Monday, November 25, 2013

Autumn in Namsan

Can't believed its winter already. Like whut. Where was autumn? Autumn in Korea was just too short. It feels like the leaves just turn yellow today and the next day they are all gone. And the next thing I see is snow. What the.

I have not experienced autumn before so this time I was pretty excited seeing the leaves turn colours and they were all so pretty. Few weeks back Yuko,  Raymond and I went to Namsan Tower to see the red and yellow leaves before they were gone. All pictures taken by Yuko and Raymond.








The pictures turned out really pretty! Looking back at the pictures I really miss autumn. It is freezing cold now how do I survive!! I wish autumn was a little longer. 

*Photos credit to Yuko*




Saturday, November 2, 2013

New Semester

Can't believed it has been 2 months!! I've finished level 3 and now currently in level 4. New classmates and new teachers. Though I missed my class 3B very much, I'm trying to enjoy my new class. 


This is during our completion ceremony, I've got an award which is called 우정상 which literally translates the friendship award which kinda mean most popular friend in class, I don't even know why I'm chosen. I honestly don't think I deserved it. 


But still happy cos I got a free pen and a certificate. :p


With my teachers who treat us more than just students. So far in my life, the teachers I like the most are my Korean teachers, whether the Korean teachers in Malaysia or in Korea. I guess Korean teachers are more friendly. Hoping none of my school teachers are reading this. :x


Friends who no longer in the same class as me now. T_T


All of us during the last day in school which pretty autumn leaves. 


Most of them will be going back to their own countries after this semester which ends next month I'm so sad! T_T


However, I'm really grateful to meet all of them :)

*Photos credits to Raymond*

Monday, September 30, 2013

My home in Seoul

Well its just a tiny room. 

So here it is!




I bought this blanket at a cheap price! And I think its pretty hahaha.


So there isn't any place to dry my clothes because I kinda live in a shop house. Each room has a metal bar right above the bed where you can dry your clothes.


My room is actually quite big and cozy compare to the rest of the private dorms here so it is actually quite comfortable to live in.

Everything is great now and I got closer with my classmates. Also I made some Korean friends through some buddy programme here and I joined an outing with them last weekend. We went to the National Museum of Korea which was superrrrrrrrrrrrrrr boring but we had some games which involves running around in the museum. And no, its not like what you watch in Running Man. Its not super fun but its okay since I made some friends. 


We were divided into groups and these are my groupmates. The 3 guys from the right are the Korean students and the rest of us are the foreign students. 


Group shot


The koreans love their fried chicken and beer so we had them after our tour in the museum. 

Overall I have to say that I think the Korean Language Programme here in Sungkyunkwan University is really good compare to the rest of the universities although I have not been to other universities here in Korea but I think the programme is really intensive and you can learn a lot. I can speak much better now although it has just been a month. Of course I am not as good as the koreans but I improved a lot. Also they have these activities held by UNIS which is something like a society/club, not really sure what they do but they organize outings and events for foreign students. 

I'll try to take pictures of my school and post up soon! :) Till then.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Updates from Korea!

Finally, I have some time so sit down and blog. Been really busy since classes started and moving in to my new room. Really like the place I'm currently staying except that it can be quite noisy at night there are restaurants downstairs and opposite. I really really glad that Eun Yeong was with me when I was looking for a place. Super grateful. T_T I've heard that the rental here is actually a little bit more expensive but I really like the place and my room is actually pretty big compare to the rest of the goshiwon. Everything is included in the rental including internet and I have a mini fridge in my room. The ahjumma provide cooked rice and some kimchi too. And it is really near my school, I walk to school everyday and it takes about 15 minutes. There are quite a lot of restaurants nearby but I always do not know what to eat. There is Subway and Pizza Hut and I think they are going to open a Mcd soon! There is also a Daiso nearby, got my stuffs mostly from there and there are a lot of mini marts. I won't die of hunger in Korea.

So far my classes have been really good, the teachers are really good and I like their teaching method which has a balance of speaking and grammar at the same time. I haven't really made much friends but most of my classmates are really really nice. :) The food in the cafeteria is quite good and they have a different menu everyday. But the buildings and classrooms are really confusing T_T I haven't got to take pictures, I will do it soon!

