“where UNITY meets DIVERSITY”
Like you, I was one of the average, normal person who tries to fit in to this world that we live in. Like you, I was once a student, graduated and earned bachelor’s degree and landed into a job that most of us didn’t really like or love. Until one day, I woke up and decided to quit my eight to five job and literally look at the mirror and told myself: “Hey Paula, you don’t have all the time in this world. Set your goals and achieve them. Do what you love and what makes you happy. There is no harm in trying as long as you believe that you can do it.”
|This photo was taken from the official website of Yeungnam University.|
And so, it is during the late winter of 2015 when I first step foot to Yeungnam University. I vividly remember my expression at that moment: despite the fact that it was VERY COLD, I was in awe and tears just fell down my face because I was genuinely happy as it has always been my dream to visit South Korea and everything was so beautiful in my eyes that I didn’t want to close them. I never have imagined that I will be enrolled as a student in one of the universities here in South Korea as I was only watching these in Korean dramas. Although Yeungnam University was not one of the film sites of Kdramas, it has a very serene and peaceful environment where you can study and play at the same time.
The picture from the left was when my classmates and I went to Gyeongju for a field study while the picture from the right was taken inside of our classroom during our Sameulnori classes.
Based on my observation, I found out that there are a lot of foreign students inside the campus. During my first day of school, my classmates and I all sit together, side by side, in a wide room. I’m very grateful to have classmates from different background, race, and ethnicity. Even if we all have different color, we were able to have one color and treated each other as a family and Yeungnam University is our home. That being said, this is truly one of the beautiful memories I will forever cherish in my heart.
For all the times I have spent my academic life in Yeungnam University, my friends and I were able to spend lots of our free time inside the campus and Spring is the best time to pay a visit. I would like to share to everyone my go-to spots during Spring time in Yeungnam University as there are a lot to see and to do. I categorized each spot by food, chill, romance, pro-active and history and culture.
Every break time, my classmates and I always share meals together which actually makes us inseparable and one of our favorite spot is the cafeteria. Aside from the fact that food is very cheap and water is for free, it is a big space where all of us can sit, eat, exchange stories and laugh out loud without anyone complaining as everyone were to busy chatting with each other. The cafeteria starts to open at 9:00AM to 17:00PM and there are three cafeterias inside the campus.
However, when our break time is too short, we grab our bicycles and pedal as fast as we can to the convenience store, GS25. We have noticed that Korean students eat ramyeon when they are in a hurry, and that’s what we did as well. Only except that I also buy my favorite snacks and drink to take it with me to class and sneak out at the very back seat to eat in case I still get hungry. There are also a few restaurants inside the campus that you can hang out with your classmates/friends.
After filling in our stomachs, we would usually want a small dessert like a slice of cake or a donut, or something to wake us up after meals or do our homework and papers together, starbucks comes to our rescue. Good news is that there are two starbucks inside Yeugnam University. The first one is in the lobby of the library and the other one is in the lobby of Chunma Arts Center. Bad news is that, it’s always almost full every time. But lucky for me and my classmates, there is always a sit for us waiting as if it was really meant for us to stay there.
The picture on the left was taken while my classmates and I were having a break time from class and ordered Korean food. You can see in the picture how we are all goofy and serious at the same time. While on the right picture, it was taken during our break time as well while studying for out Korean exam and I was a taking a selfie, of course!
The last spot that we opt to go is inside of our classrooms. Some of us gets lazy to go outside too and hey, since we are scholar students and we have an allowance to maintain, we share our food together that we cooked or maybe bought outside. It’s also a good way to bond with your classmates and be carefree without anyone watching us.
As a student we always feel stressed about academics right? Ironically, I discovered that their main library is actually a good place to chill. It is very calm and quiet inside that you can actually sleep or take a nap. You can bring your own pillow and blanket too if you plan to study all night. I have a secret to share to everyone, if you want to go inside the library, you need your ID but if you are just going inside the lobby, and you’re an outsider, you can still enter without an ID and read your favorite book while pretending to be a student of Yeungnam University. Oops!
Another good place to chill is the veranda or roof top of your department building except when it’s too hot and raining. So, before going there, make sure to check the weather first and bring a folding chair with you. Roof top is a good place to see and observe everything – a professor holding his lecture materials, students running to make it on time to their classes, a couple student who are dating, a student who is talks to her mother and assure her that everything is alright, a student parking his bike, a professor who is talking to his student/s, etc. You can also look at the bright sky above and if you are lucky, you can wait and watch the sunset. Don’t forget to feel the air, relax, breathe and pause for a moment. This place is also good for singing and dancing when you feel like it without anyone seeing you or taking an aerial view photo of the campus.
