One thing all Yonsei students will look forward to every Spring is the AKARAKA festival. There are two big, big festivals every year: AKARAKA in May, and Yonko Games (the sports games festival against Korea University) in September. So what is AKARAKA and why are Yonsei students so crazy about it? Lemme tell you, it’s the best! Having first-hand experience and being swept away completely by the insane school spirit has been one of the best (and craziest) things I have done in my life. Well no joke – I ditched my final World History essay just to enjoy the show (totally worth it – I didn’t regret it at all but next time I’d try to finish it sooner lol).
AKARAKA can be regarded as a music school festival or a concert where Yonsei invites K-Pop idols (YES, IDOLS!), mostly from one of Korea’s “Big Three” entertainment companies (YG, JYP, and SM). Each year different K-POP stars are invited, and the list is kept hidden from the students to create the surprise. This year we had Zion-T, BLACKPINK, IU, PSY, Roy Kim and Lana Park (Park Jung-hyun) and oh my god it was one of the best days in my life!!! How often can you meet multiple idols with a ticket that costs just 11,000won? Because of this reason, however, it is very competitive to get a ticket, but no big worries – UIC Student Council gives priority for first-year students!
(Sneak Peak: you can watch videos of IU’s performance at AKARAKA here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnXbVk3VvSg
and BLACKPINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blNyKAa-KT4
and PSY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2cbj2NzinM (to see the madness!)
or like Yonsei YVAC’s (Yonsei Video Arts Center) Facebook page for a more closer look at the beautifully captured videos: https://www.facebook.com/yvac1998/)
The festival started at 3pm, but we were advised by our sunbaes (upperclassmen) to come earlier than that so we could get ourselves good seats (the first-come-first-serve basis in Korea is no joke, trust me). As for freshmen who live in Songdo, it takes approximately 1 hour 30mins or 2 hours to get to Sinchon by bus or subway, so those in Songdo have to leave much earlier in advance. And one thing not to be missed is to wear BLUE – our school colour. As soon as you arrive at the main street in Sinchon, you will see blue literally everywhere because the school spirit here is absolutely crazy! I remembered dancing and screaming from 3pm all the way to 10pm, and of course my throat was sore, then I realized I was hungry afterwards (when everything ended). That’s why my advice (and something I have to make a mental note for myself) is to bring some food, lots of water, sun cream as you will have to stand in the sun for quite a while (because it’s a amphitheater) so that you can make the best out of the experience. It only happens once a year, so it’s like everybody puts forward their best spirit and the most of their energy into this festival.
Although AKARAKA officially ends at about 10pm, the night doesn’t simply end there! After the show Yonsei students started to dominate the streets of Sinchon, especially the food restaurants, bars or somewhere to drink soju with our friends. Some of us pulled an all nighter, but if you wanted to get back and end the night, do so as early as you can because the line for the bus and the subway was loooooooooooong. I took the last bus back to Songdo because Songdo dorms have curfew at 2am and the line was still long. But seriously, that much is nothing compared to AKARAKA - which is probably the best blast that has happened in my life so far.
Written by: Linh Chi, Class of 16
Yonsei University holds two honor roll ceremonies a year to celebrate those who achieve the highest academic excellence per each semester. The President of Yonsei grants awards to students individually and students share memorable moments with their families. Each College has about 20-40 students chosen for highest honor roll and same for UIC, too. One thing different between UIC honor roll and other colleges is that there are some foreign students who get honor roll for their academic excellence. Here, we interview some foreign students who got perfect grade, A+, for their common curriculum courses.
First and foremost, I interviewed two foreign students who got A+ in their Korean classes (Beginning Korean, Intermediate Korean, and Advanced Korean). Claudine Ukubereyimfura (IS, 16) said that the most important thing for her was to memorize words and practice listening and speaking with Korean friends every day. Linh (IS, 16) mentioned that one should also know each professor’s exam style and then decide study plan. For her, she focused on learning new words and grammar, because her class had quiz every week. Especially, Linh used online flashcards (such as Quizlet) to memorize Korean words quickly and efficiently. Regarding grammar, she said that she read loud out the conversation in the textbook to get used to the flow of the sentence.
Regarding other CC classes, Sophia (PSIR, 16) shared her tips as follows.
As for other World-series classes (World History, World Literature, and World Philosophy), there are a wide variety of professors and different curriculum, but general tip is to first find the topic that interests you. For example, World History professors address all different kinds of history: European History, American History, Global History, and so on. For me, I was interested in Asian American History, so I took the class of Professor Catherine Choy, who teaches Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies in UC Berkeley. As the class material and lecture were interesting, it made me study with enthusiasm.
Last but not least, you can refer to UIC course evaluation group (Facebook group) to read tips about the classes. Even though it is stressful to get used to new classes, common curriculum classes in the freshman year would help you strengthen your abilities in speaking, reading, and writing.
- Written by: Chaerin Lee, Class of 16
Several UIC SAM members had an exciting trip to Gyeongju! Gyeongju is a historical city located in southern part of Korea. It was the capital of an ancient Korean dynasty, Shilla dynasty, and it remained so for nearly a thousand years. Known as ‘the museum without walls,’ Gyeongju attract lots of tourists with its palace ruins, tombs, and temples. If you have not visited Gyeongju yet, you must plan a trip to Gyeongju now!