I've been learning a lot of things lately myself. And I have to say I'm pretty proud of it. Getting a sim card and opening a bank account. *tears* Before this I've always thought most Koreans can understand English its just that they do not speak much but I was wrong. T_T

I couldn't order a Subway or a coffee at Tom n Toms with my English although their menu is in English I have to speak in Konglish. D: Now I even have to learn Konglish to survive? D: Now you must been thinking how does Konglish is like. Here are some examples:

1. For Turkey you have to say "Taw-Khi"
2. Honey oat- Ha-ni oh-th
3. Hot Chocolate- Hart- Cho-co

And today I went to the bookstore in my school and ask if they have printing service, well of course with my broken korean but she couldn't understand the word "printing" then I showed her my USB drive and she said ahhh "peu-rin-th" (print) -______-

I also went to the bank today to open a account and the bank officer does not speak English at all. D: But it was a pretty easy process, just fill in some forms, they do have it in English but most of the documents are in Korean and you just have to bring along your passport. But I think the bank officer said something like you have to come back once you've gotten your Alien Registration Card which is pretty much like an IC for foreigners. I'm not sure if thats what she said I just said okay. Haha.

As for a sim card, you can get it at any Olleh store, they have a few global stores where they provide services in English, Chinese and Japanese which is super awesome la. Oh but for foreigners you will have to bring along your passport and also you must be in Korea for more than 3 days before you can get it and also you can only get it on weekdays Monday to Friday 10am to 7pm. I think it is because they will need to access your information from the immigration or something like that. One super awesome thing is that you can get free wifi access on your phone at most places from your service provider.

Now the next thing I need to do is to visit the Immigration for the Alien Registration Card, yes they call the foreigners aliens. -__- What I am really impressed is that they have a hotline for foreigners if you have anything to ask regarding the immigration and they speak perfect English. I've called to ask which immigration office to go cos you have to go a different one if you live at different places. And you can get to their operator super fast! Even faster than Mcds delivery hotline in Malaysia. -__-

So that's about it, I'm glad that I'm almost settled down, was super stressful for the past weeks. Gonna go to the supermarket tomorrow to get more food and stuffs. :D

Oh and the weather is getting colder I hope it stays this cool for a longer time before it gets too cold. T_T

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I've reached in Seoul!

So my first day here in Seoul alone. T_T

It felt weird.

I was so tired cos I couldn't sleep the entire night. T_T

So anyway, I reach super early in Seoul. Put my luggage at the guesthouse and hang around myself, first went to my university area and look around. And then try to look at some goshiwons, those I saw looked a bit dodgy. T_T Which I then decided to look for it with Eun Yeong tomorrow at least she can help me a little. *fingers cross*

Then I went to Myeong Dong just to look around but the weather is too hot. Meh. Then I had lunch myself and came back to the guesthouse to shower and sleep. Fell into some deep sleep for about an hour and woke up.

Don't know what to do. And I started questioning myself if this is what I really wanted.

OMG I'm such a baby.

Anyway meeting Eun Yeong tomorrow and hope to get things settled down.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

First Attempt of Korean Visa Application

Failed.

Sometimes I really think that things always don't go smoothly especially important things like this. BAH!

I've been reading a lot of reviews and requirements online for a D4 visa application which is a training visa for people who wants to study the Korean language in Korea for more than 90 days. Most of the reviews recommended to call the Korean Embassy to make sure you have all the documents needed. Of course I don't want to go back and forth with all these applications and I really hate all the hassle. But instead of giving them a call I drop them an email. And here is their reply on the documents needed:

For Malaysians, documents required for student visa application are:

1) Completed application form (download at mys.mofa.go.kr)
2) One recent passport-sized photo
3) Original passport
4) Admission documents from Korean university (original and photocopy)
5) Latest graduation / school-leaving certificate (original and photocopy)
6) Certificate of scholarship (original and photocopy) OR personal bank statements for the latest 3 months, duly certified by bank, with balance not less than amount stated in the certificate of admission or RM10,000 whichever is higher
- if using parents' bank statements, please include letter of sponsorship from parents, copy of parents' IC and copy of student's birth certificate
7) Flight ticket

Additional documents may be requested upon assessment.
Application must be submitted over the counter between 8:30-11:30am Monday-Friday (except public holidays).
Processing takes at least 3 working days.
Fee is RM96 for single entry visa not more than 90 days, RM160 for single entry visa more than 90 days, and RM256 for multiple entry visa.


