COEX Mall | Samsung Aquarium & SMTown Artium

Our 4th log is finally up! Sorry for the delay. Hope you guys enjoy it! Let us know what you think about the new format. We may or may not upload a longer blog post about this trip later on, so make sure to keep an eye out.

 

– Lila & Lillian

Korean Pop Dance Workshops

Hi guys!! I hope everyone is doing well. Since our vlog is late this week, I (Lila) decided to put up another blog post.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a huge fan of Kpop-I especially love SHINee (샤이니) ^*^ (in case you haven’t heard of them, you should go check out their songs. Recommendation –> Married to the Music)- but I’m not so good at dancing, so I decided to take part in some K-pop Dance Workshops.

So far I’ve gone to 2 different workshops. The first one was last week where I learned Red Velvet’s Dumb Dumb. You can check out the song below.

We were in a small studio, and there were about 20 of us, so it was pretty cramped, but it was still really fun. I don’t know if this choreography is my style, but since I can’t really dance to any kpop song yet, it was a good start. I had fun and our instructor was really nice.

My 2nd workshop was yesterday. I liked it a bit better just because there were fewer people, so there was more room to move freely. The song we learned was Twice’s Ooh Ahh- the dance break. It definitely is not a dance style I’ve done before, but I like that it’s different. You can check our the song below. The dance break starts at 2:45.

I would love to share pics with you guys, but since there are other students in the pictures, I would like to get their permission before I put up pictures of them.

If any of you are in Korea and would like to take these dance workshops, feel free to contact me. ^^

– Lila

Noryangjin Fish Market | 노량진시장

This morning, we went to the Noryangjin Fish Market, located near the Noryangjin Station (노량진역) on subway line 9, either exit 1, 7 or 8. If you take exit 7 or 8, you will have to go up the stairs and across a bridge. We took exit 8 and had to do this. It is possible to take exit 1, but we took a wrong turn.

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This is the entrance of the market. 

The smell of seafood is really strong right as you enter the market, so it’s not recommended to go if you don’t really like fish/seafood.

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There are so many stalls!! But they all had really similar products for similar prices.

 

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Live Octopus (상낙지)!! We bought 3 to eat. It doesn’t really taste like anything, but it’s more about the experience ^^;;

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More stalls

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Angler/Monk Fish that was cut open

There was so much. We didn’t really know what to get. Really recommend going with someone who has experience or can at least speak fluent Korean. When we were walking through, they assumed that we were all Chinese. It was funny (since I, Lila, get this a lot), but Lillian was kind of salty because of this.

We ended up buying a sashimi (회) platter, oysters, eel, and octopus. To cook the oysters and eel, we went upstairs to a restaurant. It was pretty empty when we first got there, but as it got closer to noon, the place started filling up.

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Sashimi Platter!! It was prepared beforehand by the stall owner, so we were able to eat it first. The rest of our food came out afterwards.

Overall, this was a good experience. I would definitely want to go back with someone who knows their way around the market. It would add more to the experience, because we would be able to communicate better with the stall owners, and hopefully get the better quality fish/seafood.

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That’s all for now. Due to our schedules, we won’t be able to post up a video until later in the week. But make sure to stay tuned for that!

Hint for our next vlog~~ Tropical Fish on Apple iOS 9.3Tropical Fish on Apple iOS 9.3Tropical Fish on Apple iOS 9.3 (oh, the irony ㅋㅋㅋ)

– Lila & Lillian

Korean Language Institute| Introducing the Intensive Korean Language Course

This semester I am taking 4 courses- a total of 15 credits. One of these courses include the Intensive Korean Language course. It is 6 credits, and we meet 5 days a week for 2 hours at a time. The course runs entirely in Korean- it can depend on the level you test into, but for the most part, instructors will be speaking in Korean.

There are 6 levels- 6 being the most advanced. On the first day of class, there is a placement test which will determine which level you will be taking. It consists of two parts: (1) writing/reading and (2) listening/speaking.

If you’ve taken the TOPIK test before, the writing/reading section is quite similar. There are roughly 12 pages of questions. Most people are not able to finish the entire packet, as each section increases in the level of difficulty. I was only able to complete about half. I did feel a little discouraged, but after talking with my friend, I found that she was only able to finish a few pages as well, so it’s normal not to be able to complete the entire thing.

The listening/speaking part is conducted through an interview. The proctor will ask you a series of questions (i.e. where are you from, what year are you, what do you study, etc). The duration of the interview really depends on the proctor. My interview only lasted a few minutes. I was surprised that it was so short, but I guess it went well.

