|[외국인 학생 활동 보고서 - 마그레브트랙 쌍수중팀] Omaima - 1
I’m here sitting down after midnight trying to figure out how to start this essay, what to write and how to explain and describe this whole experience. so, I thought if it’s going to be a long essay I better write it in a way that whoever who reads it can find it interesting and hopefully can get a glamps of this amazing experience from the point of view of a participant of the locality summer school program. So, without further a due, let’s get started.
As I had mentioned in my application form the other time this is my second time visiting this wonderful country, since I have been here before I have tried to act cool about it and tried to hide my excitement in which I have failed. Knowing that I will be coming here again and experience things I have never experience before made my heart flatter so much that I have become sleepless when the D-day had reached a week before my trip. Before I came here I was hoping I can meet new friends, create new memories, and be part of group study and more importantly take an actual class in Korean in order to test my Korean language skills… so guess by now that whoever you are my dear reader must be extremely curious if this program; did indeed meet my expectations. To find out all you have to do is keep reading as I try to take you through a trip to the past.
The day is June the 30th 2018, the day of my departure to South Korea has finally come, it’s here, heart’s beating faster than ever. Plane ticket, luggage, passport, money all is ready. It was time to go. The ride to the airport felt like it’s taking forever. The waiting for boarding felt like an eternity and the time spent on both plane, well let’s just skip that part.
The day is July the 1st 2018, I have been travelling for more than 1 day, at 6h30pm I was finally able to step foot in Korea, as soon as I came out from the gate, Kim Hui Jung and Kim Soo Yun were there waiting for me. The moment I met I had a really good feeling about this program, I was able to see the excitement in both their eyes and mine as well. It was raining outside but that didn’t get in the way of how I was feeling. I’m not a really big fan of the rain but for some reason it didn’t bother me much, it hasn’t been that long since we had met but I already felt connected to them, I mean I had to feel connected to them if that makes any sense. We were all so tired, as time passed you could’ve seen it in their eyes and you could’ve seen it in mine as well. They had to come from YongIn to Incheon Just to get me, and I really do appreciate this gesture from the bottom of my heart.
The day is July 3rd, it’s time to get serious and work hard. After our morning gathering we went down to have breakfast, after that we went to our first lecture and Oh how excited I was. I was waiting to have it in English, but it ended up being in Korean, and I always wanted to hear a lecture in Korean since I have never studied Korean language official. The professor was so nice, and he explained the lesson to us in an easy way. We got to learn about Korean history and I was so happy to learn about things I didn’t know. To resume we learned about national holidays in Korea. The professor said that there 4 major event that mark the Korean history but Korean say there are 5 important days, note: the Establishment of Gojoseon by Dangun (the story behind it was interesting); October 9th1446 which marked the promulgation of Hangeul by King Sejong the great then 1876 that marks the treaty of Ganghwa with Imperial Japan which was the starting point of modernization, right after that The movement of march 1st in 1919 after that august 15 of 1945: liberation from Japanese colonial rule; July 17th: proclamation of the constitution of the Republic of Korea and finally August 15th of 1948 that was the official establishment day of the Republic of Korea. Once we were over with class we had lunch then we went all together to start working on “focus on locality” and right after we were back we had dinner and came back to working on our project. Not to mention we all ate pizza together all the Maghreb teams. ( thank you Mr. Oh).
The day is July the 4th, I think it’s the day most of the program’s participant were waiting eagerly for. It’s Everland day as we called it between us, none of us has ever been to there, so we were all excited like kids going to Disneyland for the first time, but before we had to attend a class by Professor Park which as well did meet with our expectation. It was a fun class, we learned about modern Korean history. We talked about the events that lead to the appearance of the so called “the Korean wave”. It was an interesting subject. When we hear about a history class we all think it’s going to be a boring class, but it was quite the opposite, it was fun and we got out with a lot of information that we can add up to our memory storage. We didn’t want the class to end, actually we liked it so much that we asked the professor to sit with us during lunch break. As we were having lunch we talked more about our interest in Korea, how it started and what are our future plans. Once lunch break was over we went up to get ready and then hit the road. Everland was so beautiful I can’t describe its beauty by just words. The weather was hot and it was so sunny. But I guess it’s better than the rain and all of the Korean team members were saying we’re so lucky since there weren’t so many people. Usually the waiting time for some rides can go up to 200 minutes but it was only between 10 and 15mins for us, we ended up riding every single one of them. Texpress was the scariest but I loved the experience, as someone who’s afraid of heights T-express was a big challenge for me, I really did push myself to the limits to actually ride it, we took a lot of pictures and it we had so much fun that we actually forgot to have food and when realized that we didn’t eat it was too late because we weren’t allowed to eat on campus. We saw some really cool animals, I wish we could’ve seen the pandas since I just realized I have never seen one in person. We also went on the Amazon ride, my favorite part of it was the person who work there, he is so energetic that made the waiting time seem like nothing and because he saw how interactive we were with him he decided to give us a special dance, I’m going to remember him forever. We also went to fight with water, it was fun because it was the weather was hot and because we did it together. It made me stop for a second and think to myself “this is how memories are made huuuh!” so I do appreciate every single moment in this program.