I looked through the list again and again, double check and make sure I have everything. And turned out all the problem lies here:

My certificate of admission



I've only registered and paid up for one semester (2 months) which technically do not require a visa (less than 90 days) but I plan to study for 6 months so in the form I filled in 7 months. Which pretty much make sense because I will be there 1 week earlier and in between the semesters there will be short breaks. So when the officer saw I filled in 7 months she annoyingly asked , "WHY DID YOU PUT 7 MONTHS?" maybe I exaggerated with the capital letters but that is how I feel. So I explained and she proceeded to look at my other documents. When comes to the bank statement she said you don't have sufficient amount of money in your bank. Turns out the amount on the certificate is in USD not MYR. I got a little pissed and in my heart I was thinking now why did the school do that. Great. And she continued by saying since in your certificate it says 2 months you have to show us a return flight ticket. Double great.

Never in my life I got this feeling that Korea thinks I want to be an illegal worker there. Probably this is my first complain of Korea, hello, don't you want foreigners to spend money and study in your country. Why do you have to make my life so difficult. Just give me the damn visa goddamnit.

Okay now will you excuse me while I go breathe.

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So after considering all the options that I have, been thinking the whole day from getting a return ticket to getting a C3 visa first then change to D4 and all other methods, I've decided to pay up another one semester and request for a new certificate of 4 months so that I don't need to get a return ticket first cos I dont know exactly when I will be coming back. And also get my mom to transfer more money into my account. I feel super bad cos the amount is quite big T_T I think this is the safest way and I don't want to go through more hassle.

Before I do that I am going to wait for that lady to reply my email and ask if I paid up for 4 months do I still need a return ticket. She didnt reply my email since morning and if she doesn't tomorrow I am going to call up the embassy.

Friday, July 5, 2013

My Korean Language Journey So Far

By the time I publish this it will be really near to leaving for Korea to study Korean. This has been something I really want to do since 2009. 4 years of waiting. I am writing this to remind myself that this is what I have been wanting to do since 4 years ago. Life in Korea might not be a bed full of roses but it will be boring if there isn't any challenges right. So I've decided to record down my whole journey to Korea so that this may help some people out there who wants to study in Korea and also what to expect. But first you have to read through about my Korean journey. Heh.

I started studying Korean in my university as one of the electives. Yup! We are free to pick any language to learn as our elective. So I studied for 3 semesters which is about one and a half years but that is just 4 hours per week. Then I took the TOPIK exam which I scored level 2. I did not do much of self studying, all I depended was lectures and notes from the lecturer. After I graduated, I took part time classes which is 2 hours per week for a total of 5 semesters which is about 8 months and now I'm in my sixth semester in a language school in KL. Recently I took the TOPIK exam again thinking that I could pass level 4, that was so naive wtf. I failed the exam not even level 3. I kinda expected that because it was really difficult and all I depended was the part time classes which actually didn't help much and I feel that I hadn't improve much. Yup, so I spent more than 400 bucks every semester in that language school and all I learn is grammar and grammar and more grammar. Well I still attend though because there wasn't any other choice that I can think of.

And then until recently I had the opportunity (guess I'll elaborate on this later in my next blog post). All these while I've been wanting to attend Yonsei KLI cos I heard they had the best Korean language school plus I know some people who attended there. I almost applied for it but somehow when the application opens on that day, I couldn't bring myself to submit the application fee. God must be with me. T_T I hesistated for a few days and then somehow I've decided to casually talk to Jamie who attended Yonsei KLI and she finished level 6 there. She told me about Yonsei KLI and recommended me some other schools which I can consider. After a lot a lot of thinking and reading on the internet about all the other schools, I've decided on Sungkyunkwan University Korean SLI. Yonsei KLI has the most expensive fees and I am on a really tight budget. On the other hand SKKU has the cheapest fees. I couldn't find much reviews on SKKU and was worried if it is a good school or not. Cos I don't want my money to be wasted okay!

