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A voyage across the seas

Our Friends visited South Korea for the Semester Abroad Programme and were in the different corners of the country, part of various Universities. They shared their beautiful experiences they encountered in their tenure of time in Korea

Avani Krishna, shares her experiences regarding the food and cuisine that she loved. Avani says,  “Korean cuisine is largely based on rice, vegetables, and meats. Traditional Korean meals contains number of side dishes that accompany rice. Kimchi is served at nearly every meal. Cooked rice is the staple food in Korea.Having rice three times a day is normal to most of Korean people. Koreans enjoy having rice with other side dishes.
Famous Korean dishes are:
  • Bibimbap is a mixture of rice, seasoned vegetables, mushrooms, beef, hot pepper paste and other ingredients. 
  • Juk is a Korean porridge made by boiling rice and/or other grains, legumes such as beans, sesame, nuts, and pumpkin, beef, or chicken with much more water than bap. Juk is often eaten warm, especially as a morning meal, but is now eaten at any time of the day.
  • Jeotgal, salted seafood, is a category of salted fermented dishes made with seafood such as shrimps, oysters, clams, fish, and the eggs of a fish.
  • Kimchi is a traditional side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables, most commonly napa cabbage and Korean radishes, with a variety of seasonings including chili powder, scallions, garlic, ginger, and jeotgal (salted seafood).
  • Japchae (Korean style fried noodle):Japchae is a sweet and savory dish of stir-fried glass noodles and vegetables that is popular in Korea.
  • Beondaegi:It is made with silkworms. They are boiled and seasoned.
Korean food consists lots of meat like pork, beef, chicken and duck. Some of these are not eaten by Indians due to religious and hygiene reasons. Spices and flavors are very less in Korean dishes, which is very different from Indian style. Korean food is bland in comparison to the Indian taste and is a bit difficult to adjust to it.”
Malavika who loved the beautiful and serene places there, shares her experiences about the places she visited in South Korea. She says, “From the moment I first arrived in Busan, South Korea on a March day in 2019, I knew I was in for a unique experience. The sights, bustling streets, freezing shower of rain & sights all reminded me I was truly a long way away from my home. But in fact it was a super positive sense of new culture shock I experienced as I began to be a citizen of South Korea and that too become my home for the next 4 months. Kyungsung University is a private university in Busan in the district of Nam-gu south west of the famous Haeundae Beach. Highlights : Top class infrastructure facilities, Highly qualified international professors, Centralized library, Cafeteria, Air-conditioned dormitory, Free food & accommodation, Gym, Industrial visit, Buddy Program, Cultural activities, Kitchen facility, etc… 
Busan is also known as “the city of Tomorrow”, it is a hidden gem of South Korea. As Korea’s second largest city, Busan is renowned to be tourist friendly. And it’s only a 2 & hour train journey from Seoul (Capital of South Korea). Busan is full of a variety of activities, that we will never run out of things to do. The best destination known for its beautiful night scenes includes Gwangan Bridge, Haeundae Beach and many more! Haeundae Beach is best for chilling and relaxing and soaking in the sun and can try thrilling water sports like snorkeling, skiing, and surfing. Gamcheon Culture Village is the quintessence of beauty and chaos, all round into one. This former slum area is known for its steep streets, twisting alleys and brightly painted houses. It’s really a beautiful spot specially known as “open art museum of Busan”. Oryukdo Skywalk is another beautiful experience. Visitors are issued shoe covers to protect the glass. The attraction is the skywalk with the glass floor which extends out to the sea. Little scary if afraid of heights but the landscape is to die for! Busan Museum has nice grounds and exhibits with English explanations. There is also a cultural experience room. Tickets are free. The museum itself has information on Busan from pre-historic times to modern times. Busan Tower provides excellent 360 degree city view. Once you are at the top, you have stunning views of the city. Nampodong Market is a bustling market in the Jung district of Busan. Next comes Seoul – Capital of South Korea. It is the business and cultural hub of South Korea. A fascinating blend of ancient traditions and cutting edge of digital technology, home to endless street food, World Cup Stadium, vast night life districts, extra ordinarily high-pressure educational system, Buddhist Temple, extra ordinary architecture, etc… In nutshell, had a wonderful experience over there and had an amazing international exposure with many foreign colleagues. 
Then Dorothy from Manipur who is still in love with the lifestyle there, shares her thoughts. She says “There’s no wonder why I grasped the special opportunity offered by Rajagiri Business School to go to Korea, because that was my childhood dream Country. And will never feel contrite about it.
I had a fantastic experience in all different areas, but most importantly, what stood out to me were their culture, development and safety. I am really amazed and moved with their culture, specifically in the form of respect for elders. It is something which I have never experience of such atmosphere. People are humanistic and down to earth for elders. It is their culture to bow down yourself and say “hello” anytime you face an elder as a sign of respect. No matter it be a stranger, your professor or colleagues. Also they will be ready to help you anytime you need them but we should be careful because asking too many times may give them a tendency to stay far away.
Korea is a well-developed country for which I enjoyed a lot of different facilities and experiences. The most attractive and admirable feature for me is, in most of the open spaces, which may be near the beaches, roadside, park, forest, etc, we can find an outdoor fitness equipment to keep ourselves fit and healthy. Secondly, what I really admire about their development is about the existence of CCTVs in all streets and corners. Their presence definitely reduced crime and is an assured safety for people. In my stay in Korea, I felt very safe and secure and never found the need to worry about being late. To my surprised my hostel curfew is till 1a.m. which clearly speaks a lot for security as long as I use some common sense. Thirdly, anywhere you go you will find a place to have sit and rest e.g. subway, bus station, streets, beaches, forest etc.
On an ending note she says, 'I would certainly recommend you to visit Korea to experience not just the different culture and festivals, but also to experience a totally different way of living from that of our country.'
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