Erasmus Stories - South Korea

Uncommon Destination

I remember it very well. It was nice day in January, walking down the hill from university, waiting for the result from exam, following the smell of coffee from near shopping center. Just Zuzana, Martin and me.  We were talking about exams, life in general and then offer from the heaven came. Zuzana asked us: “Guys don't you wanna go to South Korea?” My first reaction was: “No, Zuzana, I will stay in Slovakia and will inform you how the life is going in Slovakia and in our faculty.” Well, but you know, it was South Korea and I was still thinking about it. On the same day, I was having dinner with Martin and I asked him about the idea, if yes or no. “We have to try it,” he said. I immediately called to Zuzana that I am going with her and Martin to have adventurous exchange study. From this moment, everything started. Managing exams at university, filling in tons of papers, arranging visa, insurance and buying flight ticket.

As I wrote at the beginning, I remember it very well, so 1st March 2015 our long journey begun. Long journey which started in Budapest, then Dubai, Seoul and finally Daegu. More than one day of travelling. After arriving to Daegu train station, our Korean coordinator was waiting for us. We thought we are going to be in dormitory soon, but we had to travel one more hour to the village called Chilgok. When we came to Chilgok it was dark night. Everybody was sleeping so we had to wake up the security guy in the dormitory to show us our rooms. I shared my room with my Korean classmate, who was not speaking English at all, so you can imagine how we talked to each other.

We studied electro-technical engineering at Yeungjin College which was really nice and well equipped university. I have to say my exchange study was not as common as Erasmus stay, where you have lesson with few people, which are in English. We were in Korean class with many Korean students. From the beginning, it was not easy because field of study was really different from our field of study at Slovak university. After few days, everything was fine and we got to know each other. Some classmates were still a little bit shy but it was getting better. Koreans in general are shy and talkative, but you need to show them: “I respect you and I wanna be friend with you.” Till now I remember one really nice sentence which was written about me. “Even a big man can be polite and friendly”, as my classmates wrote in class chat on KakaoTalk, something as a messenger for Koreans.

We were really good class, really good group of people. We did a lot of activities together, as having breakfast, lunch and dinner together in the dormitory canteen, travelling to big towns for trips, amusement parks, etc.

I really appreciate I got this amazing opportunity to live and study in a foreign country to see how Asia looks like or how real Asian food tastes like. Definitely, the best thing from this stay is that I found friends forever. So those of you, who are still wondering why it is good to study abroad, go for it. It will be the best time of your life.

Article by Martin Vanya