August 11, 2011

First stop-Gyeongju

Who doesn't love to travel,especially when you are in such a beautiful place like Korea. Thanks to my wonderful friends I had a chance to visit a few places and I loved each and every one of them.
                                                             Happy reading!!!
My first trip while in Korea was in March 2010 and together with my friends from SNU Buddy (I will write an entire post on them) went to Gyeongju (경주) for 1 night and 2 days.I am sure that most of you are familiar with the drama "Queen Seon Duk" and so I was so excited to be there that I called my mom all the way to Romania to let her know.We went to visit her "home" aka tomb

I believe this was the Queen's crown but I'm not 100% sure

After a five hours bus ride we had had our lunch and it was very tasty!!! All Korean food is tasty anyway.
Queen Seon Duk of Silla was very wise and excelled in many things.During her reign she built the "Star-Gazing Tower" , the first observatory in Far East.

With my lovely Joanne-you will be seeing her in many posts

  We visited more Royal tombs and the place were the biggest Buddhist temple in Korea used to be but all is left from it's on this map 

 is this 

You might have heard of the Bulguksa Buddhist Temple which is considered a National Treasure and in 1995 was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.I love Korean temples,they are so colorful and peaceful at the same time.

And I cannot post this update without introducing our translator for the trip Mr.Kim Min Soo (he will be mentioned a lot in my posts along with some other dear SNU Buddy friends).

Word of the day "historical"
On the way back to Seoul we stopped by at the beach to take some tourist photos.
Korea's Angels-International version

Is there,can you see it?
 Some of the photos that we took came out great but one thing I will remember from this trip is how NOT to take photos. 
Oh dear,is the wind
 And take 2
I think that Minsoo was to excited that he didn't had to translate for us anymore,and for Jinhyung-No Comment
Even though my first trip was in March and was still  cold I had a great time thanks to the wonderful friends that I went with.

August 10, 2011

Korean Language Course

Hello everyone!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for not giving up on my blog.

In today's post I will talk about the Korean Language course that I took while I was at SNU.As a Korean major student I had to take this course and I had a great time.When you start learning a new language you start with level 1 and the more you study the more you advance in knowledge.The same principle applies to when learning Korean too and most universities in Seoul that I know of teach from level 1 to level 6 and sometimes level 7 or the Academic level.Each course is 10 weeks long and very expensive,around 1500 dollars (not including the Korean book and workbook for which you have to pay yourself and together they cost around 30 dollars).

I don't like exams!!!

The tuition fee includes the extra material handed in class by the teachers (we had 2-3 teacher per course and up to 16 students in a class) and trips to the Seoul Art Center,cooking class or other activities that required of us to use our Korean language skills and lets not forget about food.Every time there was a lesson about food or a Korean holiday where we had to try special dishes we ordered food.
When you enroll for a Korean class,unless your knowledge is zero you have to take a test so that the school can establish your level.
We had role plays,3 home works every day,dictation,lots of food and laughter.
break time
While in Korea I studied for three semester  and each time I made more friends and over the time we became very close.Through these courses I met amazing people from all over the world : Hong Kong,Thailand,China,Japan,Mongolia,Germany,Kazakhstan,Poland,Russia,Malaysia,Canada and the list can go on. The teachers were  all very nice and funny and they used power points to help us remember key grammar rules or words and most of the time they put pictures of famous Korean actors/actresses and  singers.They even used songs (Kim Jong Kook-Loveable)
Tea Ceremony
What I liked most about these classes is that each lesson had a topic and we had to speak about our own culture,that way by the end of the course you get to know your classmates pretty well.
The classes were run Monday to Friday,from 9am until 1pm,with 10 minutes break every 50 minutes.
We had mid-term and final exams and we all looked like zombies during these time.We had speaking,listening,writing and reading exam and most of the time studied the night before and after everything was finished we went out to noraebang (karaoke) and sang our hearts out.

