First Week






In the early June, Seoul is hot and sometimes raining. After a 15-hour flight, I was tired, but I was excited to be able to spend the next 2.5 months in South Korea. It was raining hard in the first two days, and I unfortunately got a cold. I know nothing about Korean language, but my friend Han, who is studying business in Seoul, picked me up from the airport and helped me buy groceries and medicine. Thanks to Han, I had a great time this week.

Based on my observations, here are some interesting facts:

  • Seoul’s price level is as high as New York City where I live.
  • Wifi is everywhere, even without a password.
  • Many foreign students study in Seoul; a big portion of them are from mainland China.
  • Fashion clothing is cheaper than NY; you can buy a nice quality T-shirt for only 6 dollars in a shop.
  • Most Korean women wear make-up daily, regardless of age.
  • For the order of administrative region, it will be Country-City-District-Dong-number.

Seoul reserves some palaces from the ancient dynasty, and they are amazing. When I entered the major palace, I followed a tour guide and listened to stories for a while. As many ancient Korean drama shows, the king had absolute power over the country. According to the tour guide, in ancient Korea, people like chancellors and servants in the palace could not call the king’s excrement “crap”, it should be called “roses”. There was a position at that time doing research on the king’s excrement to know if the king was healthy or not. Also, one can see traditional Chinese characters in the titles of those palaces because Chinese characters were used in ancient Korea.