Our SAM members stayed in Gyeongju for one day, so we only had time to visit Anapji Pond, Gyeongju National Park, and Cheomseongdae Observatory. They are always listed as Gyeongju’s must-go places. Gyeongju National Museum is full of the treasures of the Silla Kingdom and the good thing is that, there is no entrance fee. As for Cheomseongdae Observatory and Anapji Pond, they also date back to Silla Dynasty and it is best to visit them at night. Their night views are gorgeous. These places are all near to each other- you can reach one another in 15 minutes on foot.
Thus, the best way to get around the central city is to walk or bike. A bike can be rented for KRW 7,000 per day, and you can rent a bike at your hostel or other rent shops around Gyeongju Station. Sites such as Anapji and National Museum of Gyeongju are easily bikeable, but you need to use the city’s bus system to reach sites such as Bulguksa. Yet, whatever the problem might be, Gyeongju is the most approachable place for foreign students. Everything is in a short distance, price level in Gyeongju is reasonable, and every tourist attraction is well equipped English information.
- Written by: Chaerin Lee, Class of 16
Finals season is here! A semester of reading, discussion and learning culminates in this final dash of exams and essays before the semester concludes on June 21st. You'll see lethargic students camped at the library or at 24 hour cafes studying or busy typing out essays while being surrounded by bottles and bottles of energy drinks and coffee. Some pass out and lay splayed out on their desks over their books after all the sleep deprivation and attempts to cram information. All the effort that goes into cramming and typing furiously on laptops will decide the score for finals, and ultimately the overall grades for the semester. There's no time to lose, and everything must be done to protect that GPA. We wish all students good luck for finals, and may the bell curve be on your side!
Two months of Summer vacay are just right round the corner, and you'll have all the time to soak in the Summer sun and recuperate from Finals stress.
- Written by: Carmen, Class of 15.5
Daedongjae, also known as the Daedong Festival, is Yonsei University’s annual school festival that spans a duration of 4 days. Of which, 2 days of the festival were held at the Songdo Internal Campus, and another 2 at the main Sinchon campus.
This year's Daedonjae was held on the week of May 22nd, and the festival was held on the Sinchon campus on May 26 and 27. During this period, students get together and set up different booths selling food and drinks. The themes of the booths vary for different academic departments of the university. Student clubs performed on campus during the span of the festival, and some even set up their own booths of games and food too. For instance, the university's dance club, HARIE, performed in the main square of Sinchon street. The festival runs till 11PM each day. During this period of time, the youthful spirit and energy of Yonsei University students fill the entire campus and sets it alive! This is a great opportunity to spend fun quality time with classmates, and are undoubtedly a memorable experience of every Yonsei student.
- Photos and article by: Xi Cheng, Class of 16
- Edited by: Carmen, Class of 15.5
On 19 May, Underwood International College of Yonsei University held a special Shinhan lecture with Professor David Armitage as the guest speaker. David Armitage is the Lloyd C. Blankfein professor of History and former chair of the department of History at Harvard University. His talk was mainly about his book “Civil Wars: A History in Ideas” that he recently published.
In his lecture, he shared his unique perspective on the roots and nature of Civil War that can also be found in his book. Professor David Armitage stressed that for understanding Civil Wars, we need History more than theories. He also put emphasis on the serious impacts of Civil Wars by defining Civil Wars as a disease in the political body and development in reverse.
A large number of students attended the lecture along with the faculty and UIC professors. Students had a chance to ask him different questions and to converse with him after the lecture. Additionally, copies of his book “Civil Wars: A History in Ideas” were available for purchase and those who wanted a signed copy could get it.
- Written by: Ukubereyimfura Claudine, class of 16
Last April 25th (Tue) and 26th (Wed), from 11am to 6pm, the Yonsei Global held the Turkey Day in Global Lounge, located in The Commons (Baekyang Nuri).
The Yonsei Global, the student club for Yonsei international students affiliated with the Office of International Affairs (OIA), prepared seven different missions that would help visitors – challengers – familiarize themselves with Turkey. The simple missions included the following:
For every completed mission, the challengers received star stickers on a card that they had received at the beginning of the missions.
Once all the stars were completed, the challengers were given a chance to pick a folded piece of paper from a box. Each paper had a ‘T,’ ‘U,’ ‘R,’ ‘K,’ ‘E’ or ‘Y’ written. Depending on what letter one picked, the prize that came along differed as each letter corresponded to a different prize. The biggest prize came with the letter ‘T’ which entailed the challenger to a box of Turkish Delights, along with a Kebab and drink.
“I was just passing by the Global Lounge and happened to see the games. They seemed like so much fun so I participated. I got to know a lot better about Turkey, especially from the quiz on the facts of Turkey. And at the end of the games, I was lucky and picked the letter ‘T’! I got to try Turkish Delights for the first time. They were really sweet. I have to thank the OIA for this event. Teşekkür ederim! It was a unique experience.” – A challenger
- Written by: Sophia, Class of 16
Yonsei, Seoul National University, Kyushu University, Seinan Gakuin University together!