As I mentioned earlier we went to a cooking school and made some yummy Korean food called bulggogi made with beef meet and japche made from sweet potato noodles.
cooking class

One of my best friends that I made during my stay in Korea
We had a lesson on marriage and dating in Korea and I ended up with two husbands
Husband no.1 Korean from China and husband no.2 Korean from Kazakhstan

Our wedding invitation hehe
Sometimes we had to make role plays and even had speech contests with students from other classes

Don't we look lovely?

Your eyes don't deceive you,they are guys dressed in hanbok (Korean traditional dress)

Well that's about my experience at SNU Korean Language Institute.
I miss all my classmates and teachers that I met in Korea during my studies ^_^

Happy reading!

May 7, 2011

Dream Concert or Nightmare Concert? o_O

Hello everyone,

it's been a long time since I last posted something about my experience in Korea so today I will share with you about kpop fan clubs and concerts.Each year in Seoul takes place a concert called the "Dream Concert" where the most popular kpop groups and singers take part. It's a major event and usually takes place at Seoul World Cup Stadium with more than 40.000 fans attending. Each singer/group has their own fan club and color so even before the tickets are on sale they know which part of the stadium they should occupy on the day of the concert.

For example DBSK now days know as JYJ and HoMin have the color red, 2pm is black, SS501 is green and so on. Depending on the popularity of the group/singer and the size of the fan club the fans get more seats.The tickets are not that expensive, around 5000 won ( 5 dollars),but they have seats right in front of the stage and usually they are for the VIPs who pay up to 100 dollars just too see their favorite singer.The tickets get sold out within minutes so you have to be very fast.
The fans come "armed" with the fan club's colored balloons,banners,light sticks and very LOUD voices.They have a coordinator  which makes sure that the fans cheer for their singer and scream their head off when is the case and boo when other singers come on stage.
TOO LOUD!!!!!!!!!

Last year,May 22nd I went with my friends to see the concert and we got tickets in the Super Junior area,later on I saw that there was a small group of DBSK fans.I have never seen so many people in one place and even before the concert started they were cheering for their groups/singers. There is a rivalry going on between the fan clubs,so for example when SNSD and Super Junior sang at the end of the concert the SS501 and 2PM fans left or they booed each other.Oh well,its understandable since most of the fans are teenager girls.
Fan clubs

Last year around 20 artists performed :CNblue, 2PM ,Wonder Girls, Rain, Lee Hyori, SS501, KARA, After School, SHINee, f(x), BEAST, T-ara, MBLAQ, 4minute, U-Kiss, Rainbow, ZE:A, Davichi, F.cuz ,Super Junior, SNSD,but unfortunately no DBSK so that's why for me it was more of a nightmare concert instead of a dream concert if you also add that me and my friend Joanne had to wait in the rain for an hour before we could get a taxi to go home.

The MCs :Heechul from SJ,Taecyeon from 2PM.I dont know the girl

My favorite artists:


cnblue ^_^




Lee Hyori

At the end of the concert all the artists came on stage and cheered for Korea's football team.


I had a good time and I enjoyed listening and seeing some of my favorite artists.If I ever have a chance to attend a Dream Concert again I hope that JYJ will take part.


All the fan clubs cheered for DBSK who couldn't be present at the concert

 And here is my poor friend going deaf because of Super Junior's fans

April 2, 2011


Hello everyone,

I haven't posted in such a long time and I would like to apologize for that.
Is there anything in particular that you would like to know about living in Korea?
If you don't have any suggestions I might do a post on campus life at Seoul National University or maybe attending Dream Concert in Seoul.
Please let me know

