me): i really do my homework!!

Street food, how you find it everywhere. I still have no idea what I've actually eaten...
Breakfaaaaaaast! (oh i don't have anything to eat for tomorrow morning in my room... ah lets just sleep long and go directly for lunch :-D )

Montag, 4. März 2013

Hongdae - where the life begins

Before my class starts on monday, I wanted to spend some time at the weekend in Seoul. So we built up an international team including a girl from Tunisia, one from Bulgaria, a german boy and yea don't forget me, myself and I.

If you want to go to an exciting place, where all the time something's interessting on the street go to Hongdae! We spent the afternoon there walking through all this little cutie shops and drank Coffee and Hot Chocolate (yep, still don't like coffee) in the Coffee shop of a famous korean producer (Teddy from YG, my friend told me).
As soon as it gets dark the real life begins in Hongdae... Every 5 meters other street games, performers and underground rappers are presenting their stuff, and hey they're pretty cool!
Because of one of the singers we were even nearly missing our bus. I already thought we have to spent the night lost in Seoul...and it was damn it cold. Arriving back at Seoul station where our bus to Suwon would depart we really got lost! I felt like coming from a little village and facing now for the first time the hugeness of a capital train station. But try to find exit 9 if there are just signs of 1 - 4... Finally I asked a korean girl for the way and she was so kind to lead us outside. Just... the bus was full! In Korea every front of a bus (which is driving not just inside a city) has an automatical sign which shows how many people can still get inside the bus. If every seat is full, the driver doesnt let anymore people in. Fortunatly a few minutes later another bus was coming, we thought we missed the last one...

By the way, I am still focusing some problems concerning my korean phone number. There is just one company which sells prepaid cards including internet and right this company is facing whatever  kind of legal affairs! We ran from one shop to the other, until finally one shop in Hongdae had an english paper, saying that I should come back at the 13th of march, then they are selling simcards again. Yea, thank you. Still ten days without a phone card.... in Korea!!!

On our way the eat your kimchi studio :-) Yeaa I admit it: I love the videos of these guys!

Actually I have no Idea what they wanted to tell us with this project...


Some kind of game where you have to throw a coin on the things on the ground. My friend tried it and totally failed ^_^

Exploring Seoul and try to understand the subway system, hwaiting!

Samstag, 2. März 2013

Surrounded by cameras on the red carpet

On Thursday I got to see the other freshmen of my major for the first time and all together we were brought by busses to our second campus in Seoul to attend the Entrance ceremony. You think you have seen nice ceremonies in Germany? Forget it all in comparison to what happens in Korea!
The Peace hall
After arriving with the bus on a sport field, we should stand in line by two next to each other (ohh when have I done this the last time... in elementary school?! we just missed holding hands during walking) while the first person was given a big flag with our Department (International Studies) on it. Like this one department after the other walked through the campus like a parade to our final destination (padadadam): The Notre-dame-doppelganger-place-of-many-concerts-and-today-our-entrance-ceremony-hall. On our way there all the people around us were congratulating us to be accpeted to Kyung Hee University, just like we would have won a gold medal in olympia. Also many clubs of our both campuses made advertisment for themselves and gave us many flyers for I don't know what all.
The last few meters up to the entrance of the Peace Hall I couldn't believe my eyes: They rolled out the red carpet for us! Feeling like a movie star we went inside the building and searching our place, looking around the big opera hall.

The stage with our department flags on the left and right side

After all the I don't know how many thousands of freshman found their seats, the moderation started to announce the presidents speech. And it followed another speech. And another speach. And... Well, all of it was in Korean, so mostly I just understood all the congratulations again, that we were accepted to this great university (Honestly, yes i feel kinda proud :-) ) and we should give our best by studying hard.
Oh wait one weird thing was happening before the speeches: The moderation team said something about standing up (that was all I understood) and suddenly really everybody around me got on their feet. Ehm, guys what's going on??? I asked someone next to me and well, we should just do the same as he does, which means: put your hand to the heart, look to the left... and greet the korean national flag! Ah..yea...nice....oh girl watch out that you don't burst out in laugh!
After all the talking the performances could start. Our university is famous for having a lot of singers studying in our school and also the amateurs are quite awesome! It started by a choir with orchestra, going up to performances of the musical department playing a scene out of "Fame".
You all know the song YMCA? Well, a group of the postmodern music major changed the song or better the choreaography a little bit so instead of the handsigns for YMCA, the whole audience should do together with them KHU, which is the short form of Kyung Hee University. Yep, the relationship between the students in Korea and their university is a bit different then students would feel in Germany.
The Highlight for some of the students might be the two Kpop (Korean Pop Music, you hear it everywhere walking along a street out of the shops) groups. I didn't know any of them, but they were quite good. The boyband is still pretty new, like I heard and is called "Speed".

But really fascinating was the behaviour of the male students, when the girlband arrived: They were running to the stage, screaming, singing along (Ohh babyyyy ohhh be my ladyyy, ah well don't remember more of the text) and everywhere were the newest smartphones (that's a korean phenomen that really everybody has a big new smartphone) risen in the air not to miss any centimeter of the girls on the stage. If I understood it right, one of the girls is even studying at my campus. It was really amusing, most of the time I didn't look on the stage, but just at the boys around going crazy. Yea, it was fun :-)
Ah their name was Davichi by the way, others told me that they are pretty famous in Korea.
What also impressed me, was the performance of the Taekwondoteam, this guys are amazing!

Unfortunatly I didn't expect such a big event, so I haven't brought my Camcorder and camera along. The pictures and videos added in here are just made with my Iphone, so sorry for the bad quality at some of them.

Inside the Peace Hall
On the way back home with the school busses you really noticed that you are in Korea: As soon as you enter a kind of transportation, 90 % fall asleep. And while I would be the one to miss my destination and just staying a bit longer in my dreamland, they wake up right at the right time... I definitly need to learn this.

Let's try to study well to make the university proud of us, like we are proud to belong to it, freshmen Hwaiting!