First step into Korea

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안녕하세요 여러분! 포항에 오신걸 환영합니다~~ 🤗

(Hello everyone! Welcome to Pohang!~~)

I am Kymbelin, an EPD Junior studying Mechanical engineering at POSTECH in Pohang, on the Eastern side of Korea!

You might ask: “Eh? Pohang? Never hear before… Why not in Seoul?”

Why? Because it’s the most affordable choice (hostel fees are cheap too! ~600k won, including bedding) and you get to explore the unknown side of South Korea, away from the busy cities and fast-paced life. Time flies especially slowly here! (I swear!)

Getting ready before going to Korea!

After getting all that complicated paperwork done — TB test results (for cheapest and fastest test, go to Tan Tock Seng TB unit), D-2 Visa (note that they are only open from 9am-11.30am weekdays for visa, DON’T trust Google!), Covid health-declaration, Offer letter from host university, Travel insurance certificate… and the list goes on…😥 (Paperwork can take a reallyyy long time, so it is best to email the school for them ASAP!), it is time to fly to South Korea! ✈

 

Passing by Seoul

It was late August when we went, so it was still mandatory to go through the covid-19 PCR test at the Incheon Airport Terminal 2. We decided to explore the city nearby Seoul station and found a really interesting piece of public exercise equipment nearby:

(Familiar? It appeared in the Kdrama – Extraordinary Attorney Woo Young Woo!) I thought it was to help with blood circulation to the head, but turns out it was for relieving back pain by taking pressure off the spine.

 

We went to grab lunch at the Seoul station food court (2nd level) afterwards and we got a real culture shock! The queue to the food court is all congregated at the entrance, unlike in Singapore where people queue at individual stalls, a passionate usher can be spotted speaking at incredible speed to guide the queue while catching some customers who entered the food court through the wrong lane.

The menus across all the stalls were written together on one big board (IN KOREAN!) and we had only 5 minutes to decide what we wanted to eat while in the queue.

The menu of horror 😱

This was probably the most stressful place to have your meal, especially during lunch hours when office workers nearby swarm down here to get their food! >.<

 

Now, off to Pohang!!

We took the high-speed train, KTX, to Pohang (which used to be one of the greatest inventions that I wanted to experience when I was young) and had a great nap on the way 😴.

Upon reaching the station, we took a taxi separately to our hostel in POSTECH called DICE (Dormitory for International Cultural Exchange) and we ended up at different locations around the school due to miscommunication about the drop-off points with the taxi uncles. Luckily the taxi uncles knew each other and helped us reunite!

It was a really funny experience due to our language barrier and the uncle pulled a Korean student walking by to be our translator 🤣

First taxi in Korea! 🚕

 

Mapping courses for Mechanical Engineering:

  • Core elective (Machine Element Design) = Creative Engineering Design
  • HASS:

 

For more details about travel to POSTECH and some nerdy information about Pohang 🤓, you may refer to this post by our senior! See you in the next post!

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