Thursday, July 24, 2014

Well this is our final week in Seoul, we leave on Sunday. I have to say that I am happy to be returning home, but that I will miss this place to some extent. Finals were this week Tuesday and Thursday. We studied hard, and have graduation on Friday. This past week we went to the Everland theme park, which was a lot of fun, but unfortunately I got sick on the first ride; but I still enjoyed walking around and seeing everything. Its one of the largest theme parks in Asia. This weekend we also went to a 4D movie, and a couple museums. The movie was amazing, I didn't know that 4D existed. We saw Planet of the Apes, which was in English excluding the subtitles for the sign language, but that was okay, we were happy to watch something in English for the first time since we left. We also went to the Korean war museum, which I would highly recommend. They had dozens of planes and tanks that you could look at, and a large ship that you could go aboard and look around as well. The second museum was a Korean history museum, it wasn't quite as interesting as the war museum, but was still really nice. They had some statues there from the 1st and 2nd century. I was amazed how old some of the artifacts were. Its been raining a lot here the last week, but we've been lucky that it hasn't rained the whole time. I am ready to go home, but I have been so lucky to experience something like this, which is completely different from anywhere I've been in America. To anyone who wishes to study  abroad or just travel abroad my advice would be merely just to go and do it. I think if you don't seize the opportunity you may end up regretting that you didn't just go and see the world.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The last few days have been fun, we've finished midterms, haven't gotten our grades back yet, but fingers crossed. Next week is finals and graduation. Time has gone relatively fast here, a month sounds like such a long time, but we are now getting down to our final days.

On last Wednesday we went hiking. Even though it was raining quite hard, it was so much fun. When we got up our first hill, we accidentally wondered into a private temple, where a monk yelled at us to leave! Once we got out of there we hiked to the top of some mountain. The hiking here is absolutely beautiful, and many people enjoy the scenic views.

Well last Saturday we went to a beach west of Seoul; what an adventure that was. Like I've said before the subway system is very easy to figure out, the bus system is a little more difficult. To get to the beach we took an hour subway ride, than an almost two hour bus ride, then a taxi ride to a 10 minute ferry to an island, to then get on another bus ride to finally have to walk the last half mile or so to the actual beach. The beach was not at all touristy which I really enjoyed. The weather was quite foggy, but swimming was still fun, I believe we were in the east China sea, but whoever we asked they said something different.

And on Sunday, we went to the DMZ. I couldn't take many pictures due to the restrictions. The experience was fun and at least I can say I've been there, but it was extremely touristy. We were able to go into an underground tunnel that North Korea dug under the DMZ in order to attack South Korea, so that was pretty interesting. Other than that it was extremely interesting but not as dangerous or exciting as you might expect.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

In the last few days we have done quite a bit. Besides school, we have visited a Korean prison, the Seoul Zoo, and the Toilet House Museum. There is so much to do in Seoul, we are trying to fit it all in before we leave. The prison was really quite interesting; The Japanese had taken thousands of Koreans prisoner and tortured and murdered them.

On a much more cheerful note, we also visited the zoo, it is one of the largest in the world. Unfortunately many of the exhibits were closed while we were there, we didn't get the see dolphins, any types of birds, or even the tigers (which is one of the most popular animals there). Once we got to the top of the hill where the zoo ended, we were able to take a ski lift down to the bottom again, it took about fifteen minutes or so, but the view was amazing! Besides missing out on some things, we had a great time.

After the zoo we took the subway to the Toilet House museum. Apparently there was a governor, or some type of political figure that was obsessed with toilets. He built his house in the shape of a toilet bowl, and collected things all about toilets, it was interesting. Bathroom humor translates in any language.
Lastly I wanted to mention something about the food in Korea. There are tons of resturants that are so good. Even if they look a little weird, as long as it seems clean, try it. There is this one restaurant down the street from campus (the name is in Korean so I can't pronounce it) but they have this noodle dish that is so good and is only 2500 won or about $2.50. A lot of food is very cheap, and street food is to die for, but make sure to attempt to learn spicy in Korean, because they definitely layer the spices.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

So far South Korea has been a blast. I have been here about a week and it has been all but dull. The first day we (Michael and I) arrived our ATM cards did not work. This was absolutely horrible... we couldn't even buy a water! The following day went much better though. We have explored a large portion of Seoul, but it seems endless. There are a ton of small markets that have so many cheap trinkets and gifts. School has just started and seems to be going alright we don't have any classes on Wednesdays which is cool, but the classes are 3 hours long a piece. Seoul is pretty much everything I've expected, some areas are a lot better than others, but that's how everywhere is. The subway system is amazing, everything is color coded so it is easy to find your way around even when you can't pronounce the name of the station. We went on a tour of the city as well, that was interesting to see the different palaces, and the Seoul Tower. The hills in Korea are probably the worst, being a flat lander from South Dakota, the steep inclines and hilly campus are tough on me, but I'll be running up them by the end of the month.