Led by Yonsei University along with Seoul National University, Kyushu University and Seinan Gakuin University in Japan, Korea & Japan Joint Lecture Program has been held annually. In 2017, ten selected students from each university, in total 40 students, participate in this international experience-oriented program. The participants stayed in Kyushu, Japan for a week and then stayed in Seoul, Korea for another week. The main purpose of this program was to have students come into contact with a variety of perspectives in the business and cultural field- mainly by internships, fieldwork, special lectures.
The participants had an opportunity to do internships in Japanese companies, Sumitomo Corporation and NTT Docomo. Sumitomo Corporation is one of the largest Japanese keiretsu, which engages in various industries using global networks. NTT Docomo is the predominant mobile phone operator in Japan. The students prepared their business proposal and gave presentations. Yonsei University students proposed ‘Korea-China-Japan trilateral transportation card’ and got good remarks from Sumitomo Corporation.
In Kyushu, the main fieldwork included Dazaifu and Sasaebo US Naval Base. In Daizaifu, which is a city located in Fukuoka, the students were searching for geographical similarities between Dazaifu’s construction, such as Mizuki Fortress Ruins, and that in Korea’s ancient Baekje kingdom.
While Dazaifu shows the close connection between Japan and ancient Korea, Sasaebo US Naval Base points out close diplomatic relationship between Japan and the US. Sasaebo US Naval Base has been a naval base since 1883, and it provides facilities for visiting operating forces of the United States Pacific Fleet. Students also had a change to try wearing Kimono (Japanese traditional cloth).
In Korea, the participants visited DMZ (Korean Demilitarized Zone), National Assembly of Korea, and so on.
The field of learning even extended to the universities; students took special lectures from Seoul National University, Kyushu University and participated in discussions. The program ended with a seminar in SNU, with students concluding up what they learned during two weeks. This program was especially meaningful in a sense that Korean and Japanese students engaged in sharing their thoughts and cultural differences.
- Written by: Chaerin Lee, Class of 16
“We don’t have the big things in common, but we have the little things.”
– Midnight in Paris (2011) –
In the evening of April 12th, a calm wave of sensibility swept the audience attending a special outdoor cinema event. Merely a week apart from midterm examinations, the RAs of Allen House offered their Residential College (RC) students a program of great stress relief, so that some of the examinees could spare themselves a few hours and enjoy a short break away from their intense study load.
Using the House’s own available high tech projector and speaker, the usually vacant outdoor staircase of the campus’ Veritas B building is transformed seamlessly into a cozy movie theatre each year. The yearly outdoor film screening event has become a popular main tradition of Allen House over the course of time, known as “Allen Home Cinema.”
For the movie selection process, a total of 11 recommendations—one from each respective RA—were posted prior to the event on the Allen Facebook Page, where a popular vote was conducted among the RC students by pressing their “like”s on the corresponding movie posters. After a heated competition, the best pick was determined, which this time turned out to be Midnight in Paris directed by Woody Allen.
On the day of, the residents of Allen House enjoyed a peaceful night out under the watch of the sky, with all of them gathered on top of cozy mats and wrapped around in warm blankets. But of course, what would a movie event be without any complementary food or drinks? Along with the masterpiece of a movie, Mom’s Touch hamburgers and coke were distributed as an evening snack, creating the best combination required for any perfect outdoor gathering.
Despite the remaining chill of early spring, a sizeable group of viewers showed up for the movie. The lasting afterimage of Paris from the closing scene reminded those who came how it could indeed be the “little things” we share in common such as these moments that make us happy.
- Written by: Minji Jung, Class of 14
- Special thanks to Allen International House Residential Assistant 김예름 (Yeerem Kim) for the photographs.
On April 11, the UIC International Studies council hosted their first forum of the semester and they invited Tarek Cheniti, deputy representative of The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Seoul. The main emphasis of the lecture was on the debate of “Peace Vs Justice” in the context of North Korean Human Rights situation. When reflecting on how to address the deterioration of Human Rights in North Korea, two approaches are mostly considered. The first is that North Korean regime should be held accountable for the Human rights violations and the second is promotion of regional stability through diplomatic engagements.
During his lecture, Dr. Tarek Cheniti went through all possible approaches and provided their strengths and limitations. He also talked about the UN report Torn Apart that was published on 7 December 2016. Torn Apart examines the involuntary separation of families since1950-53 Korean War and the reports doesn’t just look at the past and present- days form of separations it also lays down realistic approach to the reunification of those families.
Towards the end of the lecture, Dr. Tarek Cheniti gave time to students for questions, and he shared his personal story of how he became the deputy representative of OHCHR. At the age of 21, his dream was to be an investment maker but a 3-month internship in UN opened doors for more opportunities including internships in Red Cross, and later working for Human Rights office in his home country, Tunisia. The lecture gave a unique opportunity to students to learn more about North Korean Human Rights position and what UN has been doing in addressing the issue.
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