It all began in the mid of June, when I moved to Seoul for a 2nd university life. 5 years of working finally took a toll on me, so it didn’t take too long for me to decide to quit my job and pursue what I’ve wanted to do for a long time.
After getting to know Korea via Korean boy band TVXQ in 2006, I’ve been exposed to a culture that I gradually fell in love with. A basic Korean course in 2007 was the first step I took to learn a whole new language, and then my vocabulary slowly increased through watching variety shows and listening to songs.
However, it was a dream of mine to be able to speak Korean fluently, or at least be able to communicate, and also watch variety shows without subtitles. So when I decided that I needed a break from work, it was clear to me that enrolling in a language course in Korea was what I wanted the most.
Sung Kyun Kwan University celebrated their 618th birthday in 2016, and it’s still going strong. Their language course was a 2 month per semester program, cramping in grammars and vocabularies in a shorter period compared to other schools that usually offer 4 month per semester programs. I highly recommend that those who decide to learn Korean go for Sung Kyun Kwan, because if you’re able to pass Sung Kyun Kwan’s language exams, you’ll do well in any other schools (stated by most of the language teachers in Sung Kyun Kwan who teaches in other Universities too.)
During the 6months that I have been in Seoul, I’ve moved 3 times, 2 times to different share houses, and 1 time to a dormitory.
The first shared house I’ve moved in was pain and NOT a good start to my life in Seoul. When the photos were shown to me, it was beautiful. I would be moving in to a room on the first floor, with good ventilation, fully furnished, and close to my university.
Part of that was true, but only on the surface. The “first floor” room was located in a half basement apartment, windows were opened to the sidewalks when rain sipped through and wet my bed while it rained, ventilation happened to be totally false because dust from the side walk would blow into my room, making it dirty and dusty. The furniture was old and flimsy except for the bed. My cupboard felt like it was going to fall apart anytime soon and it was molded inside. The desk was creaking and again, had water sipping from below. The worst part was that I had 2 house mates who were everything except considerate and clean. There would be pots and pans soaking in the sink for days, the shower and toilet would be left dirty and un-flushed at times, and trash all over the common room. The walk to school took me 45 minutes daily, so it was far from ‘close’.
I somehow managed to live 2 months there, before I moved to INSIDE’s share house.
The new share house was a breath of fresh air. That’s when my happy, fun, life in Seoul really started. The room was much more spacious and it was on the 2nd floor, where I could leave my windows open for ventilation when I left without worrying. It was fully furnished with furniture that I could ACTUALLY use. There were air conditioning in the room for the summer and floor heating for the autumn and winter. My housemates were clean and responsible. Although we don’t see each other often, we had a friendly relationship and would gather for meals as often as we could. Different from my previous housemates, we would always try to stay as quiet as possible, since we’re students; we understood that a quiet atmosphere is important for studying during the exams. It was also only a 1-minute walk to my university!
2 and half months later, I decided to move into INSIDE’s dorm after I graduated the final level. As much as I loved the share house, the dormitories were cheaper and it lessened my burden on expenditures. Although I have lesser privacy, the dormitory was filled with more people, and more people, means more fun and laughter. I didn’t have school or exams anymore, so FUN was all I wanted and got!
Living in INSIDE’s dorms and share house was the best thing that happened to me in the past 6 months. The living conditions were great, but the people I’ve met were the ones that made my memories even more vibrant and precious. INSIDE’s atmosphere was warm and welcoming, just like its owners and guests.
My 6months will end soon, and I know that it’ll be INSIDE that I will miss the most for sure. It won’t be goodbye forever, because I’ll be back before you can say “backpackers”!