Pics of Seoul National University

Date : Sun, Sep 16, 2007 at 4:22 PM

Hello,

Finally i managed to click some pics of SNU.. Yeah i know…. FINALLY!!!! 🙂

So here is the link for them.. Do look at them and comment…

Click Here for viewing the pictures

Kinda busy these days.. Thats why no mail. Got a progress report presentation and quiz this week.. After that I would be posting the updates.. Had Vinayaka Chathurthi celebrations today.. Yesterday I helped a bit in the cleaning and preperations.. Will fill in all the details in the next post..

Adios,
Kiran

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An International Student’s Life @ SNU..

Date: Sep 6, 2007 10:46 AM

Being a foreign student or and International Student as they say has its own benefits here. We can just ben the rules.. In other words, we can NOT-FOLLOW them.. 😀

Starting with the course registration. Its a really strict deadline for everyone but us.. 😉 ..

If you are Korean, then the procedure goes as “Its a STRICT Deadline.. If you cant register in time, you are OUT of the course and will have to wait another year to take it again” and for us international students or so called aliens “Hmm.. Its a strict Deadline… But YOU, being a foreigner, can take another 5-6 days to choose the courses.. No problems..”

Trust me.. this is relaly a boon so that we can attend classes for about a month before choosing the right courses..

International Students get priority treatments everywhere.. They are looked upto for many things, by Koreans. We have free meals and free movies organized by various organizations. We get free Pizza parties and for those who drink, free drinks too.. In Korean Culture, if you dont follow certain general rules, its really offensive.. but fos us, if we dont follow the rules, its like “Oh.. he is international.. so let us act as if we did not notice that”

Koreans give lots of value to friendship and they trust everyon verye easily. To compare USA with Korea.. Imagine two concentric Circles… Circle A with larger Diameter than Circle B. The area in circle B denotes the inner circle with a stereotypic individual at the center. This area includes all the closest friends and family members. Area of Circle A denotes all your “friends”. In wenstern culture, the shell of Circle A is really thin and hence every one can be friends with an American (hi dude.. hey mate.. whats up? care for a movie? ..etc..etc..) But when it comes to be a best friend of a westerner.. Its really difficult.In Korea, ppl have a very thick outer shell (circle A) and hence they are apprehensive to talk to you .. But once you are in the Circle A then you get into Circle B in no time… As they trust that you are very good friend.

Phew.. enough with this logics and stuff… 😉

In IIIT Hyderabad, we have something called “Vehicle Passes”.. These are given to the students and faculty/staff there so that it could be stuck somewhere that could be easily seen by the guards and then they would open the gates for them.. in SNU i noticed.. there are no guards.. but there is a barrier. When a registered vehicle comes in/out the barrier opens automatically and if you are not registered it remains closed.. Later i came to know that the gate pass here is an IC Chip which is attached to your car (doesnt matter where).. That emits some signals (for the layman ;)..) which is received by the receiver at the barrier and if it matches the stored ids in its memory, the barrier opens.. Phew.. soo much for a simple sticker 🙂 Koreans are really impressive 😀

I know i am praising Korea sooo much and soo much.. Dont feel that “Oh now that this guy is in Korea, he is just boasting and blabbering” .. But trust me.. I am sooo impressed and wonderstruck at the things and ppl here.. The only way for you to know yourself is to come here and experience it .. 😀

Thats it for now then.

Have a wonderful time what whatever you do..
Kiran

More on Life @ SNU

Date: Sep 5, 2007 10:51 AM

Hey,

My third day of classes begin today at 10 30 am (that’s about 7 am in India).

Started working out!! ( i know.. unbelievable but true..;)..) the thing is that we dint sweat here due to the really cold weather.. so for some kind of perspiration, one needs to visit the gym at least one hour a day.. I hope to continue doing it without laziness re-conquering its dominant position in my life.. 😀

You know what… I started learning Korean too.. 🙂 .. Its really easy to remember all the all the consonants and vowels. So far, we learnt enough Korean to read and write. But the thing is that we don’t have much vocabulary, so cant understand.. Back to square one… But its really interesting to learn a new language and the teacher explains it in a really nice way.. When i am in the Korean class learning the alphabets and repeating them after the teacher, i get reminded of the times when we started learning A for Apple, B for Ball … Feels like we are 5 years old, again .. 🙂 Its so funny when some one comes in, the teacher says “A” .. we repeat “AAAA” .. he says “O”, we say “OOOO” .. Feels so nostalgic 🙂

About my campus.. Tried walking from the main gate to the engineering building last day.. will never try that again.. Its uphill all the way. But one positive outcome of that tiring walk was that i could get a hitch hiker’s view of the extent of our campus. I must say, SNU has got a really huge and beautiful campus. Clad with mountains all around the college is created in a beautiful valley with couple of lakes and all. The campus is spread across various TALL buildings, Engineering Building 301,302, College of sciences etc.. Very well organized and well connected with both public transportation and campus shuttle buses plying between the various buildings very frequently.

