Don’t get me wrong, I was still excited to see what my school experience could have been like by going to Hanyang University’s campus in-person; I’ve imagined how my experience abroad may have been different had I been attending classes in-person and living in the dorms on campus. To be quite honest, at the end of the day it doesn’t at all feel like my case is unfortunate and I’m very grateful to be living in an exciting area such as Hongdae rather than the Hanyang University area. I felt this especially when I visited Hanyang’s campus and realized that the surrounding neighborhood isn’t as action-packed as the area that I live in.
Immediately outside of one of the exits of the Hanyang subway station is a lady’s street food cart and I had the joy of sitting down for some ddeokbokki (spicy rice cakes) on a nice day when the sun finally came out after a week of pretty cold weather! It was probably one of the better highlights of my trip to the campus to be honest (as no one is really on campus), and it was my first experience with street food as I haven’t had a chance to get to a large street market yet.
What I find to be different about Hanyang University’s campus from Drexel’s campus is that it is much larger. The campus is also extremely hilly, so I was constantly winded from walking from building to building to take care of my pre-semester duties, such as obtaining my student ID card and buying books. Other than this, I really didn’t and still don’t have much of a reason to be on campus, but I’m hoping that over the semester, there can be more in-person events for foreign exchange students. At this point in time, it does seem like a far-off hope, and am looking forward to getting more familiar with Hanyang’s campus with other exchange students.
A convenient thing about Hanyang is that their student cafeteria has many healthy and cheap meal options, which I like quite a bit. I imagine that I would have taken advantage of having access to cheap and tasty Korean homestyle for lunch, as I really enjoyed the omurice (omelette rice) I ordered! There were also a few cafes and different convenience stores in the campus buildings themselves, which was nice! Additionally, the subway stops directly at the heart of the campus (on Seoul’s most central subway line—line 2), which would have been convenient for any travel outside of campus. Although the surrounding area isn’t as impressive as Hongdae, it still has much to offer! There are quite a number of quaint dessert shops and cafes and I can definitely imagine coming back just to explore that area. I also enjoyed the atmosphere of the neighborhood, as it was the quietest part of Seoul I’ve visited. It was simply calm, and I imagine the vibe of sitting there in a café for a day would be enjoyable. There were many families and older people milling about, which could potentially explain the quiet nature of the area.
Other than this, the architecture of the buildings on campus were nice to look at and they all seemed to fit in with one another stylistically. A standout feature about Hanyang is its amphitheater. I heard that Hanyang usually invites a famous artist to perform there for the students in the spring and has previously hosted popular solo artist, Chungha. I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to experience this while here in Korea, but I still thought the facility itself was cool.
A Message from the Office of Global Engagement:
The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.