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Fun Korean Language Trip July 2015 @ Kyung Hee University

Fun Korean Language Trip 2015 at Kyung Hee University. End of July we send three winners from Malaysia to join this year program. FKLT is a short 7 days and 6 nights home stay program that focuses on teaching Korean through K-dramas and K-Pop music.  Executed under the collaboration of Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) and Kyung Hee University Institute of International Education (IIE), students can learn Korean language through fun and easy way and experience the culture while staying at a KTO-certified home stay accommodation.  So let’s begin the fun education trip !

Most of the students arrive on 26th of July which is the day before the program started. Once they arrive at the airport they need to contact the host of their home-stay to inform that they have arrive and the home-stay’s host will guide them how to go to their house. For my case, I took Airport Limousine Bus from Incheon International Airport straight to Dongdaemun-gu which is the nearest to my apartment. When I arrived at the bus stop Prof Choi (homestay’s host) was already there waiting for me.

DAY 1: The first day of the program started with a placement test. Students need to go through a simple exam and also an interview conducted by the lecturer in order to know which level of language classes the student should enter. We started our Korean language class after that, every students need to introduce themselves with everyone.

After our lunch break, we had a meeting with our Korean Buddy helper. Korean Buddy is one-on-one bonding with local students where they will guide us on opportunity to experience Korean culture and also to practice speaking in Korean language. Our helper brought us around for a campus tour. The campus is so pretty and it feels like we are surrounded by a castle. The campus has a unique architecture. They told us the best time to come to Kyung Hee University is during spring season because of the pretty cherry blossom around the campus.

DAY 2 : The next day we had breakfast with our home stay host. The best thing about Korea Stay program, they will provide you breakfast everyday! So fret not, you won’t be hungry before you go to the school. Other than that, every morning we took public transportation to the school, this somehow makes us feels closer to the neighbourhood.

Our class started at 9 am everyday with Korean language and followed by K-Drama/K-Pop class. During Korean language class everyone needs to speak in Korean language only, and the topic that we learned that day is

During K-Drama class our lecturer brought a Korean traditional game to play with our classmates. The game called Yutnori (윳노리), it was so fun that everyone get so enthusiastic to win.

Today is actually the day our helper and us decided to go  out and walk around Seoul. But before that, we need to fill our tummy. After class we took subway from Hoegi station and took off at Jongno 3-ga station. Since one of the student wanted to try eel we decided to have our lunch at this restaurant named Pungcheon Jangeo (풍천 장어). We ordered grilled eel and spicy crab stew (참게매운탕). The portion is big and a good choice for sharing! The spicy crab stew is so spicy (and delicious!) that tears keep on falling from my eyes. (Note: I can’t really eat spicy food).

Once done with lunch, we then started walking to the places that we really anticipating to go which Bukchon Hanok Village. The scenery and the vibes is so amazing. It’s a mix of traditional and also modern all combine together. This place is really suitable for people who loves vintage stuffs, and not to forget a great place to take a lot of pictures. One of the shop here (upper right) also provide a post-card delivery services. If you want to send back post-card to family and friends in Malaysia,  don’t forget to find this shop !

Next stop is, Insadong ! We need to walk around few hundred meters from Bukchon Hanok Village to reach here. We decided to walk because we wanted to enjoy the scenery more. After a few minutes walk we then found the traditional arts and crafts centre named Ssamjjigil. You can find all sort of things here, and most of the things sell here are hand-made by the artist. Of course a good place to find some souvenirs to bring back home. It is located in the heart of the city, is an important place where old but precious and traditional goods are on display. There is one main road in Insa-dong with alleys on each side. Within these alleys are galleries, traditional restaurants, traditional teahouses, and cafes.

Day 3: Today is the first day for our K-Pop class, the lecturer played some music videos from the K-Pop idols group. After that we discuss about the sentence in the song lyrics that is suitable for our daily conversation. We learnt two songs that day Eyes, Nose & Lips from Taeyang (BigBang) and also Up & Down from EXID.

