As previously mentioned, our orientation is held at Jungwon University in Goesan, a rural town about two hours south of Seoul. Although we spend most of our time in the dormitories, the Korean classrooms, an auditorium called “the Fishbowl,” and the cafeteria, today I explored some of the grounds outside of the university. Here are a few pictures to show the strange combination of traditional architecture, modernity, rural roots, and dinosaur art that characterize this place we will call home for the first six weeks of the year.
Welcome to Jungwon!
The university’s golf course, with the mountain landscape in the background.
A small part of the university, which looks like a traditional temple, a resort, and a mansion rolled into one.
The view from the dormitory.
I don’t know why there are dinosaur statues here. Though not pictured, there’s also a military plane, a catapult, and a statue of Mickey Mouse. It’s quite an eclectic art collection.
With the exception of a few university students, we have this “Marble Mansion” all to ourselves. Because we are surrounded by other Americans and somewhat isolated from the town, I don’t think we’re fully aware yet that we are in a different country. Right now, it’s like an extension of college rather than a fully immersive cultural experience. Culture shock won’t fully sink in until we say goodbye in August and head to our schools–and that’s when the real learning will begin.