Hi! My name is Sherryne and I’ve been on exchange at Korea University (KU) for about a month or so now (and I’m loving it!!). It is relatively inexpensive to live in Korea, plus the food is delicious and the shopping is great! Korea is also the home of the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten, and the most amazing dessert called bingsu (finely shaved ice with various toppings). Below, I have focused on two things that I have experienced as an exchange student at KU: KUBA and the Ko Yon Sports Festival.
KU has this great program called KUBA (Korea University Buddy Assistance) where every exchange student is assigned a buddy (each buddy has about 3-4 exchange students), and each buddy group is placed into a larger group with other buddies and exchange students (about 100 people in total). The KUBA buddies are really helpful! I had bought a prepaid sim card from the airport (bad idea), but wanted to cancel it and go with a different telecom provider. My buddy helped me cancel my other prepaid service and set up a new one – calling the companies and communicating with them on my behalf. Even though it was a long process, she said she was really happy she could help me with something!
Also, the KUBA groups organise two outings a week (one for lunch, the other for dinner) and fortnightly weekend group activities to explore Seoul! These meet ups and activities are a great way to make friends with other exchange students and other Korean buddies. KUBA buddies will also introduce you to Korean drinking games, which are a lot of fun! If you don’t like to drink, don’t worry, you can still participate in the games with just a glass of water. Thanks to KUBA, I can be sure to always find someone to eat, explore and have fun with!
고연전: Korea v Yonsei Sports Festival
One of the highlights of my exchange so far definitely has to be 고연전!! Every year, Korea University and Yonsei University (two of the three most prestigious universities in Korea) battle it out in five sports over two days: Baseball, Basketball, Ice Hockey, Rugby, and Soccer. The energy at these games is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. If you think you’re going to just watch the games and shout out a few words of support, you’re in for a shock. Before the games even start, you’ll be doing choreographed cheers… during the entirety of each game, you’ll be cheering… and even in the breaks you’ll be cheering! Some cheers make fun of Yonsei (Yonsei chicken!) while others support KU. The cheering culture in Korea is no joke – it is intense, crazy and whole lot of fun!! KUBA holds a cheering orientation for all the exchange students before the event to help you learn all the cheers (there’s about 20 of them!). After a short break at the end of the second day to replenish your energy, cheering continues at the after party on the streets around both universities! After cheering for two days, you’ll still be singing the cheers in your head and be suffering from cheering withdrawal! Even though KU is only my foster university, I felt a lot of KU pride over those two days. Go dae, go dae, go dae!!
I highly recommend Korea as an exchange destination, and KU as a host university!
By Sherryne Dayoub 11400456