Tag Archives: Korea

It’s been a while.

I am alive and well and very much in Korea right now.

The first few months were hectic. Seeing old and new friends, finding a place to live and going to school again.

However that doesn’t mean I didn’t miss you guys! I also really missed writing proper post so starting from next week I will be back with proper post about my life in korea!

Love, Wietske

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Money, Money, Money

Hey guys! I am sorry that it took me 2 weeks to make a new post. It’s hard to keep on track sometimes especially with the current weather which is perfect if you want to read a book outside but not that good if you want to have a regular posting schedule.

Also the internet connection didn’t really work with me and it cost me 2 days to upload this video but here it is. I talk about money and how much I hate it! So if you want to hear me rant, go ahead and click play!

But now I’ve something a bit more imporant to talk to you about, and it is also about money. But no, don’t worry not about your money. Well maybe, just a little.

Money was the one and only thing that could have prevented me from going to Korea. My family approves, my friends understand and I am willing to drop my shit any moment of the day just to back to Korea.  But the money!

Tuition fee at Hanyang or any other Korean university is at least double if not triple the amount of tuition I would pay for going to a Dutch university and this scared my parents a lot. They don’t want me to go in debt and they don’t want me to live in poverty either so I made a deal. If I could show them the exact costs for studying in Korea for 4 years and I would be able to make ends meet using all available resources they would let me go.

I did and to be honest it scared me to see the number in the red getting bigger and bigger with each expense I added and it’s scary to know that if I don’t find a job when I am in Korea (or a really nice scholarship) I will have a 50.000 euro debt.

However, I am not here to complain about that but to tell you a few valuable lessons I learned while I made this budgeting plan.

  1. Take everything into account, even unknown expenses. My lists consist of rent, food, clothes, fun, phone, unknown and school.
  2. Don’t just make a monthly overview but also yearly and in my case I even made an overview for 4 years.
  3. Try to make it as accurate as possible. Internet is your best friend if you are looking up prices.
  4. Use every available source to get money, student loans, parents, grandparents keep on trying you will be surprised.
  5. You don’t have to make your budget as tight as possible, leave a little space to breath. Live comfortably but not luxurious.
  6. Save! Even though you might have a little bit of room at the end of the month, this doesn’t mean you should spend all that money because it is ‘left over’. Put it in your savings account and don’t touch it. That way you always have a little something left in months where your budget isn’t sufficient.

 

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Motivational Monday: I need your help!

As you may or may not know I am currently in the process of applying for the division of international relations at Hanyang University in Seoul, South-Korea. I have finally accumulated all the papers I need but there is one more thing (or actually 2) that needs to be done and that is writing a personal statement and a study plan.

I have never done neither of those. To get accepted into a Dutch university all you have to do is apply and you get accepted (if you have the right level, which I have) to writing a personal statement and trying to sell myself is something completely new. So that’s where I need your help. I have written draft after draft for my personal statement and quickly wrote down a study plan (Still not completely sure what that is though) and I would really really appreciate it if you could read it and give me advice on how to improve it.

So here you go, excuse my terrible writing!

 

For as long as I can remember I have been interested in global issues. Why countries make certain decisions and how history and culture influence the way countries interact.

I read the entire encyclopedia  to absorb as much information about different cultures and from primary school all the way through my high school career I thoroughly enjoyed world history and the globalization aspect of geography. 

I also took all the language courses my school offered including the extra Spanish and Chinese language and culture courses to enable myself to get to know these cultures even more in-depth.

However it wasn’t until I went on youth exchange program to Mongolia where I realized that besides learning about new cultures, I enjoyed it even more to share my thoughts with people from all over the world about current affairs and how politics and history influence the current and future situation different countries.

After high school I studied at Leiden university in the Netherlands as a Koreastudies major for 2 years and that’s where I realized that I have a passion for the situation in North-Korea and vocalizing that North-Korea is just a small part of the problem and that many other nations are involved but in order to be able to understand a nation you have to understand the world.

I want to understand how nations and societies deal with the threats and why they react in a certain way. How peace organizations NGO’s and organizations such as the UN make decisions and one day I would like to become a key figure into giving people insight in the situation that hopefully leads to better understanding and perhaps peace with North-Korea.

I think becoming a student at the division of international studies at Hanyang university would enable me to expand my ability to think critically and analyze global problems so I can educate people about current affairs.

I would make a good student because I already have an extensive knowledge of European and Korean history, the Korean language and I am interested in global affairs.

Study Plan

 

During my undergraduate period at the division of international studies I would like to educate myself how nations and societies think, what drives them and how they interact. I would like to meet people with similar interested so we can share our opinions and learn from each other. And work my way towards taking the graduate courses towards the political science and law track after which I either want to work for an organisation such as the UN or as a professor to educate people about cultural understanding.

