|Title||[외국인 학생 활동 보고서 - 인도-남아시아트랙 러르끼양팀] Rahul Raj|
Report on HUFS Summer School Program 2017
A reverie of infinite memories
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” This quote by Eleanor Roosevelt has always injected a plethora of positive energy and optimism in me. It gives me positive energy and hope. When I came to Jawaharlal Nehru University to pursue under graduation course, I had only dreamt about coming to Korea but I had never thought my dreams would ever come true. But I always follow the saying, “The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.” I studied hard, did my best and I got the golden opportunity to be the part of Locality Summer School Program organized by Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. I feel really blessed and I would like to thank the Locality group to consider me eligible to join the program among a pool of equally eligible lot.
I couldn’t express my feelings when I first read my acceptance letter for the program. “야호!” Considering it my first overseas trip, I was a bit nervous. However, the kind and considerate Locality group helped me with everything that was rationally possible even before my journey began. The locality made teams for us with guys from related areas of studies. My team members were so nice even before we met and talking to them made me feel very comfortable. I got so much excited about the program that I learned about the events from the Locality website, my team mates and my other friends who had attended the program in last winter. I had started dreaming about my trip and finally the day of my journey arrived. Co-incidentally, it was my first flight journey too. So, the feeling was mixed and I had severe Adrenaline rush.
I landed at Incheon International Airport on 25th June and I was warmly welcomed by my team mates. The journey from the airport to the HUFS campus was like that of a tourist. Not for a single moment did I removed my eyes from the window. I kept on staring outside as if I was capturing Korea forever. I was assigned to share my living room with an another participant who had come from Vietnam. Later in the evening, I had my first dinner in Korea at a Korean restaurant at the outskirts of the campus. We along with the another Indian team enjoyed our first meal in Korea with traditional Korean 떡볶이 which was more delicious than I had thought. I slept early the first night because I was too exhausted due to my flight journey.
The program started with the breakfast of 26th June and we had the orientation program with other International students, Korean team members, professors and the program organizers. We were formally introduced about the program and we introduced ourselves and knew about others. We were also photographed and given souvenirs from the Locality. After the program, the international students along with their team members, toured the campus. The campus is located amidst the lively forest where one can easily rejuvenate after any dull day. I loved the campus so much that I could roam the whole day lost in the beauty of nature. It was a wonderful experience witnessing the beauty of the HUFS campus. It was the HUFS mess, where I was able to taste pork and beef otherwise it would have been really difficult in India. By every meal, I was tasting something new and gradually I got accustomed to Korean food. I had no problem with Korean food as I am used to spicy food in India.
The following day started with the breakfast and a lecture class on Korean history. We introduced ourselves to the professor and he gave us a deeper insight about the Korean history. As we all well know that the history of a particular country can never be studied in a single lecture, so we mainly focused on Korean National Holidays. We studied about 삼일 운동, 제헌절, Independence day, etc. I had studied earlier about it but the lecture seemed so intriguing that I found it very useful. We participated in class discussions and the lecture was well supplemented with related videos. Even though it was a short class but it was interesting and enlightening at the same time. Later after lunch, I had my presentation that I had prepared for my teammates. Our focus area was Indo-Korean Independence history and its consequences and the developed perceptions of the people of India regarding Britain. I presented on ‘Jaalianwala Bagh massacre’ which is one of the worst incidents of mass killing of people and the most unforgettable memory of Indian history. I presented in the presence of my team and the other South-Asian teammates and it was great. My other Indian mate presented about the popularity and other related stuffs about Korean food in India. The PPT was really enlightening for me and other mates. After the PPT we had cross question sessions in which we asked questions from the other team and they asked our team. After completing our PPT, we had our In-depth Research project discussions. We discussed about Indian history and its consequences which mainly focused on advantages and disadvantages of British colonialization of India and the positive and negative perceptions of Indians regarding the people of Britain.
The following day we had our second lecture on Korean Economy and its trade policy by Mr. Yoo Duk Kang. I found this lecture more enlightening than the previous one because there were several things that I was unaware of. The lecture was open for class discussions and our questions and well supplemented with videos, graphs and other useful data. We also did some comparative studies in respect to Korea and other countries. Every student talked about their countries and it was very informative session because we all learnt new things. Apart from the bright things we also confronted some dark facets of great economies of the world. I personally felt this lecture very useful because I have planned to pursue my graduation majoring in Korean Polity and Economics.
