Hello from Korea again!
So for this post, I wanted to talk about the other Korean-foreign groups. The first groups I wanted to mention are Glitters and HOW (Hanyang One World). They are different groups of Korean students who plan fun events open to both Korean students and foreigners alike, Glitters being one specifically catered to business majors. They plan events such as group trips to traditional Korean markets, picnics by the river, cherry blossom viewings, group meals, and more!
HOW also organized an MT (membership training) which is basically what Koreans call a club retreat. Many clubs have a form of MTs to help their members get closer together. This trip usually consists of the group of people renting out a space out in the country-side, doing a bunch of activities together, competing against each other in games which help promote team bonding, and general eating/drinking and hanging out. This MT was quite early in the term, being the 2-3 weekend here, which was a great way to meet new people. We traveled all the way to Gapyeong where we created traditional flower candles and bracelets together which make great souvenirs.
We then played some team games where my team won! We lost the first few games, which included shaking off post-its from your body, jegichagi (a game where you try to keep a shuttlecock aloft in the air by kicking) and the spicy ramen challenge, but the turning point was our win in the charades relay game, which is basically a variation of telephone but with charades. We won a 50,000 원 (~$50) bottle of soju which we saved for later that night. The night consisted of having a Korean barbecue and social drinking which was a great time. Then in the morning, we left for home with more memories than the day before.
As fun as the MT was, it was short and I could only meet a handful of new people. HOW does not meet regularly and most of the exchange students here compete to sign up for their events (they of course have a capacity for amount of people), which makes it hard for me to see them often.
I personally found that the normal clubs are more enjoyable and inclusive. Hanyang University holds a club fair every semester. While most clubs are hesitant to accept foreigners (mostly due to the language barrier, the fact that the exchange is only one semester long, culture differences, etc. etc.), the ones that do are overwhelmingly welcoming. The one I picked up is an English speaking club, which I’ll talk more about next time!