Something more about sophistication in Korea. While roaming here and there, I came across a dark pathway. Really dark. I was wondering why there are no lights and decided to explore further. Only when i walked forward, the lights started getting lit one by one in sequence as i moved forward. And when i walked back, they started getting switched off one by one behind me too. Look at the method they have implemented to save electricity!! Simply Elegant…

As it is with any modern and developed nations, the living is quite expensive here.. Seoul is ranked the third most expensive city in the world after Moscow and London. (ref: http://www.finfacts.ie/costofliving.htm). Last year it was second most expensive city in the world. Without the stipend we are getting, its really difficult to survive here. The cost of things are at least 1.5 to two times what we pay in India. On contrary to expectations, electronics goods too are not that cheap here. When i came here, i thought that i would buy a camera at cheap prices. But i found that the prices for electronic goods are comparable to that on India. The only advantage i can think of is the quality factor.

Now something about the Internet. I can dare say that S. Korea is one of the most wired countries in the world with Internet everywhere you go. About about the blazing speeds.. I will quote an example.. To download a 700 Mb file using torrents from Internet (not Intranet), it takes somewhere between 20 – 30 minutes whereas back home i used to cry at incomplete downloads even after one or two nights.. Do i need to say more about the speed ? 🙂

I could not find ONE mosquito or even a house fly yet in Seoul. May be that’s the reason, the diseases are really rare here. People are generally healthy and sound. If we have some communicable disease like Malaria, we would be asked to go back to our home country due to fear of contamination. The diseases people have here is limited to cold and fever in the worst case.

We generally have to have our breakfasts in the morning between 7-8 am, Lunch between 12 – 1 30pm and Dinner between 6-7 30 pm. This is one schedule all Indians here at Seoul has to get used to.

Going for class.. Lots to mail but li’l time.. Am down with cold as of now.. but getting better.. Will try to post some photos, but i don’t have a cam 😦 … will borrow my friend’s and take some snaps..

Stopping for now..

Khamsa Ham Nida (Thank You.. in Korean.. :)..)

Adios Amigo,
Kiran

From SNU 2

Date: Thu, August 30, 2007 2:38 pm

Hi,

I am really sorry that i am taking so much time to compose mails. Trust me, its not because i am lazy or something (which is normally the case).. but its that we dont have laptops yet and that the college is far from where we are staying. We are given 5 star accommodation now which will continue for 2-3 months. Internet is available but no laptops for us to use now. Samsung told that they would be giving us laptops within two weeks as they have already been ordered.

Hmm so far… in very brief, as i am using a Russian Friend’s laptop which i dont wanna ask many times (it may disturb him). So please bear with me for the gaps in e mails.

EVERYTHING here is automated.. What a sophisticated life.. i am looving it soo much. There is a key chain for traveling in ANY bus or underground railway and its called Transport Card. Other options too are available like normal cards etc. Opened a bank account and will get my first stipend tomorrow. We had an orientation at SNU yesterday and @ samsung we have a 2 day orientation. Today and Tomorrow. Imagine the sophistication when i tell you that there are about 25 touch screen switches in the bathroom itself 🙂 … Am planning to buy a cam and will do it soon with the help of my mentor. And talking about him, he is such a great person.. Very helpful.. Koreans in general are really helpful.. The best behavior i have ever experienced out on my own in an alien land. The place never sleeps. Really beautiful ppl 🙂 …

My classes start on monday. We are having a pizza party and another EE department orientation on that day. Will take three courses and Korean Language Classes..

Ate Korean Food today.. Its really delicious. It was mainly beef today and its much much different from the beef we get back in india. I was really apprehensive at first but this was PROPERLY cooked and VERY LOW in fat.. 🙂

On the whole. Am havin a BALL!!! 🙂

This is what i can remember right now and i need to give the P.C. to Arseny (my Russian Friend)..

Will get my ALIEN (??!!?? Do i look like one?? ;)….) Registration Card in a month with my cell phone..

Take Care,
Kiran

From SNU

Date : Wed, August 29, 2007 7:28 am

Hi,

Reached safe and sound. More in another mail.
Loving this place.. Awesome.. Really awesome…

Bbye
Kiran