Our lecturer told us that there is a Halal burger shop near Hoegi station, which is near to our university. The students wanted to give it a try and we went there. It was a small humble shop at the corner of the road that can easily be found. A lot of Kyung Hee University students actually came here to have their lunch. The burger was so good, even though there’s only a few choice of burger s in the menu but I can
guarantee it is worth it !

One of the highlight of FKLT program is meeting Korean celebrity ! Yes, we actually didn’t really know it is included in our program. Everyone was excited, when we was told Korean actor, Lee Sun Ho will be visiting us. He came to have a sharing session with the students, the sharing session mostly related to what are our interest to Korea (language, foods, culture & etc.). He was such a nice guy he even suggested the students the best restaurant to eat and hangout. We ended that day with photo signing and also a photo session.

Day 4: During our K-Drama class we discuss about places that Korean always go in the drama. One of the places is none other than Jjimjilbang (bath house). Due to time consuming we couldn’t visit the bath house, but our kind lecturer brought a towel for everyone, to teach us how to do the head wrap (양 머리) . Like they usually did in the bath house. Everyone was so cute wearing that pink head-wrap.

Hoegi is actually famous with it’s Korean Pancake (pajeon) alley street. So we wouldn’t want to miss this chance and went to shop and tried the special Korean Pancake (파전). Why is it special? Because the size of this pancake is bigger than usual, as big as a pizza. We ordered Kimchi Pancake (김치 파전) and Seafood Pancake (해물 파전).

After lunch we went straight to the Rice Cake Museum at Jongno-3ga. Some of the students choose cooking class as their complimentary courses and KTO provide us with a rice cake cooking class. You can find any types of rice cake here in their cafe. This museum has also featured in Return of Superman in the episode where the twins Seo-un and Seo-jun came to make a rice cake.

We learnt to make two types of rice cake; pumpkin rice cake (호박 떡) and also flower rice cake (꼿 산병 떡). Since we made a lot of it, we bring back and give it to our home-stay host as a souvenir.

Once done with cooking class we walk around until Samcheongdong area. It was a pretty street with a lot of shops along the way. Somehow have the romantic feelings, where you can walk with your partner for a date. A perfect place if you want to run away from busy street becaus ethis street is less pack than any other street like Hongdae and Itaewon.

Day 5: Today is the last day of our FKLT program. That morning our homestay host teach us how to make a kimbab. 

Since it is our last day here for this program, right after class we went for the closing ceremony at IIE building. Every students received a certficate of completion from the university.

This is the winners from our FKLT 2015 contest. Congratulation once again you guys ! Hope you guys had fun and got the chance to improve your Korean language during this program.

After the closing ceremony we walk around the campus to have the last sight of this beautiful campus before leave. In front of the main entrance, there’s this big yellow thing which is the Kyung Hee Medical Welfare Centre. This is the best place for the students who are in a rush to class to grab some drinks or foods. Here they have convenience store, coffee shop, lunch box shop, juices shop, bakeries shop and also a restaurant.

Before we went back home, we wanted to sightseeing around Seoul and decided to walk around Seoul City Hall and Cheongye Stream. This is actually one of our favourite places. Since it is one of the hottest days in Summer we bought an ice-cream and continue to enjoy the scenery of the stream. It was a nice view where you could find a stream in the middle of busy city. This is a must visit place I would say. Usually friends, families or couples enjoy walking along this stream or to deep their feet in the water to wash the heat away.

I would like to say thank you to my host family Prof Choi-Chungin for giving me a warm hospitality while im in Korea. It was great to meet you and thank you fro giving me the chance to experience all sorts of Korean culture  such as Korean meals, wearing Hanbok, playing Korean traditional game and etc.

Koreastay is a Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) brand that certifies city accommodations. Selected homestays and guesthouses provide international visitors a special opportunity to experience Korean culture and lifestyle by living with a Korean family. Koreastay hosts are carefully selected after undergoing strict assessment of such criteria as residential environment, guestroom & cleanliness, mindset, service and convenience

More information about Koreastay click HERE.

More information about Prof Choi-Chungin Koreastay click HERE.

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