Sorry

Sorry

Sorry everyone, I was going to wait for our school to post an article talking about the Pocajeon but it doesn’t look like an English version is coming anytime soon. So after a long wait I will be describing the Pocajeon and other stuff that happened after the Pocajeon.

So the Pocajeon was held at Kaist located in Daejon. Daejeon and Pohang are  two very different cities. Pohang on one hand is a relatively small harbor city on the coast. Daejeon on the other hand is a big city.  I participated in the Pocajeon as a supporter.  A supporters job is to cheer on all our teams and give them energy to win.  

The main events were Basketball, hacking, AI, LOL, baseball, quiz,  and soccer.  Unfortunately we lost overall and Kaist took home the victory flag. Even though we lost all the supporters had a lot of fun.  We all screamed and cheered a lot.  On the night of the first night we had a huge party.  We drank a lot and mingled.  After the party, we left kaist and explored Daejeon.  Mainly we visited a couple clubs.  The two main clubs in Daejeon is the Sponge club and Ibiza.  Sponge is a club where most of foreigners go.  Ibiza is the most popular club.  Both clubs were great. Good music.  Good drinks.  And pretty girls.

At the end of the Pocajeon we got to have the kpop group Rainbow perform for us. Hahahaha all the Korean guys crowded the front of the stage and were fan boring super hard.

The only really big thing that happened after Pocajeon was that Chuseok(Korean thanksgiving)  happened.  During Chuseok we got this past Monday and Tuesday off for school.  So for the break I visited my aunt in Seoul. This was actually  the first time I visited her. She was super welcoming and took me around Seoul. Unfortunately,  though most stores were closed on Chuseok.  Most of the time I just spent hanging out with my aunt.  We visited a festival in Seoul where we got to see a circus performance and musicians play. The rest of chuseok we spent with her daughters family.  With them we went to the park and ate Korean barbecue.

Sorry for this rushed post and bad quality. I will post the pictures of everything below.

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Prepping for the Pocajeon

Today we just basically had a prep rally for the upcoming Pocajeon. For those of you who don’t know, probably all of you, the Pocajeon is another name for the POstech vs Kaist Science War. This competition is basically to see which school (Kaist or POSTECH) is the best technical college in Korea. The two schools compete in a wide range of matches: Soccer, Baseball, Basketball, E-Sports, Hacking, Science Quiz, and A.I. Whichever school wins the most events wins the Pocajeon. Unfortunately, POSTECH lost the past 3 years, but they won the 4 consecutive years before that. Hopefully we will win this year.

So at Pep Rally we got to see our representatives for each event. Then we got to see a bunch of different performances. G-love, band club, played two songs.  The SAMTER club, a korean traditional instrument club, played a strangely attractive long song. After that we got to see a very interesting cheering squad.

So you may think of cheerleaders as those pretty girls in skimpy 2 piece uniforms with pom poms, However, Korea that is exactly not what the cheerleaders look like.

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In Korea, the cheerleaders where these fancy suits that have a lot of frills and covers the entire body. There are no girls with skimpy clothe. Actually the majority of the cheerleaders are guys. It seems like for Korea, the cheer-leading squad’s job is not only to cheer on the players but lead all the supporters in cheering on the players. So in POSTECH’s case, CHEERO, the cheer-leading club name, will perform various cheering songs. AS they are doing songs, all the supporters will copy them and cheer on the players together. This is drastically different than what happens in America. Where the cheerleaders are just really there for looks.

I cannot wait to go to Kaist tomorrow and have fun supporting our school. POSTECH will definitely destroy Kaist. NExt time I will take more pictures. SORRY 😦  ………….

Eleven Dongari and International Student’s MT

Hello everyone I am going to be uploading more often now so that all the blogs are shorter a lot shorter. 😛

So last Friday I decided to visit the Eleven Dong-a-ri (the korean word for club or circle). The eleven club is one of the two soccer clubs in POSTECH. This club has around 30 members. It is very big. On this day we played soccer soccer from 8 to 10. After soccer I joined the group for their opening meeting party. The party was held at “Sol-Jung-Bin”.

This is by far the best restaurant so far in Pohang. The food was so good and cheap. At the restaurant we got Kimchichigae and Pa-Jon.

Kimchijigae is a stew made mainly with Kimchi. This soup had many more delicious food inside as well. It had ramen noodles, rice cakes, and meet inside it. The Pa-jeon is the korean style pancakes. Pa-jeon on the other had taste way better than its breakfast counterpart. It is pancake made mainly with flower and MEAT!!!! The food was super delicious.  WE not only had delicious food but we also got MAKOLI. Korean Rice Wine.

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This stuff was amazing. It is probably the best alcohol I have tasted so far. This Makoli has a lower concentration of alcohol then soju and tastes sort of like a soda or juice. For someone who has never actually drank before going to college this was very good.

