I participated in a five-day study tour in Seoul, Korea which was organized by Department of Computer Science, Hong Kong Baptist University.
In this study tour, I have visited many organizations in different industries, such as Koscm, Yonsei University, Korea University, Korea Broadcasting Corporation and Arirang TV. In addition, we also visited many attractions, such as the National Museum of Korea and Cheong Wa Dae.
We have encountered communication problems during the trip. Fortunately, the local guide helped us a lot. We learned a few simple vocabularies like “hello” and “thank you”. These vocabularies helped us to solve a lot of problems in communication.
I gained a lot of unforgettable experiences in the trip. I have tried to make kimchi by myself. After that, I realized that making kimchi was not just putting the marinade with cabbage, but to add marinade into the uncooked food. The experience has deepened my understanding in traditional Korean food.
I have also tried to wear Hanbok. The local guide explained to us that a complete set of Hanbok is composed of a number of pieces of clothing. Because the process of wearing Hanbok (especially the woman ones) is very complicated, tourists usually just put on the outermost layer of Hanbok. When I wore Hanbok, I felt like going back to the ancient Korea. Although we could not take the Hanbok home, the experience of wearing Hanbok with friends was very memorable.
In addition to some memorable cultural experiences, I have learned some special Korean culture. A local guide told me that South Korea is a place with strong social hierarchy. When Korean people talk with the elderly, they are required to use honorifics; otherwise, they will be blamed by the elderly.
Besides, Korea is a country with environment conscious. Rubbish bins are not everywhere in South Korea, expect in large shopping malls or attractions. On the other hand, Koreans are very self-discipline. Unlike in Hong Kong, there are no waiters in some of the restaurant. If you want to have more cutlery or food, you need to deal with your own. Also, after the meal you need to clean up your own utensils.
In this study tour, I have also visited two prestigious universities in Korea: Yonsei University and Korea University. In both universities, we visited some laboratories. From the visits, I understood that information technology can be widely used in our daily lives.