There are beautiful wild flowers around the love road and the picture on the left is just one of them. While the picture on the right was when the cherry blossoms were as its peak. They are really beautiful and it was also that day when I first saw cherry blossoms.
Yeungnam University is famous for it’s love road or also known as cherry blossom promenade. This spot is perfect for all the lovers and couples who wants to enjoy the cherry blossoms during Spring. It is also open for public so families and outsiders are welcome to visit the campus. But, be very careful as you go here. My Korean classmates have told me about three tales about the love road. First, they said that when a male and a female walk on the road, they will be a couple. So be sure to bring your crush there and not your enemy ;) Second, if two girls walk together, they will not get boyfriends for four years. If you’re single and willing to wait for four years then go for it but if not, it’s better to follow our mother’s advice: after school, go straight back to home! The last legend is for the couples, if you are going through this road, make sure that you hold each other hands and don’t look back even if someone will call you or you will break up.
There’s another romantic place for the students or outsiders to visit which is around the area of the big statue from the famous novel of Antoine de Saint-Exupery: The Little Prince. As ironic as it sounds, this place has benches where students can enjoy the fresh air while sipping through their favorite juices or munching their favorite snacks. It is also across the library so my classmates and I, we usually take a break from studying and go here to relax our brains.
These pictures were taken beside the clock tower during autumn season. Oh, that was me and my Indonesian neighbor, sister and bff.
The clock tower is also a romantic spot which can be found in the entrance of Yeungnam University. The trees beside the clock tower is very beautiful during autumn and somewhat similar to Nami Island. Students usually take stroll around this area as soon as they enter the campus, take pictures around and just enjoying the romantic feeling of being the main actors in a Korean drama.
This picture was taken inside the theater of Chunma Arts Theater. All of our classmates and I were given free tickets by our department to watch Korean artists sing and dance in group, and watch a short play about Silk Road.
The last romantic spot is inside the theater of Chunma Arts Theater. It is a venue for arts and culture such as cinematic performances and were classic concerts, opera, musicals, dances, and plays were held. Most of the time, there are a lot of musicians and different artists who were invited and who performed their craft very well. The ticket is also not that expensive compared to other theaters in Daegu. The performances are really interesting to watch as they vary from different genres.
These photos were taken during our Sports fest in Spring 2015. The left photo captured all my classmates from Vietnam, Laos, Philippines, Cambodia, Kenya, Ethiopia, India, Malawi, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Korea, Uganda, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Rwanda. While, the right photo is my football team from different countries as well.
Spring is also a great time to start doing sport and physical activities. One of the greatest spot that I enjoy is in the big soccer field of Yeungnam University. I play football (soccer) and I also found my greatest team here in Yeungnam University. We always play on Saturday mornings and yes, I can play football even if I’m a lady. It is such a great venue not just to play soccer, but also if you want to do a morning walk, jog or run. Sounds great, right? I’m not yet finished because there’s also a bicycle lane around this big soccer field.
If field is not your place, there are more choices to make. Beside the soccer field, there’s also a basketball court, a futsal court, badminton court and volleyball court. Meanwhile, if you are too shy to expose yourself to the world, YU has also an indoor gym where you can also play these sport.
Every campus in South Korea has their own famous place of Korean folklore garden. In Yeungnam University, there are 6 traditional houses which can be found by the east side of the campus and near the Love Road. You wouldn’t really have to go to Seoul anymore to look for traditional houses because Yeungnam University have them. It’s a good spot to unwind and go back in old times or have a picnic with your friends and families.
The last historical spot is the museum which is located beside the International Center of Yeungnam University. The museum is quite bigger than I expected as it also contains a traditional Korean village with dolmen park and outdoor display spaces. The University museum stores about 40,000 important collections and displays of different area of studies such as archaeology, anthropology, history and traditional study. This is also a good and unique way to educate ourselves while inside the university and be immersed with Korean studies.
These are my friends from diverse countries that we united as one and became a family here in South Korea.
And there you have it my friends, I just have revealed all the fantastic spots that you can see and go around when you pay a visit inside Yeungnam University. The greatest thing that had ever happened to me in Yeungnam University was that – I found my best friends and the love of my life found me there as well. They all turned out to be my family here in South Korea and the strong bond that we have shared cannot be compared to any amount of gold because every second was priceless. And this my friends, is the greatest treasure beyond any material possession you could ever have. I’m looking forward to hear your stories when you visit Yeungnam University.
P.S. You can also check out the article that my Vietnamese friend, Pham Toan wrote about KNU campus if you feel like hopping to another university. Here’s the link to her article: click here