During the party I got to see something very surprising about Korean culture. During the whole time, the Sunbaes (older members) kept on pushing the Hoobaes (younger members) to drink because it is culture to drink a lot and have fun. The Sunbaes feel like the Hoobaes ignore them if the Hoobaes do not drink. They admit that this drinking culture is not that good but they do it anyway because it is their culture. Korean culture I guess includes drinking quite a bit.

The following day, Saturday, The international student’s dorm held a MT(Membership Training), at Guryongpo beach. In korean culture almost every group/club goes on an MT outing in order to have fun and get to know each other better. At our membership training we had a lot of fun. We played a picture hunt game where we had to find where some pictures were taken and take the same exact picture except with our group in it. After that we had a huge korean barbeque dinner. It was so good.

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We constantly ate for like almost 2 hours. After the barbeque we played a very interesting drinking game called drinking Monopoly. In this game we had 4 teams. Each team would take turns rolling a dice and then would move their team’s marker however many steps the dice has. Wherever the marker lands, everyone who fits the category that the marker lands one would have drink. As an example if the marker lands on women. Then only women drink. This game made all of us drink a lot. It is definitely Korean culture to drink….. excessively. After the game, we all just hung out inside our accommodation and played card games, talked, and drank. By the end of the day, the only people that were left were the Korean students that came on the trip with us. They were still drinking………. The next day we packed up and left.

Overall this weekend I learned one huge thing. Koreans can drink a lot. I know definitely cannot drink as much as them because I am still not yet Korean.

A Foreigner

Hi guys, sorry for not posting in a long time, I have actually been pretty busy since school has just started. Actually today, Friday, marks the end of my 2nd week of school. Since I have been neglecting my updates, I will try and explain everything that has happened so far.

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Here, is my schedule. I will be taking 5 classes (There are 6 classes in the picture but I am actually dropping Electric Circuits 2). Of my 5 classes, 2, are unfortunately in Korean. Thankfully,  one of the classes is based 100% on attendance and the other one has English powerpoints and tests. Being in classes in POSTECH is not really that different than being in classes back in the USA. I guess the only difference is that instead of me being a regular student I am one of the foreigners. Now that I have the perspective of being a foreigner I think I can really sympathize with the the international students that are back at my home school.

One of the biggest and most obvious barriers is language. Knowing of this barrier is completely different from experiencing this barrier especially in Korea. There are two ways you can become deemed, one is obviously skin color and the other is not knowing the language. Once someone is perceived as a foreigner(usually if you can not speak the language), that person usually gets stuck in what I saw as the “foreigner bubble”. This is where foreigners end up only hanging out with other foreigners for most of the time rather than integrating themselves with the rest of Korea. This is what I was afraid of and what I experienced in the first week of school. The only people that talked to me were the other foreigners. I began to think that Korean people just did not like hanging out with foreigners…….. but boy was I wrong. Thank the Lord.

I am very selfish and self-centered. I was just waiting for another Korean student to just talk to me first. I put no effort into trying to engage them myself. My narrow-minded view prohibited me from thinking about how the other Koreans felt. After investigating and talking to many of the students, I found out that the Korean people are all just very shy people and they really appreciate it when a foreigner comes and speaks to them first. I learned that they are all super friendly and fun people and that all that is necessary is for you yourself to take that first step to engage them. This step led me to meeting many awesome people.

Instead of spending my time sitting on my bum, I took the initiative to meet new people and joined the club, AD-LIB. This club is basically a drama club and shows plays at least once a semester.  I attended their first meeting of this semester and it was a blast. Before, during, and after the meeting they were super welcoming and accommodating. After the meeting they told me that they were going to have food and Soju(Korean alcohol) delivered to us. They were super excited to share this delivery food with me because they told me that delivery food is a must when in Korea. During this mini party, we all laughed, played, and talked together. We had a very good time as you can see below.

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Korean people are very social because not two day later they invited me to their weekly lunch time get together. They told me that every week they order a different delivery food and that I have to come so I could taste all of it. So I came and I so well. I ate Cheese Dokboki, sun-dae, and dumplings. After lunch someone brought Baskin Robbins Ice Cream for everyone. I really enjoyed my time with the AD-LIB club and I plan on staying in this club during my entire stay in POSTECH.

Another very fun thing that happened this past week happened at the log cabin. The log cabin is basically just an on campus bar. Last night my German and French friends and I went to the log cabin to drink and play beer pong. Well we did exactly that except after that we assimilated ourselves with the Korean groups that were there. Instead of rejecting us, they received us with open arms.

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I could tell that they were all curious about us and wanted to have a fun time with us as well. So we all talked, played drinking games, and had a very fun time.

My experiences in the club and at the log cabin rekindled my fire to learn Korean as fast as I can because I really want to participate fully in the activities of my club members and my new Korean friends. Because I can really see that I am definitely still a foreigner and not yet Korean.

Orientation Week

Welcome back to my blog. Today I will be talking about the orientation week I participated in at POSTECH. For the orientation, we would have information session, and tours of Postech, Pohang, and Gyeongju (another city of Korea).

