Books I bought in Korean (and other acts of madness)

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새해 복 많이 받으세요!

It’s already been over a week since I left the Land of the Morning Calm and returned home – and discovered that Seoul has more snow than Michigan, which is terrible. Michigan, I feel betrayed!

In my three heavy suitcases, I lugged back my earthly possessions: clothes, gifts, selfie sticks, and of course, books. Textbooks, biographies, and works by Andrei Lankov, obviously, but more pertinent to my language studies, I brought back books in Korean.

Me in the Kyobo Bookstore inside Gwanghwamun Station

I am a firm believer that the more you read, the wiser you can become, and the better you learn to write and comprehend. It doesn’t matter what language you read in; it will help you. Korean is no exception, which is why I pushed myself to buy two novels that I know I cannot read without laboring over each paragraph. You can’t get better without challenging yourself. I also chose to buy poetry, because poetry is artistic and allows one to learn about the creative soul within a language.  Continue reading

Seoul Adventures: The Sunday Struggle

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안녕하세요!

One thing that I had a lot of trouble with when I first arrived in Seoul was finding a church – both finding a church where I could attend on Sundays and literally finding the church on Sunday. I was saved by my best friend’s friend who graduated from Yonsei University and is a Catholic. She gave me directions to the church that she attended and recommended it because the 6PM service was geared towards a younger, college-age type of a crowd.

I went out to find it, leaving with plenty of time (or so I thought) to get there early and tuck myself away into a pew as unobtrusively as possible, but as luck would have it Continue reading

The Cost of Living in Seoul: Student Style

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안녕하세요!

It’s unbelievable that I’ve already been in Seoul for over a week and a half, and today is my fourth day of classes. The amount and variety of things to do can be a little overwhelming, so I haven’t been very good about writing posts….Yes, yes, dishonor on me, dishonor on my cow….

Living in Seoul for even just a week and a half has given me a good sense of the cost of living – if you take out the cost of a place to stay. I live in a dorm on campus, and compared to my home university’s housing fees, it is very cheap.

There are other things that cost money, however. Food, clothes, transportation, coffee (there are innumerable cafes in every direction), tours, traveling (cross-country, like to Busan, as opposed to within Seoul). And textbooks/printing out class assignments and readings.  Continue reading

First Impressions: Public Transportation in Seoul

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안녕하세요!

Writing this from Seoul, South Korea! This is my first post from the Land of the Morning Calm.

I arrived in Incheon International Airport last Sunday afternoon, and now it’s another Sunday afternoon and I have a little bit of time before I go to 광화문광장 (Gwanghwamun Plaza) and 동대문 (Dongdaemun). I intend to use the coming week to share some things that I’ve seen or learned this past week. Today I’m going to talk about getting around the city.  Continue reading