So I went to Korea University, one of the most prestigious university in South Korea, for summer school from June-Aug 2016. Because the experience itself is too good for just one post, I need to relive it by separating them into three different post 1) The Entire summer school experience itself 2) Intro to marketing module which I took and 3) Consumer Behaviour.
The Entire Summer School Experience
So I took the not so well trodden path of going alone to Korea University or KU because I felt that KU had more to offer instead of accompany my friends to Hanyang University, and also cause I believe that if you are going with a group of friends overseas, might as well go for a holiday. Hence, to prevent yourself from being guilt tripped into going for something you do not really want to and to embrace the true feeling of independence, go for summer school ALONE!!! I cannot stress the importance of this enough.
Anyway, throughout the summer school, you will be able to meet new friends from all round the world, from Texas to Hong kong to Toronto and back to Singapore. But the harsh reality is that after the 6 weeks, your international friends are gonna go home and there might not be a chance where you will ever meet again. And that is very, very sad.
School in Korea was fun, and the professors had a lot of experience and they will make the lessons as interesting as possible. So, a day at school will start at 9.15am which I regret a lot and a lot of students ended up skipping these 9.15 classes simply because they overslept/ lazy get out of bed due to Hongdae Everyday, late night at Myeongdong , well you get the idea – Seoul is the city which never sleeps.
It was my first time living away from my family for an extended period of time, the few weeks in National Service does not really count. I stayed at this hostel, Koreans call it goshiwon (or one room apartments) which is a communal style living and everybody easily makes friends with one another. Most of the occupants are Singaporeans (foreigners tend to stay within the school, which is actually less convenient because they need to climb up this slope everyday) and during the key exams period, you can literally be basked in the aura of the Singaporean mugging spirit. From the laundry area to the nice cosy cafes opposite my place, you can see and tell that the people studying hard till the wee hours of morning are the Singaporeans. Most people think that summer schools are just for fun, easy, since it is just a pass/fail thing. But, it is not the case for Singaporeans. This competitive spirit was highlighted by the summer school dean himself during the Singaporean night, where he acknowledged that professors liked the SG students a lot due to their ability and punctuality. However, because of this competitive spirit, I could feel that there is a gap when the international students are asked to collaborate for a project work. Like you could genuinely tell that this cultural differences will create friction to the team dynamics and as a Singaporean, knowing that your grades are at stake, will take it upon yourself to salvage the entire group work.
Anyway, the summer school trip itself was more of a cultural experience for me. So the weekly cultural outings were a must-go for me. I tried Taekwondo, went for mud festival, water gun festival, assimilating into the Korean culture by going for baseball games and ordering chicken and beer. Not a day passed by in Korea where students will feel bored and out of things to do. Every week was packed to the brim and I could slowly pick up some Hangul to converse with the local ahjumma at the restaurant.
Alright that is all and since this post is about the KU experience, I end this post with pictures of the trip as my artefacts.