On the first day of Orientation, all we did was have our information sessions. Originally it was planned that we would visit the library but the weather decided against too. Actually, on our first day we were greeted with our very first typhoon. Fun stuff. At the information session, we had a series of lectures. Our first lecture, was about what we should expect from Korea and some advice on how to survive in Korea and Postech. The next lecture was more advice except this time it was from a former exchange student. He talked about how Pohang is definitely not Seoul and that to not study too much but make a lot of friends and create a network full of all kinds of people and especially enjoy Korea. All of which I definitely agree because I have three goals. The first is to have as much fun as I can have in Korea. Number 2 is to become Korean(Learn korean fluently and learn the culture). and lastly but must importantly meet Yoon Bomi from Apink.

Yup I definitely will meet her. The next couple of lectures were boring and not really important at all. Something about extending visas or something. Doesn’t matter. That was the first day.

The next day of orientation we got to visit the facilities of Postech. Actually only KIRO and the Pohang accelerator laboratory. KIRO(Korea institute of intelligent Robotics) was awesome. First we got to see many different robots and we got to interact with them. Below is a picture of the dinosaur-like robot that acts like a guard dog and will notify the owner if anyone is trying to break into the house.

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The picture above on the left is a picture of a seal robot that is the first therapeutic robot. It supposedly helps people if they are in mental stress. Actually it does help. After holding the seal I felt like a mother. I have a picture of the family and will upload it at a later time. We then got to see a bunch of other robots. A fish robot, gangnam style dancing robots, and more which I cannot remember at the moment. I loved the place. After this we went to the Pohang Accelerator Laboratory. We got to see a video of the place but touring the place was not really that great. We just walked in a circle and saw not really anything actually. It was kinda boring. Above on the right is me taking a picture of the place and trying to make the place more fun than it actually was.

The next day of Orientation we got to tour Pohang. We first visited the POSCO, The Pohang Steel Factory. This place was huge and employs a lot, I mean a lot a lot, of people. The steel making machines were very impressive and very sophisticated. Loud and Hot. Two things that I won’t forget. I feel bad for the workers because they may lose their hearing and the pollution will make them have shorter lives. But without POSCO their would be no Pohang because Pohang’s rapid growth was all due to the fact that the steel factory was there to provide jobs for a large amount of people. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take any pictures or recordings of the place. After that we got to visit downtown Pohang and see what the beach and canal was like. We only really got enough time to snap a couple of photos before we had to get back on the bus and move on.

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On the last day of Orientation we went on a tour of Gyeongju (the city with the most historical importance of ancient Korea). In Gyeongju we first visited the ancient burial sites of the nobles and high class of Ancient Korea.

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I know what your thinking. These look like Hobbit holes. That is right. Koreans are the ancestors of the modern day hobbits, like the well known Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. On a more serious note, these hilly mounds were created in such a way to prevent grave robbers because it was built with no entrance or exit. The reason it was impenetrable is because you had to dig from the sides because digging on the top of the hill was too obvious. The hill is made in such a way that the whole hill is essentially a pile of river rocks. And so if you tried to dig into the hill from the side, the stones will slide onto you and trap you inside the mound. Ouch, what a sad way to die. After the gravesite, we got to visit a master potter. We actually got to see him make some pottery. What you see below is the finished example. It was so cool to see him create this pottery out of just a mound of clay. Next to it is a picture of my friend inside the oven where they bake the clay until it is nice and black.

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After the masters potters house we visited the temples of Gyeongju. They were alright. Below are some of the pictures of the temples

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Sorry for the bad ending but I am getting tired from writing this blog. I think in the future I am going to write shorter blogs. As for my goals, I am succeeding in the first one and having a lot of fun. However I have not yet met Bomi and so I failed that one. I am definitely not Korean. See ya next time.

Introduction!!!!

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Hello!!! and welcome to my blog where I will be posting my adventurous 1 year study abroad program in POSTECH located in Pohang, South Korea. However, before I begin my blog I wanted to introduce a little bit about myself and why I chose Korea. This is me.

IDK why

This picture kinda describes me. I am a weirdo that likes to have fun. But…….

First things first, my name is Jacob Song and I currently attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as an Electrical Engineering major. One important fact about myself is that I am Korean- American. Now I know what you may be thinking. WTH!! Why is this Korean guy studying abroad in Korea, he is Korean and so that isn’t even studying abroad or he should go somewhere else for an abroad experience. To be honest I sort of agree with you. I think it is hilarious that I am Korean and studying abroad in Korea. However, surprisingly, Korea is as foreign as a country to me as it is to many of you. Because in reality, I am not really that Korean. I was born and raised in America my whole life. The language spoken at home was and still is English and so I don’t even know a lick of Korean. It is actually very embarrassing not knowing my native tongue but that is exactly the reason why I am studying abroad in Korea. Through this 1 year study abroad experience I hope to master Korean and see more than just the american me, the Korean me. Because frankly, I am not yet Korean.

Please join me as I spend my studying abroad experience where I will be meeting amazing new people and learn a lot of Korean and the Korean culture.