Luckily, I was able to place into level 3. It’s challenging, but not overly so. I can understand most of what the instructor is saying in class, so I’m quite happy with where I am.

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There are 2 parts to the course: (1) Grammar and (2) Listening. Grammar is covered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We go through 4 new grammar points and roughly 10 to 15 new words each day. Depending on the instructor, homework can be optional and typically includes making sentences using the new vocabulary and grammar.

Listening is covered on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We read 2 articles- usually 2 pages long- out-loud each day. My instructor recommends reading through the articles a few times before class, which is extremely beneficial, especially if you are like me and can take a while to process the contents of the reading. Homework includes the reading practice as well as listening to Korean music and watching Korean movies/dramas.

This is my favorite homework assignment. When my instructor explained about this, I was very excited. I love watching Korean movies/dramas and listening K-pop. Doing this has helped me a lot with learning Korean, so I highly recommend it, even if you don’t particularly like to watch the dramas or movies. There are useful expressions that you can pick up.

Overall, the workload outside of class is not too much. It does depend on the student. For me, I have to spend a bit more time, because it does take me a few times going the material to fully understand the meanings of the articles and how to use the new vocabulary, etc, but it is necessary to improve my language skills, so I don’t mind spending a little extra time.

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There are regular Korean language courses as well, but I would recommend taking the KLI course. The class time can be inconvenient (4-6pm Mon thru Fri) and the workload is heavier, but it will definitely help with your Korean language skills.

Thanks for reading. I will be posting more about the KLI Intensive Korean Language course in the future, so please stay tuned.

– Lila

Seoul Tours (cont.)

Hello everyone! As mentioned, we are posting up more details and pictures about our Seoul Tours. Please note that this is a long post, but there are a lot of pictures, so we hope you guys enjoy!

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The week we arrived at Yonsei, the Yonsei Global Group on campus arranged tours of Seoul for the exchange students. There were 3 tours available. Both of us wanted to go on the third tour as it was the best choice-tour 3 involved going to the N. Seoul Tower (aka Namsan Tower) at night and the Trick Eye Museum- but it filled up very quickly, so I (Lila) ended up going to the second tour- which was to the Blue House, DongA Ilbo Newspaper company, Channel A Station, and National Assembly.

Seoul Tour #2 (Lila)

So when I read the list of places we would see, I saw that we were going to take a tour of the Blue House (청와대), DongA Ilbo (동아일보), a newspaper company, their broadcasting station, Channel A, and the National Assembly. Although I had already been to the Blue House and National Assembly, I was excited to go again. I had never seen a newspaper company and broadcasting station before so I was interested. I expected to see the production of newspapers, but it didn’t exactly turn out that way.

On the day of the tour, we started by heading to the Blue House. I was excited…but then our group walked past the Blue House. I was confused, but assumed that we would come back after a stop at Cheongwadae Sarangche (청와대 사랑채), the museum across the street. It was an interesting museum. I was able to take a picture with the President of Korea and then one by the President’s desk.

I also tried to take an awesome jumping picture with my roommate and other classmates, but we had to rush it because it was almost time to leave, so it didn’t turn out that well.

As we exited Cheongwadae Sarangche, I thought it was time to head to the Blue House…but then we walked passed it again to our buses…I guess there’s always next time.

KakaoTalk_20160317_001258540Anyways, next on the list was DongA Ilbo and the Channel A Station, as well as the press museum, Presseum. All 3 were in the same area. DongA Ilbo is quite unique. It is the only newspaper in South Korea that includes Chinese characters in their newspapers. If you look at the picture on the left, you can see a front page sample that was given to all the students on the tour. The picture on the page was taken before the tour, and we received a copy at the end.

After the company tour, we went to the Channel A broadcasting station. We didn’t spend a long time there- just long enough to snap a few pictures. Seeing this smaller station made me wish I could visit one of the bigger broadcasting stations- hopefully one with a music show 🙂

There’s not much to say about the Presseum…but here’s a picture of the great view

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Lastly was the National Assembly. As I mentioned in our vlog, we weren’t able to visit the main building, but we were able to take some pictures in front of it.

And as someone who used to do gymnastics, I had to take a picture of me doing a handstand 🙂

Overall, this tour was nice- a little disappointing, as I assumed that I would get see the Blue House (청와대) and the main building of the National Assembly- but I was able to see more than if I had not gone, so it was good.

– Lila

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Seoul Tour #3 (Lillian)

I couldn’t help but feel really guilty about going on this tour because I was extremely disappointed that none of my other friends could come. When I found out that I was the only one that could go, I thought maybe I should just go another time, but everyone in the group said that I should go since it was a great opportunity.