I only found 2 reviews and both have good reviews. Jamie said that her friends who studied there seems to be good in Korean as well. Then I spoke to my Korean teacher at the language school and she said most Korean language schools are the same. Then I bug my sister for a few days on which to choose and she said the cheaper one. -___- Then I talked to my mum cos she is going to support me and she said "The cheaper one la, you think I have a lot of money ah." T___T So I've decided on the cheaper one wtf. The semesters in SKKU is different from other schools. Their semester consists of 8 weeks instead of 10 weeks with longer hours everyday which means I could save on living expenses. Less days in Korea less living expenses. T_T

I guess with this choice I can live a bit more comfortable while I am there. So I proceeded with the application and within few hours they replied and said that I am accepted. WOW. That was easy. Lol. And then I proceeded with the tuition and application fee payment and now waiting for the transfer. Yup. A new chapter of my life is about to begin. I am excited and at the same time worried and scared. T_T But I kept telling myself that it's okay I can do it. This is what I want. So from this post onwards I am going to talk about my life there and about the school whether it is good or bad because while I was looking for review of this school there isn't much information I can look for. SKKU Korean SLI students, why you no blog about the program there! Are you guys really busy that you have no time to blog? Please bug me if you don't see me blogging about it in the future because I really want people to know if it is a good school. Or not. =X

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Things I did in Korea

1. SLEEP

I'm really glad that we chose this guesthouse for this trip. This guesthouse is the best compare to the other 2 guesthouses which we've stayed previously. Although the place is small but it is really really really cozy. I slept so well there that I thought I was home.

The living room is really cozy and we spent most of our nights chilling and getting the know other people at the guesthouse.




The place is super clean even the kitchen! You can use everything in the kitchen but just make sure you keep the kitchen clean.


We were served breakfast every morning with toast, bread, cereal, fruits and juices! YUMS! Heather, the manager of the guesthouse comes to prepare them every morning. Both of us make sure we didn't missed the breakfast cos it was super good. 

During my stay I get to know people from Japan, China, US, London, Thailand and Singapore. Some of these people I met are super awesome! There was this Professor from Japan who can speak Japanese, Chinese, Korean and English fluently! Inho the guy in the picture is a Korean but lives in Japan, so he can speak both Japanese and Korean and he majors is Spanish!!! He can also speak super good English la! These people are so cool but I also can speak a few languages so I blended in well with them ahahahahaha. jk. 


2. PRETEND TO BE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

Hongik University






I was about to register as a student there but they are closed for lunch. ehehehehe


Ewha Womans University.

Yup you are right. All the students here are female except for some foreign students if I'm not wrong. 



OMG I tell you they have the nicest campus!













 Yonsei University

I think I looked a student here lor. hahahahah. 


I love this uni too! But it was too cold and we were too tired to explore cos the place is super big.



3. CHILL AT COFFEE SHOPS

 I think the Koreans love coffee cos you can find coffee place everywhere. Super nice la!

Coffee place at Apgujeong


And their waffles superrrrrrrrrrrr gooooooooooooooooood! In Seoul, they serve waffles almost everywhere!


At Myeongdong




4. EAT FRIED CHICKEN AT NIGHT


Super good! ZOMG! They are super crispy and they have different flavours and sauces to go with it. And not too oily! We spent our last two nights eating fried chicken with Inho. kekeke.. Malaysia, why you no fried chicken shops like this! I don't mean KFC.

5. DO WEIRD THINGS







Trick Eye Museum in Hongdae

6. Fangirl-ing over the guys who were performing at the streets.



7. And last but not least, shopping, shopping, shopping. Sorry no pictures cos we were too busy. XD

Yup. That's about it. We did not go to many tourist attractions cos we've been there our last trip. This trip is mostly about relaxing, shopping, meeting people and hanging out with each other. Cos Suhui is currently working in Singapore and we hardly meet anymore. 

Will definitely be back there again very soon cos I have not shop enough. :p