Tour of Sookmyung Women’s University
Yesterday, I went on a tour of Sookmyung Women’s University with my friend Ji Young, who graduated a few years ago from SWU. It’s one of the best universities in Korea. There are currently around 10,000 undergraduates, which, I was told, is small by Korean standards. The campus is split by a road into the older campus and the newer campus (and students whose departments are on the newer campus pay higher tuition to pay for the newer buildings!). I was surprised to learn that Sookmyung has a partnership with Le Cordon Bleu and is Korea’s only Le Cordon Bleu academy!
We walked around the campus (very quiet because classes haven’t started yet) and peeked into a few classrooms. There are designated study rooms with roller beds folded up outside the rooms (in case you want to study, take a nap, and then continue studying). Ji Young showed me her old locker (where she would store her books and notebooks). Then we walked up a few flights of stairs and escaped onto the rooftop, with a (what would have been nice if it were a clear day) view of the North Seoul Tower. She said that the rooftop view was one of her favorite places on campus.
I also learned that since it’s a women’s university, guards won’t allow any males (unless accompanied by a female) onto the campus. Oftentimes, you can see boys standing at the edge of campus with flowers or balloons, waiting for their girlfriends to come meet them at the gate. I guess they take security very seriously!
After our campus tour, we ate at a famous naengmyeon 냉면 (cold Korean noodles) restaurant. We sat on the floor (I need to work on it!! My foot fell asleep!) and each had a bowl of noodles (I had the mul naengmyeon with ice chunks and water and Ji Young had bibim naengmyeon, which is spicier and “dry”) and some pork for only 6,000 won each! What a deal! I always have to cut the noodles (with scissors) into smaller pieces because the noodles are so stretchy that sometimes I’ll swallow and half the noodles will be on one side of my throat and half on the other side, and I feel like I’m choking!
Over dinner, I learned that many Koreans are prejudiced against the Korean-Chinese (ethnically Korean, but have been living in China). Apparently half of all the foreigners in Korea are Korean-Chinese!
We were already very full from the naengmyeon, but we decided to stop in at the Waffle House 와플하우스 (Ji Young has been coming here since she was a student!). We stuffed ourselves with strawberry patbingsoo 팥빙수 (shaved ice with strawberries, topped with ice cream) and a butter/jam waffle. I could barely move after eating all that! Luckily, we had a nice walk back to the train station. It was a perfect date with Ji Young! 😀