Once again I am very sorry.
I will update soon ^_^

September 17, 2010

Summer classes

Hello everyone!! How was your summer? Fall is coming and you have no idea how happy I am!! Summer in Korea is very hot and humid,I hope that somebody will invent a portable shower until next year.Comparing with Romania where the summer holiday is 3 months long (July until October) without any summer classes, in Korea you have classes, but they are not compulsory(unless you played around the whole semester and now you need credits). I was "blessed" with summer classes,every day from 9am until 1pm Korean class and from 2pm until 5pm SNU International Summer Institute (ISI). Nevertheless I had a good time,because during the ISI I had the chance to learn more about Korean culture and art., made new friends and visited some places.During our art class we were asked to express our feelings,so here is mine.^^
 We also had a pottery class and if you think its easy,you are wrong.You need so much strength to control the potter's wheel and also imagination and a steady hand when you paint on a bowl or do some sculpting.
don't they look cute?
We also had to design our own names and use ink and brush to put it down on rice paper
pure art
During the ISI we went on a trip to Jeonju- which is know as the "Capital Food City" of Korea.We tried so  many nice dishes including Bibimbap (a mixture of veggies and rice) for which this place is famous for.
  We tried many traditional Korean foods and here is our dinner
we sat on the floor-love,love,love

We went to a Folk Village  and also visited a Fan Shop,I didn't wanted to leave that place.
Iljimae anyone?
 Here is the artist/painter of the shop,he was very nice and got a chance to talk to him for a few minutes.
at work

We also went to Jeonju Museum where we divided in groups so that we can experience different aspects of Korean culture:cooking,wedding ceremony,martial arts and I picked traditional music.
Janggu-percussion instrument
And I am sure that you want to see our teacher.Here he is.
The trip was fun,I learned many new things about Korea and it was a good get-a-away from Seoul.

Lets not forget about my Korean class,where I had so much fun and I met people from different countries around the world.Some of them are former classmates from my first semester.We were waiting for other friends to finish their speaking exam so that we can have lunch.We stayed at school from 9am until 1pm
 This is in a nut-shell my almost 3 months summer school at SNU.Fun,right? So how did you spent your summer?If you are from Romania I am sure that you went to Constanta-sea side or camping in Brasov or other beautiful places around the country.

Happy reading.

First things first

   Hello everyone!!!Its been a long time since I last posted and because of that I would like to apologize.I have already started the fall semester and I have so much school work everyday that sometimes I forget my own name.I thought that it would be nice to post a few things about my first semester at SNU.From now on I will use SNU when I refer to Seoul National University,and trust me it will be many times.
first meal in Korea
After a long journey (traveled for  almost 24 hours) I arrived in Korea on February 25th 2010 (Cluj-London-Dubai-Seoul) at 5,30pm. It was a foggy day and I was very tired,but as soon as I landed I felt like home.I was excited to be in Korea but in a way I felt as if I have been here before and now I am just coming back after a long time (Korean dramas anyone?). Pastor Kwon waited for me at the airport,and I stayed at his house in Ilsan for a few days.The Kwon family is so warm,godly and welcoming that I didn't wanted to move in the SNU dorm. My birthday was on March the 1st and that's when I had to move in the dorm but I still managed to celebrate it 3 time in one day.That's record^^
Bday Breakfast with Seaweed soup-Miyuk gook
The SNU Campus is huge and I am not kidding when I say that.I got lost so many times in the first 2 weeks that I lost count after just 3 days.Life in Korea is all about being fast and efficient and that rule applies to students as well.Later I will make a post entirely about SNU!!!
Even though was very difficult to meet my old friends that I already had in Seoul it has been a great experience to meet new people and I will introduce them to you later.I will just mention about SNU Buddy because that's how basically I got to meet so many wonderful people.
SNU Buddy is a voluntary students organization within the university who helps the exchange students getting used to life in Korea.They were of great help to me and other exchange students who came  in February to study at SNU.We have a similar program in Romania  and I believe that exists in other countries as well.
Korea is a beautiful and exciting place and I am enjoying every day!!!

July 29, 2010

Hello everyone.^^
This is my first time writing a blog so if I make any mistakes please be understanding.
My name is Maria and I am exchange student at Seoul National University.I came here through a scholarship program for one academic year and I will be returning to my home country,Romania,in December this year.
I believe I can fly ^^
I have been in Korea since February 25th and I have enjoyed every single day.I've met many wonderful friends from different parts of the world.My major is Korean Studies and in Romania I study at Babes Bolyai University in Cluj.

Nice meeting you all.

If you have any question please post them here and I will try my best to answer them.

Have a lovely day!