안녕하세요 everyone! As you might be able to tell, we have just come from a Korean class:) 안녕하세요 (Annyeong hasayo) is the Korean way of saying hello, although it literally translates to ‘are you at peace?’, which I think is a pretty great way of greeting.
Our first few days in Korea have been an absolute whirlwind. We are attending our EPIK orientation at Busan University of Foreign Studies, which is honestly just the most gorgeous campus. It is insanely cold for my little South African toes, but it has been a welcome relief from Summer in SA! Busan is one of the biggest cities in South Korea, and the campus is on the side of the mountain overlooking the lights and skyscrapers of the city. I am noticing just how different the Korean sense of aesthetics is, as there seems to be art and design everywhere, even down to keep out signs complete with cute characters sternly saying ‘no’.
One of the best ways to beat the horrid jetlag is to get into the routine of sleeping and waking at the correct hours as soon as possible, and Chris and I have been exploring walks in the forest next to campus in order to motivate us to get out of bed. Some of the EPIK teachers have been brave enough to take a walk down the hill and into Busan, but the thought of the walk back has kept me happily on campus for now!
So what are the highlights so far?
- Amazing, friendly EPIK staff and teachers
- Relevant and high energy lectures
- Meeting so many people from around the world
- The beauty of the Busan area
- The glorious Korean food we get three times a day!
And the parts I’m battling with?
- Staying in a seperate dormitory to Chris (Busan University does not offer married couples accommodation, so that has been difficult)
- Freezing cold outside, Super warm inside, Repeat
- The EPIK medical test (but to be honest, it was much less scary than I expected)
- The sheer amount of people here (280++) makes an introvert like me a little overwhelmed at times
Overall, the experience so far has exceeded my expectations at every turn. This is not your average school camp, and things move quickly here! It is strange that when I am saying good morning, my family in SA is still fast asleep, but I’m sure it will get easier with time and skype 🙂
So anyways, wherever you are, good night, or good morning 🙂