After lunch we all went to Everland for recreation. Although, it was not related to our subject but still I found it the most interesting program. From the day I was told that we all would be going to Everland, I was desperately waiting for the day. I was excited and watched some rides before on Youtube and it all accelerated the Adrenaline more. Everland is heaven indeed. We roamed like anything and enjoyed several rides which were both exhilarating and scary at the same time. But I enjoyed to my fullest and I fought against my fear of height and speed. It is amazing to push your limits and excel in things that scare you and you build the confidence and beat the fear. The Everland tour was well received by me but I missed T-Express which enthralled me more by its videos on Youtube. We came Back to the dorm extremely tired and had a sound sleep.
The next day we had interaction with professor of our concerned department in the HUFS lounge. I interacted with a Korean professor of Indian studies department of HUFS. We talked about India and Korea and about HUFS. He shared his experience about his graduation in India and about the contemporary facets of both India and Korea. It was a real delight to interact with a professor and share his experience. He also guided me regarding my future studies and career prospects. I am really thankful to him and the Locality team to organize such an interaction.
In the evening after dinner, I attended the Samulnori performance by the HUFS Samulnori club. After the program we had a presentation about Korean traditional musical instruments and we were given the opportunity to learn and play the instruments. I really enjoyed the short practice and playing sessions. I found it interesting and the onlookers might have found it very funny when I produced awkward sounds while playing the instruments. After that we played some Korean outdoor games which were really interesting.
With every passing day, people were getting closer. I don’t know how it went but it seemed like I and my team mates have really come closer. Our bonds became stronger and we became more like a family from just team mates. It was a beautiful feeling and we started to enjoy more whatever we were doing.
The following day, we had to depart for Seoul for our trip after breakfast. Seoul looked the same as I had perceived, modern and cosmopolitan. We had our guest house booked which was a Hanok, Korean traditional house. The place where we stayed was Insadong which is a perfect place to witness modernity and traditional culture simultaneously. On my left there were several Hanoks well preserved and on my right were several International franchises and houses. It showed me true Korea – well preserved tradition + modernity.
After the lunch, we went to some historical sites related to our In-depth research project. First we went to the 삼일 문, where for the first time Koreans proclaimed Independence. It is a historical site and the birth place of 삼일 운동. Then we went to visit the 서대문형무소 역사관, which was built in the later Joseon period where Japanese officials tortured and later executed Korean freedom fighters. The place gave me goosebumps when I saw the prison. Real survivors’ experience in video is played to make the visitors feel the real sufferings that they had undergone. There was also a short informative introductory video regarding the prison. I felt so bad and moved after feeling the plight of the freedom fighters. Pain can only be understood if we feel them and I really felt just by seeing the things. I can’t imagine what they underwent to make this country free that is standing tall today.
The following day, we toured Seoul which was more self-chosen sites. First we went to Hanbok rental shop where we put on Hanbok and then went to visit 경복궁, which was really beautiful place. We got ourselves photographed in Hanboks in the premises of the palace. It seemed like we have revisited the past and we are witnessing it personally. After lunch, we went to the 청계천 to refresh ourselves. I found it one of the best sites of our program. It’s a masterpiece creation of stream amidst the hustle bustle of the city where people can come with their friends or families to shed the workload and to have a fresh mood. I wanted to be there forever with my legs soaked in the stream and enjoying the cold breeze. After that we went to eat at 이태원, which is generally a tourist spot for dining. It had international food franchises and other fusion meals available for everyone. We had a nice time together. After dinner we went to tour the 남산 서울 타워. The tower is really a symbolic icon of Korea and it is the highest spot from where we can see the whole city. But before we went there, it had rained and so it was foggy. So, we couldn’t see clearly but still I felt I am at the zenith and the whole world is beneath me. It was a wonderful experience. We spent two nights in Hanok and after dinner we had some Korean traditional liquor, 막걸리. It was my first experience and we all played some Korean games which were really interesting. We lived for two days and three nights in Hanok like an extended family and I really loved that feeling.
The following day we returned back to our campus and I am writing this report now. Tomorrow, our program will finish and we all would depart the campus. I really don’t want this program to end but like every mortal thing it has to. I feel sad and I will miss this place and certainly all my friends. This program has taught so many things to me. I am really thankful to the CK Specialization Project Team for organizing this program and giving me this golden opportunity to imbibe learning as much as possible. I am thankful to the organizing members and helping staffs who were always there to help us with everything possible. This educational trip became more as a family reunion and I didn’t miss my family even for a while. I would like to thank my friends for life 주리, 소희 and 보민 who took care of me and for making this trip an unforgettable experience. I am sure, we will never forget our time together and cherish the moments forever. I am really indebted to them. I wish there were similar programs in India and other countries. I will surely recommend my friends and others to participate in this program. And I would like to request HUFS and the Locality team to continue this program for years to come. I take back with me lots of memories and experiences. Once again 진심으로 감사를 드립니다.
Submitted by –
Jawaharlal Nehru University
India – South Asia
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