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It was one of those shivering autumn nights that I opened my diary to write down how I spent a clumsy first day as a graduate student at GSIS. In the blink of an eye, I can’t believe I am now about to finish the last page.
I could never have expected I would come this far with so much pride and confidence to pursue my dreams, especially after the heart attack I nearly suffered following my first mid-term exam. However, thanks to this, I learned how to step outside my comfort zone, put my head down and study hard like my fellow classmates. As a result, the first semester was worth all the blood, sweat and tears.
Then spring came, and I became a Seonbae. My life at Sogang blossomed like the flowers in Yeouido. Student life is not only about studying; here at GSIS, we are like a small family, sharing ideas, friendship, and happiness. Though professors are often strict and scary, we students could always feel their love and support. They did their best to show us new paths and help us realize our talents.
The season changed and my third semester at GSIS looked even brighter than the yellow autumn leaves. More greetings in the corridor of J building and everywhere else on campus, as I befriended more GSIS family members. The opening party, MT, IT party, field trip, that once was lonely and intimidating was now filled with laugher and great memories. The head-off-home-after-class routines were replaced by chit chatting hour after hour in our little multi-media lab and hallway.
Sitting down and recalling those images of my almost two years with GSIS, I can’t hold back the smile. Thanks to my international and inspiring GSIS family, I was able to swim across the sea of hardships and can now look back and proudly smile at the person I am today. Although my mission here will come to an end in a few months and I’m going to miss this place a lot, I’m also excited and eager to see what I will fill in my next page. I hope all of you too have found more reasons to smile and are proud of yourselves and the memories at Sogang GSIS.
GSIS, Fall 2012, MT to Nami Island
N.B: flawless grammar mistake credit to my bestest mentor ^^
My 2nd semester will start soon. I have classes for full week. And yeah.. have many reasons to decide like this. Master course in Korea, need at least 45 credits include thesis writing. Students need to work very hard or can be said, no more social life, otherwise, your scores will be worse. For my case, I can have a long vacation 5 months per year, but for my friends who studies science, they have labs which means vacation in a year is around 2 weeks long and also their working hours should be from morning till night to be able to get home. However, to get one thing you have to lost one thing, and you have to choose for a better good or future good or whatever your priority or value that you give to.
Before starting semester, students have to register course, we must be quick and ready. Search for all info we need about the course and professor (quality, workload, and especially how prof. grade us), some professor can be torturing on grading but some give us chance to get up even if we fail the mid-term, and some look more on our participation in class, and some are just paper based performance. Therefore, junior students seek for their senior to get recommendation about courses and professor. See? If one prof. is loved by many students the next generation will be queue up to study with him/her, while the classroom size is limited, course registration should be a quick as lightening.
From this semester on, I will have 3 days, while Thursday are count to work on assignment from school, I no longer a free spirit students. However, I’m glad for that because I can concentrate more and working harder than before. (Every student always have this feeling before semester starts . lola)
Let’s me laugh first!! hahaha!!! Funny story that remind me to post this. Last winter, my new Chinese roommate moved in. She always take care of her beauty and she definitely beautiful, and she has this tiny thing in the bathroom. I was wondering she really take good care of her face even using the eggs to improve her face skin, Chinese are a like to Cambodian, because in my country, egg can be used a lot to care for health, the first main role for lady are that we apply the white area of the eggs with some milk over the face to have baby-face skin. However, day by day, that eggs are still there, in the bathroom, she had 2 of it, 1 with the brown skin and one without skin (Like a boiled and cooked egg, ready to eat) If I were her, I’ll finish the egg right after 2 minutes but no, it’s months over there.
Then I start to think again, maybe she got swollen or hurt somewhere that she need to use the boiled egg to heal the swollen area. Yeah, we do like this in Cambodia, once you hurt or got swollen, we use boiled egg to apply over there so the blood can process well and get better soon. Again, days passed, that eggs are still there, same place, same shape. I thought to myself, why don’t she throw it away, the cooked egg can smell very very bad if we keep it long, due my experience I remember when I was young we travel on a trip while having the boiled egg on the way in our car, dad said, one day the car smell so bad and later he found out that it was the egg that left there. If you wanna know how bad smell it is, you can try. lolz. Though, she didn’t throw it even if the boxes were already teared into pieces due to the wet from the bathroom. I lived with her for 6 months, till she moved out and back to her country, then the egg also gone. Of course, we have to respect with each other, I can not tell her to throw away her stuff also the egg was giving no bad smell as my dad’s experience at all. Also, I didn’t care to smell it either.
Many months passed, I have a new roommate, she doesn’t have that egg at all. However, I walked passed by a shop “Tony Moly” and it surprised me because I found these things, “THE EGGS”, I laughed to myself, they have wide rang of it, even in the nest and many other cute things, fruits, dolls, ..etc. and I have nothing to say anymore.
In Korea you can find a lot of cute stuffs that make you wanna buy them all even you dont really know what to use it for, especially those cute cosmetics design like this one.
