During my time in Hanyang University, I was fortunate to be able to participate in several social experiences to make my experience in Seoul more meaningful.

I joined two different volunteering groups during my time in Korea.
Firstly, as an animal lover, I volunteered at Shiloh’s Sanctuary, a shelter for senior and homeless cats. Shiloh’s Sanctuary is run solely by Anne-Marie who moved to Korea from Canada, and supported by volunteers such as myself. As a volunteer, I was involved in the cleaning and maintenance of the area as well as providing enrichment to the cats through play. I am glad to be able to contribute to the animal welfare scene in South Korea during my time there. It was very rewarding to be able to support such a cause, spend time with cute cats and also make new friends. Do check out Shiloh Sanctuary’s instagram at https://www.instagram.com/shilohssanctuary/?hl=en.

Cats resting at Shiloh’s Sanctuary

Secondly, I joined PLUR (Peace, Love, Unity, Respect), an NGO that invites foreigners and visitors to come together to help the homeless while also engaging in cross-cultural conversations. During volunteering sessions, we would walk around Seoul station and donate food bags to the homeless that have chosen to seek refuge in the area. Through this experience, I was exposed to the realities of inequality in South Korea and also made many insightful conversations with people all around the world. Their membership link is as follows: https://www.meetup.com/ko-KR/volunteer-for-plur-seoul-sunday-walk-to-feed-homeless/

PLUR group photo on a rainy day

I also joined an outdoor activities club, Climbing in Korea. With my friend’s recommendation, I took part in the Seoul 7 Peaks Climbing Challenge, where I scaled 7 different mountains within Seoul. This was very exciting to me as I had always looked forward to hiking while I was in Korea and I was rewarded with scenic views and new friends which made it a very fun and fulfilling experience. The feeling of clearing 7 peaks was very satisfying and I had developed a greater interest and passion in hiking. You can see the activities they organise over here: https://www.meetup.com/climbinginkorea/

One of the peaks of 7 peaks challenge, Gwanaksan

I was also able to attend the Black Yak Club Day. Black Yak is a leading Korean outdoor gear brand which organised a celebratory carnival, inviting members of CIK to engage in various outdoor games, lucky draws and an ending festival. I participated in a hill running race with some new friends, where we ran up a hill and passed a 5kg sandbag in a relay and managed to come in 3rd place! We won a 300000 KRW voucher and were able to spend it on various Black Yak goods.

Black Yak Club Day

These unique social experiences in made for a very eventful 4 months in South Korea and I am indubitably thankful to have been provided this opportunity.

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