Dorm-Sharing with more than 100 students

On arrival, despite my preparations in learning the language from about a year before, I got lost in the airport immediately and this was not the last time such a thing happened. Although I was flustered at the time, I can now look back on times like these times fondly. Eventually I found welcomers from my host institution in Osaka, Kansai Gaikoku Daigakku or Kansai Gaidai, who after making sure everyone was accounted for took us to our dorms.

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Entrance to the University

The dorms were a new experience to me, since I’ve always lived at home and rarely spend the night away from my own bed. Having a roommate and more than 100 other people living inside the dorm, sharing kitchen, bathrooms, laundry it was pretty amazing to say the least. Here I made a lot of friends with people from all over the world, even though I was still meeting new faces more than a month after my arrival. Before orientation started, I decided to take a look around the university’s main campus, which if I had to describe in 1 word it was beautiful. The grounds were well-kept and clean, and the buildings honestly had a nice aesthetic to them. By no means was it a large university, though I found out later there were at least 13,000 people attending, and I never visited the second campus, everything you needed was situated nicely inside the university. There was even a Mcdonalds right underneath a convenience store and a bookshop.

Personal advice on living in Korea

Cost of living

With the bursary money I was very comfortable financially. I was also receiving Centrelink money from Australia which paid for my rent and food so I actually saved more money than when I left. Everything is cheaper in Korea and the food is cheaper. My rent was 380 000 won per month and electricity bill was included so it’s around 380 dollars a month. Buses and train are cheap and alcohol is very cheap too.

Possible Issues

Sometimes the menu in Korea will be written in Korean language, so if you cannot read you put a burden on the waiter if the shop is busy and you are attempting to speak Korean and they would be attempting to speak English. Another thing to be careful when crossing the road late at night, after around midnight, taxies just drive through the lights even if it’s red. This can prove to be a problem if you have been in the library all night and are probably too sleepy to check the road before crossing. Keep in mind that the cars drive on the left side compared to Australia. Also, be sure to register with the government when you arrive as if you don’t after 90 days you will become and illegal resident.

Final Words

Make sure you don’t miss classes but do as much touring as quick as possible as time flies when you’re having fun. Make as many friends as possible cause they will become friends for life. Visit the DMZ it’s a great tour and Bussan is very good as well. Have as much fun as possible and don’t be shy. GET A LOCAL BANK CARD AND AUSTRALIAN TRAVEL CARD!!

Manga Drawing and Anime Analytical Class?!?

Students at Korea University

Students at Korea University

At the time of my arrival, the Japanese students were still on summer vacation and started class a week after we did. I used up my electives for this semester, though looking back I would’ve tried to save some for a second semester. I did get to immediately start sightseeing however and visited Osaka castle and other sites in and around my area. I took Japanese language classes, a manga drawing class and anime analytical class for a total of 4 classes.

Before my exchange, it seemed unbelievable these were classes, but I took them and had a lot of fun than I could have imagined with them, except for the anime class, which was basically if English class in high school had done anime, albeit you probably wouldn’t watch as much anime in class nor would you probably skip it so much. At the university, the Japanese students and the exchange students usually took different classes, but sometimes Japanese students would take the same classes as us.

The university had a heavy focus on international studies, so it encouraged interactions between exchange and Japanese students. I got to visit Japanese classes, take part in Halloween with everyone else, talked to more Japanese students than I thought I had the courage to and took part in a bunch of events organised by the Japanese students. There was even a room in the building where all the exchange students had their classes where we would wait in until class time or just hang out in and Japanese students would often visit us just to talk (or get us to help with their English homework). From just a conversation, we would go to get lunch at either 1 of the 3 cafeterias or Mcdonalds and from there we’d hang out sometime outside of university.

Mumbai – City of Festivals

Today marks the tenth week my partner and I have been living in Mumbai, India for our exchange at the National Institute of Fashion Technology.

During our time here we have enjoyed shopping our way through multitudes of bazaars and markets, sourcing different fabrics and beads from the hundreds of stores available, eating out basically every single night (food is incredibly cheap) and of course bonding with our new pals who have shown us the ropes of college life.

So college in India, how is it different to studying at QUT? I’ve noted down in a few dot points how it differs.

– Dorms. Yes these don’t exist just in American teen films they are rife around the world including in India.

– Workload. Here classes go from 9:30-6:00 Monday to Friday and sometimes even Saturday’s, so the workload is quite intense when being compared to my QUT timetable.

– Festivals. India is renowned for their festivals and it seems that at least every fortnight we are here there is another festival, which is amazing of course. There was the kite festival, spectrum, Kala Ghoda’s art festival and soon the Holi festival where the whole country throws coloured powder at each other. Think of it as a national colour run.

Whilst studying abroad can be stressful at times due to living outside the norm it is worth it as nothing can replace the exploration of an entirely different way of life that still completely fascinates me.

Here are a few shots from my exchange in India so far.

India1 India2 India3 India21 India20 India18 India17 India13 India16 India14 India12 India10 India9 India8 India4 India7

 

Make it happen

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Exchange is not about a semester in your life, it’s your life in a semester.  You don’t wait for the best moments in your life to happen. You create them.

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Lecturers-Harvard Graduates

When I first arrived at the university I immediately received the impression that this was a very prestige university. This is because of the very large campus and building infrastructure. The buildings were built in 1905 but looks like an old style castle. The infrastructure was very old yet modern. The insides of all the buildings have been renovated and have some very unique artefacts.

The campus was very large and in the Anam area there were many shops and restaurants that surrounded the two main campuses. The two main campuses were the science campus and the business campus. The university also had a stadium that was very large with soccer fields. The business campus was the main one and the science campus was up a big hill right next to Korea University hospital. (It’s a hassle to walk to science campus).

There was also accommodation in and around the university. The Anam area was always alive with students having a night out or meetups. There was a possibility to get dorm style accommodation or personal “one room” accommodation. Although the personal accommodation gives you privacy, it is hard to make friends as quick as you would if in the dorms. The dorms and the private housing costed the same price.

The city was basically 24/7. There was always people out and about even during the week. The subway and busses close at around 11:30 on a weekend and later during the week; they reopen at about 6am. There were many different subway lines that will take you around the city and it very convenient but at first very confusing. The buildings in the city seem never ending and filled with neon lights and food restaurants.

Korea University is competing for Second Best University in Korea. It is well known and was very difficult for locals to get into. The majority of my lecturers were graduates from prestige universities such as Harvard. The business faculty was famous and the school spirit was very well represented. There were even large cheering competitions that show the school spirit.

Why limit yourself?

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Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Experience doesn’t seek you but you can seek experience.

Get advice from your faculty and guidance on how to create a study plan by joining us in the QUT Exchange Fair.

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