Do you by any chance happen to know where can we go the “view finder ” for this Samsung NX 100? I actually what it is, but my friend said, her camera only has big screen view for taking picture, she wanna has the small view that need to put closer to the eyes while taking picture that is called view finder.(maybe)
If or whenever I and Lavorn going out, we always think of Nepal noodle as our dinner. So yesterday, she proposed again to that restaurant. In fact, we were planning to go out and buy stuffs but we end up eating and never stop eating. After look around Youngsan, we had dinner at Dongdaemun, ate squid on the way to Myongdong, and enjoy coffee chit chat over there before heading back home. Oh I forgot that the topic is about noodle, Lolz, back to topic, we found that place via friend recommend, and the noodle receipts are a lot like what we have in Cambodia, and the most interesting fact is that Korean do not eat much food with Chilly sauces, while we never miss it in Cambodia, but that Nepal noodle taste great both with or without chilly sauces. It kinda weird that Korean eat spicy food but they don’t eat with Chilly sauces. Oh, you can find this delicious Nepal restaurant at Exit 3 Dongdaemun station turn a bit left and then there you will see a small crossroad and on the right hand side, 2nd floor.
We actually plan to order 3 dishes, but we are too shy because when we order 1 dish each, the seller repeat the question, are you sure that you want to eat separately? We laughed while thinking “We even wanna order 3, 1 is not enough” lolz. My friend even changed my dish for her own as she saw that mine look a lot more than hers while using that she is younger she should eat more.
Aw…I have a lot to write! ^^ It’s a 4 days training which in sort, I got brain washed from a normal university student to think back of my country needs while using business to help.
Here are some highlight how we learnt through this training. ( I normally write about the process of how thing happen step by step day by day, but I think this one are not as important as what I have changed my mind after the training), so please enjoy the reading.
Professor George Kim, He never lost a smile ^^
1st day, we met up and divided into 9 people per 6 group, the main task is just to think of the product detail that your own community need with entrepreneur view (innovative and helpful to social benefit). My team has 1 from Cambodia, 3 from China, 1 from Afghanistan, 1 Italy, 1 Turkmenistan, 1 Uzbekistan, 1 Kazakhstan (Maybe). We had no background about each other, but the workshop brought us all together, and we have to go on one direction together, but that is the main problem. The first day, we contrast the idea, however, somehow we just manage it right. However, it was the most hard time ever! International work is not easy, though I have some field background, but still it difficult to persuade people that we never know. I have no idea to which industry type that needed to develop Cambodia, but come to think of it, I need to know more of my country.
My Team 2 (2 more girls coming)
Our program helpers sang their unity song
2nd day, of course we have very good instructors to give lecture before we start to work step by step in our project, Mr. Kim who have already start up 7 companies in US never lost a smile to share up experiences and ideas. Mr. Lee who raised in US push our spirit up from a lazy morning session by have way too attractive of marketing explanation. Finance and Business law also played the rules. I studies business for almost 5 years, but here those who has no background need to study only 4 days to make business plan. That’s ridiculous, but somehow, those people I talked above are starting to change their perception of studying and look back to find their community needs.
Round Table discussion
5 mins for Q & A session
3rd we can see people look tired and sleepless, their panda eyes show that they didn’t have enough sleep due to their responsibility in the team. We have our own job in our business plan, we all want to win the business plan competition which is held on the 4th day as formal and professional as we could. Ideas changes, assistant seeked, advises here and there, then the time for rehearse presentation began. Nervous as usual, Time managing as we can, presenting our project plan. Other team also made lots of improvement, not only idea, but ppt, and presentation skill.
4th day that we all waited for arrived, we dressed up as businessman and women, team leaders were panic, as we already tried to bring the 4 sections of business ( Company, Marketing, Finance, Plan), we tried to impress our creative idea to our future investors, the clock was ticking, but who care, we all are well trained for 3 days already.
My team won the 2nd place (but I can’t tell what topic we proposed since those business ideas are creative enough that needed IPR, otherwise, people might grabs it for their own good)
For more info of the program please like their facebook page: Here
I think this kind of program will be held annually for foreign student in Korea, but last time it was also held in Cambodia, but as far as I know, there might be one in Kenya or the country in Africa next year.
It was Friday evening, the school is deserted, at Sogang we finish all the exam, students were moving out and some still packaging, the atmosphere seem to make me feel a lonely Christmas spirit. Those who can’t go back home are staying in Seoul and themselves Korean Winter.
Last time when I was study Korean language, we also have exam, but it not too serious like at grad school. Recently, I can feel the exam fever, and I bet you dont want to try it at all (me too, if I have other choice). Let me explain to those who doesn’t know about exam fever in Korea.
There are two phases, 1st is the mid-term, which start around 2nd week of October, however, some students (or new student like myself) might mistakenly did not take it as serious at all, therefore, once the the 2nd and big phase “THE FINAL”, which usually start from 2nd week December, comes we are all nervous and panic and completely feel the exam fever.
Those who were playful in the mid-term might end up the bad result, and eventually, they have to try all their effort on the final exam. As can be seen, many coffee shop are full with student studying, the 열람실 (a room where there are free spaces for student to do self-learning) are packs with people even at very late night, and the last one is library ( but I dont have to explain since you can imagine).
The amazing fact is many Korean guys are studying very hard, I can hardly found girl (very rare compared to guys) at the study room. Maybe those guys fail their mid-term or maybe girl do not like to stay and study at the study room? I do not find out the reason behind this yet, but it’s truly surprised me!
As for myself, I became like one of them (oh! no! not yet fully one, just 1/3 of them) because I can’t stay all night at the study room and sometimes, I can’t spend the whole day to study, I always got stressed up and end up checking FB or posting blog. To sum up, I’m not completely head to heel for studying! My bad!
This is how it like? lolzz
For my own view, final exam at univ for Korean students might not be as serious as entrance exam. However, the fever is really tough! Do you wanna try? Come to Korea. ^^