How long were you in Korea?
What city did you live in?
Why did you choose that city?
It was the city of the university to which I got my scholarship to study abroad.
Where were the top 3 places you visited in Korea? What made them special?
1. Nami Island - I loved Nami Island because the natural beauty of it is stunning. It was my first time seeing metasequoia trees. I also loved the amount of different activities there were to do - water sports, bike riding, concerts, etc. It was a good way to get out of the city for a while, take a train trip and experience Korea's natural beauty!
2. Seokguram - Coming from a place where there are not many mountains or Buddhist temples, Seokguram stands out for me because it was a very unique experience. Nestled in the moutains with a beautiful view of the city of Gyeongju below, I loved visiting Seokguram because I got to learn about Buddhism in Korea and how it is practiced, and take in the wonderful scenery around me. I even got to speak to a monk in Korean!
3. Tongin Market - Before I went to Korea, I had dreamt about visiting a traditional market filled with an assortment of delicious, warm food and Tongin Market gave me exactly that! Not only was it picturesque but there is a Doshirak Cafe there in which you purchase small coins (nyangs) and you use those to build your own lunchbox by visiting the various stalls and picking small items you want to eat. It was delicious and fun!
What did you like most about your experience in Korea?
My favourite part about my experience in Korea was getting to interact with others using the Korean language. As someone who has been learning it for a long time, I was always eager to be able to practice by speaking to someone. Going to Korea gave me the opportunity to practice it all day, every day and it was so fun!
If you could recommend one Korean dish to your friends, what would it be? Describe it.
I would recommend soft tofu stew (soondubu jjigae). It is my absolute favourite Korean dish! It is made of a spicy seafood broth in which you put an assortment of seafood (shrimp, mussels, squid) as well as green onions, eggs, and of course, Korean soft tofu that just breaks apart as you eat! It is spicy but if you can handle it, it's well worth it.
What was a new experience that you had in Korea?
When I was in Korea, I got to participate in a short program in which I learned talchum, a traditional Korean dance. I had never danced before so learning talchum was not only a new experience for me, but it was also one that taught me a lot about Korean culture while being very enjoyable!