This Everland trip was a great opportunity for me to get closer to the members from other teams in which I really got to like and I hope our friendship lasts. All of them were nice and funny, they made it 1000000000 times better, we joked together, laughed together, teased each other, took tons of pictures together. It was a really happy magical time for every single one of us and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The Everland Trip turned out to be so much better than I anticipated especially because I was originally tired from the jet lag and because I have only had 4 hours of sleep the night before, therefore I was worried that I’d be sick or I’d be too tired to have fun. But I ended up fighting my tiredness and brought out my special hidden energy and being with everyone else is what got me to keep pushing. I’m not going to deny that around the end of the day all of that tiredness started to kick it but I’m glad it happened on the way to the dorms.
The day it July the 5th, after we had breakfast, I was waiting for lecture but I got surprise we were having a discussion session with the professors. At first I thought it was going to be awkward at first because they are professor and people we respect so much, I thought to myself “how can I talk freely in front of a professor ?” but it was actually fun, I enjoyed it the most the French language professors were extremely nice to us and made us feel comfortable around them.. so comfortable if I must be honest. We talked about everything, from why am I interested in Korea and how I learnt the language to how Morocco is a beautiful country and what I want to do with my future, my thoughts about the program so far and if I like the Korean food. After than it was lunch break, after that we got 2 hours to sleep and rest from the Everland Trip since we all super tired from it. After that our team gathered together in my room so that they get the information they need for their subject. I did my best answering all of the questions they asked and we actually finished earlier than we intended since we had already discussed everything before. Like Kim Soo Yeon said “it felt like we’re repeating the same thing over and over again” so we called it a day. After we had dinner it was the traditional game activity time and right after that we had a cultural quiz in which all the program participants participated in, although our team got in second place, I kind of felt bad because I realized how much I don’t know about Korean culture. All the other foreigner students knew a lot of the Korean culture and I was just there hoping I can get the answers right. I know I know it is an embarrassing thing to say, but that it nothing but the truth. Maybe they know more because they are majoring in Korean language and culture while I’m only self learning by watching K~drama. But it made more open to the culture and more eager to learn more about it. That’s how our day finished. It was time to go to sleep because we had to wake up early for our Guided Seoul trip, in which I am extremely happy and excited about.
As I’m writing this right now we are back here In YongIn and before I start writing this part I had to think really hard about it , a lot of things happened during these past 3 days good things that I’m so happy and eager to write about it and bad things that I just wanted to hide and keep to myself, except I kind of failed badly in hiding them. I thought maybe if the professor didn’t notice I would’ve just exclude those things entirely and talked about what’s good. But then again, even the bad experiences are counted as an experiences and lessons to learn from. And before I start talking about the guided talk, I want to thank Kim Hui Jung So much for helping me a lot and for making me feel better and wanted and for making every experience worth while. And that if it wasn’t for him I don’t know how hard it would have been for me. Thanks to him I kept wanting to try harder because I saw how hard he was trying, and I didn’t want all of his efforts to go in vein. There for I’m going to start with the very first day.
The day is July 6th, we had breakfast and we were on our way to Seoul, but before that we stopped by GyeongGi Guangjo in order to see the museum of sharing house of the women who were treated as comfort women during japanese colonization period, I got to read about that and hear victim’s testimonies, in which I cried during that because it was just too sad and heart breaking for me. All those women has wished for was having a normal life, study, get married, and have children, they wanted to provide for their families but they were either kidnapped or deceived by other people who promised them a job at a factory but actually ended up traded as comfort women. The thing tat made me so mad is there are so much evidence and proof against japan, at first they apologized for their wrong deeds and acknowledged the problem but after the scale of it got bigger they refused to apologize and say sorry to these victims even though they were proven guilty in the trial.. after we finished touring the museum we went to watch a movie called “ Her story “ and it was basically the same thing we saw in museum, except it was focusing on the trial itself, then we hit the road to Seoul after we had lunch, we went straight to a place called Marymond, it’s a company that donates 50% of its profit to the victims of the comfort women situation that happened during the japanese colonization time. (it’s a really beautiful store, I recommend it) after that we were all tired that we gave up on Eating in 건대 as we planned originally and just came back to the most beautiful aesthetic guesthouse I have ever seen. We came too tired that I fell asleep as soon as I took a shower.
Now you are wonder what is my bad memory in this day. Well it just felt like an activity between only me and Hui Jung other than all of us.. the two Soo Yeon girls started to distance themselves from us. I thought maybe they were tired so I didn’t really pay attention to that.
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