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Knowing that I wouldn’t know anybody going on the tours, I immediately decided that I would have to make some friends before getting on the bus to go on the tour. I waited 10 minutes earlier than we were supposed to, and there were tons of people just waiting to leave. I walked around and eventually met some people. We sat on the bus together, and we head to the War Memorial of Korea. We arrived a little bit late on schedule because the bus ended going into the entrance where buses were not allowed, so the bus had to back up and find another entrance. What ultimately ended up happening was that we only got to explore only one part of the museum.

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As I explained in the video, the museum guide was hard to hear even though his English was pretty spot on. Therefore, I just went ahead and started taking pictures on my own. It was really interesting, and some portions of the museum were also very sad. However, the artifacts in the museum were all really wonderful and interesting.

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After, we headed towards the mountain to go to the Namsan Tower. At some point, I got really confused though because I didn’t know that the Trick Museum was in the tower. I ultimately thought we had to skip it because our tour guides were rushing us and because I thought the Trick Museum was only in Hongdae. Apparently, I was wrong, and there were two parts to the Trick Museum in the Namsan Tower. Both of them were really great, but the first one was really interesting because we had to go through it like a maze. I think my favorite shot was the one where I was pretending to be at the edge of a building looking down.

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Finally, after the Trick Art Museum, we got to go up to the actual Tower. Going on the elevator was so much fun, and it was incredibly fast. It was entertaining that they had a ceiling screen to show us a clip while going up. When I got to the top, the view was extremely incredible, and it was fun looking at the love tiles that couples put up there. On the ground floor, there were lots of couple and friendship locks everywhere. Some people even used their phone cases and wrote notes on the back of the case. After finishing touring the Namsan Tower, we ate bibimbap, and rode the cable car all the way back down to where the buses were waiting for us. I think for everything I did, 20,00o won (equivalent to $20) was definitely well spent.

– Lillian

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For those of you who read all the way through, 고맙습니당! Thank you! Hope you guys enjoyed all the pictures.

– Lila & Lillian

Important Pre-Departure Tips

There are many things to take care of before leaving for a semester abroad, and we wanted to highlight a few things and provide a few tips.

1. Getting your student visa

After getting accepted by Yonsei University, you should receive a packet of documents which include things like an acceptance letter, business registration, etc. You will need this packet in order to begin your application process for a student visa.

Once you have this packet, you’ll need to find the Korean consulate closest to your town. For me, since I am from Madison, Wisconsin, the nearest consulate was in Chicago (Link to website). If you are in or near LA, California, for example, the closest consulate would be in LA (Link to website). You will be able to print off an application form.

Here are the following documents you will need to submit with the form:

  • Your Passport
  • A copy of your passport
  • A passport-size picture (2″x2″), attach to your application form (this picture should be less than 6 months old)
  • Business Registration Certificate (which you should get from the school in Korea)
  • Original Certificate of Admission (which you should get from the school in Korea)
  • Proof of Financial Affordability (i.e. bank statement, letter from financial aid office at your university) **
  • Visa Fee of $45
  • Self-addressed, prepaid return envelope (We highly encourage sending trackable envelopes)

** You will need to have more than $4000 to $5000 in your bank account (the amount needed to pay for living expenses in Korea for the semester) or if you receive financial aid, you’ll need a letter from your school’s financial aid office.

***If you are under 18 years old, you will need your parent’s signature.

****If your parents are Korean-born and are American citizens, the Consulate needs proof that they gave up their citizenship if they do not already have it on file.

2. Alien Registration Card (ARC)

You won’t be able to get this until after you arrive in South Korea, however you’ll need to bring extra copies of important documents.

You’ll need the following:

  • Application Form (which you can find here– you’ll have to install the correct plugin for the website to work)
  • Copy of your passport picture page
  • Copy of the student visa page in your passport
  • 2 passport-size photos
  • ARC Fee: 30,000 Won

More information will be provided at the orientation for exchange students, but it will make the entire process easier to have most of these documents ready beforehand.

For any other documentation, your school should provide some guidance.

~Lila & Lillian

Welcome!!

안녕! Welcome to Lila and Lillian’s blog, Chinnanchingu (친한친구). We can’t wait to share with you guys our adventures during this semester abroad at Yonsei. We’ll be posting our experiences through blog posts, vlogs, Instagram pics, etc, so be sure to follow us!

Stay tuned for our next post and first vlog on our first few days in Seoul.

~Lila & Lillian