Selasa, 18 April 2017

[Exchange Student Life] - Chuncheon Family

The first time I got the news of I go a chance to live in Korea, I was overwhelmed by the joy. It was difficult not to, I've been dreaming of living abroad since I was in elementary school and it was just a step away!

It was true that I was almost devastated waiting the acceptance announcement from the university and the scholarship back then. The university acceptance announcement was quick, but the scholarship wasn't. Back then, if I didn't get the scholarship, I wouldn't take the offer. Studying abroad with self-funding had never been any option for me, and my family of course. Finally, the scholarship announcement released about 1,5 months later, I was about to scream joyfully if I were not in the office. I was on my internship back then. 

[Exchange Student Life] - Dormitory Life

Chuncheon city, is the capital of Gangwon province, South Korea.

When I was about to write my address in Korean, I would wrote it as Gangwon-do (Do to point the province), Chuncheon-si (Si means City) in Kangwon Daehak-gil, Gil means road, Hyoja-dong (Dong means street). This is where my university, Kangwon National University located at. In Korea, if you want to write a mailing address it has to be started with the largest area, in this case, write the province first, the city next, the road name after that, then the street. It is different with the way I write my mailing address in Indonesia, which is started by the street name.

We called our university with Kangdae, as a short version of Kangwon Daehakyo which means Kangwon University. If it is translated to English, name of this university will be Kangwon National University - not just Kangwon University. If the university name is translated to English, the 'National' can be used to figure if the university belongs to the government or a private organization. You can see, because the university name is slightly simpler for Korean, the Koreans have to memorize of at least do a wee bit of research to find out to whom the school is belong to.

That statue, Kangdae pride!

[Exchange Student Life] - Life of a Student

Back then when I had a chance to visit Japan in 2014, the mighty sakura hadn't bloomed yet. It seemed like I miscalculated the date, since flocks of tourist will flood Japan at around April or May to witness the glorious Sakura, but it wasn't.  I didn't want to miss my class on my first semester after I returned back for good from Korea, so flew to Japan before my semester was started. 😢

Just because Sakura is incredibly popular in Japan, so most people (or was it just me?) placing Japan and Sakura in a complementary term. I thought that Sakura is only existed in Japan, that's how it become famous, because you can only meet them in Japan. But I was wrong. Spring in Korea, taught me that Sakura is also exist in Korea in the name of blossom. They have a different name, of course. We called it Potkot in Korean. My American teacher, called that flower 'cherry blossom'. From that time, I stopped calling that type of flower with Sakura, and calling it with cherry blossom instead. It's like you meet a Jasmine in some western country and you call it 'Melati' in Indonesia. Same type, different name.

Sakura in Japan, Potkot in Korea, Cherry Blossom in... all over the world?
But wait, I'm not completely wrong, right? Evidently you can meet Sakura only in Japan. If you meet that flower in Korea, you won't call it Sakura, but Potkot instead 😝😝😝

Kamis, 13 April 2017

[Exchange Student Life] - Late Winter Arrival

As the spring has begun, my instagram timeline was filled by photos with cherry blossom background of my friends who are currently studying abroad or just traveling to hunt the cherry blossom peak season. This somehow, brought back my memories about the spring I had in 2013 when I was in South Korea.

To think about it, I think I haven't written enough about my experience in South Korea, have I? I was so productive into writing in 2012, mostly in fanfiction, which I had stopped writing it since I arrived in South Korea. At first I was thinking that I would be super productive once I arrived in the land where my muse (back then he is Super Junior Kyuhyun) lives but it wasn't. I was so mesmerized that finally, and finally, I was abroad, and somehow my writing appetite was going numb.

When I arrived, it was late winter. It was the early of March in 2013. The weather was super cold. I was freezing. At the first step I took when I went out from the Incheon Airport, I said "Somebody please turn off the AC!" Little did I know, it was the real weather of a winter. It was the first winter that I experienced, anyway. The cherry blossom, or in Korea it is called Potkot - hadn't bloomed yet.