It’s hard to believe spring semester is coming to a close, yet students have been departing over the last few days and summer students have arrived. It’s been a very busy semester! Students have had lots of fun hanging with our CIEE Seoul Mates, volunteering, participating in student clubs, attending sports events, and traveling, not to mention studying, improving their language skills, and increasing their knowledge of things Korean. It’s time for a long overdue look at some of the things students did during the semester.
Field Trips & Cultural Activities
Hiking on Mt. Inwangsan
We had a hiking-lecture excursion on Mt. Inwangsan, which offers some fantastic views of the city. The hike took us past a number of important historic and sacred sites. Many trees were in bloom,adding to our viewing pleasure.
Earlier, during Orientation, we went to the DMZ, where we visited OP Dora observation post, the 3rd North Korean Infiltration Tunnel and the Joint Security Area.
At a North Korean infiltration tunnel
We had a number of students teaching English and Chinese at a center for senior citizens. In addition, we had a number of students volunteering at the Sarang school for students with learning disabilities, the Eastern Social Welfare Society’s baby care center, and the UNESCO Cross Culture Awareness Program, to name a few.
In May we had two excursions, one for spring participants and one for our academic year participants. These were designed to introduce the students to other parts of the country as well as to enable them to experience firsthand rural coastal and island life and how important products from the sea, mudflats, and wetlands are to the Korean diet and economy. These excursions provided quite a change from urban Seoul. Our spring students visited Jeungdo, an island off the southwest coast, known for its salt flats as well as its mudflats. Our AYP students traveled to the south coast where they visited the wetlands of Suncheon and stayed overnight in a very small rural village and on an island known for its boulder-strewn beaches.
Examining a small creature in the mudflats
These were in addition to our 3-day Explore Korea Excursion that took place during Orientation. At that time we traveled to Namwon, the setting of Korea’s most famous folk tale, and Jeonju, known since ancient times as a city of culture, arts, and good food.
Making paper-crafts in Jeonju
In addition to interacting one-on-one with students and in small groups, our Seoul Mates (local Koreans recruited by CIEE to serve as buddies for our students) organized a number of group activities for our students. These included a cooking class in Buddhist temple cuisine, learning Korean games, making and flying kites, Korean slang classes, making a seal, a picnic at the Han River, and a “Running Man” activity.
One of several Seoul Mates cooking classes
Learning Korean slang and colloquial language
Students with Seoul Mates during stamp making activity