Let me be honest. While I am technically spending this summer studying abroad at Yonsei University in Seoul, I haven’t really been doing much studying. Don’t get me wrong — I am taking my classes seriously and have been doing my homework; I just don’t spend hours every day after class studying. Maybe I should, but I have yet to find any desire to sit inside, reviewing my textbook, when all of Seoul is out there waiting.
I should also note that the University of Chicago is not granting me official academic credit for my language study this summer, so I really don’t have any motivation to get good grades, or pass, even. Although they gave me a Foreign Language Acquisition Grant to come to Korea, they won’t let me put these courses on my transcript. Why? Apparently I can’t receive credit because I’ve already completed my foreign language requirement (with AP credit from my Latin years…funny how a dead language fulfills the requirement).
Frankly, I don’t mind, because not caring about grades gives me the time to do all the things I want to do while in Seoul. After all, I’m done with class every day at 1 pm…afternoon adventures, here I come!
So, with that in mind, I’ve compiled a list — a to do list, if you will — that I thought I’d share. Since I have a terrible memory and absolutely love lists (my parents can attest to my occasionally anal habit of writing lists), I rely on them quite a bit. This list makes me feel like quite the tourist, but I guess that’s essentially what I am — a long-term tourist. I’ve been here a month already (what a thought), but better late than never. Besides, as you’ll see below, I’ve already gotten started.
I’ll be keeping this list updated, so you’ll be able to see where I’ve been and if I’ve written a post about it. The fact that it’s currently monsoon season makes completing this list a little more complicated, but it’s definitely possible. Let me know if you have any tips or additional suggestions!
To Do (in no particular order):
- Namdaemun Market
- Dongdaemun History and Culture Park
- Gyeongbokgung — post coming soon
- 63 Building
- Noryangjin Fish Market
- N Seoul/Namsan Tower — post coming soon
- Jeju Island – after Aug. 15
- Yeosu Expo
- Short hike up to the base of Namsan Tower
- Hike on Yonsei’s campus
- Other day hikes around Seoul
- Beaches — I have yet to visit any of the below, but I did go on a weekend trip to Busan and Geoje Island, where I got plenty of quality beach time (see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4)
- Eurwangni Beach in Incheon for a day trip
- Sokcho Beach for beach camping
- Daechon Beach – largest beach on west coast
- Muchangpo Beach for the “Miracle of Moses”
- Doosan Bears baseball game
- FC Seoul game at World Cup Stadium
- Seodaemun prison/museum
- Bank of Korea Museum
- National Museum of Korea
- Unification Tower?
- Seoul National University Station
- Bulgogi at Naksan Garden
- Northern-style mandu (attempt to find the restaurant that specializes in this)
- Rice crackers
- Green tea at O’Sulloc Tea House — I settled with trying a sample of their green tea, rather than ordering a dessert sized (and priced) for two by myself. It was good, but not good enough to justify spending an arm and a leg for some loose leaf green tea of my own.
- Noryangjin Station/63 Building
- Fresh seafood from the Noryangjin Fish Market
- Kalgooksoo at Myungdong Gyoja (famous restaurant)
- Famous bingsoo place that has a perpetual line out-the-door-and-around-the-corner (pictured in one of my early posts about Sinchon)
- Street vendors
- Fried food…of course
- Soju (duh, don’t think I need a post about this one)
- Makgeolli (rice beer) — part 2 coming soon