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Seoul Saturday: Gwangjang Market

CIMG4678This week in Seoul Saturday I want to share another awesome and free activity for you while you are in Seoul. This market is a great place to grab a bit, and don’t worry you don’t have to like pig feet, heads, or intestine to find something delicious over here! They serve kimbab, sundae and the markets famous bindaetteok. Besides the food, meat and fruits and vegetables stands there is also a good place to buy high quality but cheap fabric.

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There are many hanbok stores around and stores that sell a bit more of a modern version of the hanbok. Besides that Gwangjang market is also a great place to find cheap souvenir! And within walking distance of Dongdaemun where you can do more shopping!

How to get there:  Take the subway to Jongno-5-ga and take exit number 8. You will basically walk into the market once you exit.

Click here for the official website of Gwangjang market.

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Tasty Tuesday: Jjajangbab

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Ingredients: 300g of jinmichunjang, 300g potato, 300g onion, 150g carrot, 100g pumpkin, 1 spring onion, 250 gram of meat (either pork or beef), 5 tablespoons of oil, 4 cups of water , 3 tablespoons of starch flour.  But really you can add all the vegetables you want, I used 300 g onion, 400g pork, 350 g potato and 200 g carrot.

Preparation:

  • Cut your meat and vegetables into bite sized pieces and fry them in 2 tablespoons of oil. (Cook your meat first, you really don’t want to eat undercooked meat, especially if you go for pork).
  • Add your concentrated black bean paste (jinmichunjang in my case) and stir until you have everything covered.
  • Add 3,5 cups of water and let it cook until done.
  • Mix the starch flour with half a cup of water and add it. Let it cook for another 2 minutes or until your rice is done.

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And there you have it, a perfect dish to keep you company on the day of the singles.  Mix it up and don’t care if you get dark spicks of the sauce all over your shirt and face – you don’t have a boyfriend who is going to judge you ^^

Enjoy, Wietske

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Inside and Out

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These two pictures where taken on the same day, facing the same direction with the same view. If you could look outside the at the first picture you would see the 63 building as well. It’s a difference of day and night, the feeling of almost being on a different planet once you are inside the building that houses the norangjing fish market . I imagine this must be how astronauts feel when they look outside the window and see the world. So familiar, yet so different.
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How traveling alone changed me.

This week I have been posting a lot of pictures and music that remind me of Mongolia. Mongolia will always have a special place in my heart, since it was the first country I traveled to alone.

I stayed in a Mongolian family for 3 weeks and traveled around the country with a Mongolian family 2 Italian guys and an Irish girls for a week. This was only made possible because of the Lions organization, which is a kind of rotary club that organize camps and homestays in countries all over the world to encourage dialogue between people from different countries and to create cultural understanding.

I was a very shy girl and very attached to my “friends” who treated me very badly now I look back at it. I have never traveled without my parents, outside of Europe or flown in my life. I was scared, I was afraid I would have a hard time communicating, that I would be lonely and homesick.

Thank god I had the best time of my life, I made awesome new friends, I realized my so-called-friends were not my friends and discovered who my real friends were. I became more confident and way more talkative. If you want a relatively cheap and save way to see a new country and you are within the age range of 15 and 21 I totally would recommend you to check out the Lions organization youth exchange program!

However, it wasn’t until 2 years later, the summer after my high school graduation that I really got to know myself and became the person I wanted to be instead of being the person that people thought I was.

I finally went to the country I always wanted to go to – Korea! I made a plan, calculated how much money I would spend and then started convincing my parents. My dad was easy-peasy, he really encourages me and my sisters to follow our dreams, my mom however was a different story.

North-Korea just sunk a South-Korean warship, my mom was scared and just rather had me stay at home. Luckily I was able to convince her and could start booking tickets and hostels. And then finally I spend an amazing 3 weeks in Korea.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I was shitting bricks however from the moment I stepped out of the airplane I fell absolutely in love with the country and it’s amazing people.

But most important I learned a lot about myself. I learned that it is okay to make my own decisions, that it is okay to have fun, that it is okay to be myself and people would still like me.

I became a happier, more confident version of myself. Korea still has this effect on me and that is probably one of the reasons why I like to be there so much even though I am in general a very happy and confident person nowadays.

After traveling alone I finally realized I shouldn’t take shit from people and stand my ground, that I have the right be happy and should be, because I am amazing and wonderful.

And so are you! and if you haven’t realized that yet I recommend you to travel alone, meet new people and do all the things you want to do and be happy, because you deserve it!

So I challenge you, within a year from now, travel somewhere, it can be far away, or really close by. Go alone, stay alone and enjoy and be amazed about all the things you can do!

Tell me, where would you go and what crazy things would you do if you were travelling alone?

Love, Wietske 

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