In our Korean language study abroad programme, we had the opportunity to apply for the Doumi programme. The Korean University’s Doumi programme pairs and connects new students in our language study programme with Korean students from the university. During this Doumi programme, local Korean students become our ‘Korean Buddies,’ helping us get comfortable with the Korean language, social life, and, of course, school.
I had the pleasure and honour of partaking in this programme and making unforgettable memories with my buddy, Sohyun. I am so grateful I was able to practice my Korean with a native and make more Korean friends through this programme. By speaking with Sohyun, I learnt a lot about contemporary Korean culture and the Korean language. A massive thank you to Sohyun!
Here is a summary of the activities I did with Sohyun:
- On our first meeting, I met Sohyun; we went to a nearby restaurant and ate lunch together after class ended. We got to know each other over a meal and afterwards took some photos at a nearby photo booth.
- On our second meeting, I went with Sohyun to the biggest seafood market in Seoul called Norangjin Market. There we ate some really good sashimi, and I tried live octopus for the first time. I’ve always wanted to try live octopus, so it was a very exciting experience. Overall, I have to say that the octopus was very good, but I personally found the sashimi even better because it was so fresh.
- Thirdly, we went to the Lotte department store, went to a cafe and talked. For dinner, we went to this Japanese restaurant where you could cook beef on this stone. It tasted amazing, and it was so much fun.
- For our fourth and fifth meetings, we went on a small trip to Jeonju. It was for two days and one night. But I feel that we ate three days’ worth of food. We ate the famous 한정식 (which is basically a meal that is famous for its various side dishes), traditional bibimbap, bibimbap waffles, chocolate pie, veteran noodles and dumplings. We also went around to the filming scenes of this drama called twenty-five twenty-one, which was shot in Jeonju, went around the main streets, stayed in a traditional house 한옥, and walked around the traditional villages.
- Lastly, Sohyun and I met up with Zoe and her doumi, Jiwon. We went for dinner and karaoke. We had a fun time sharing stories and what we did together. The highlight was definitely when Zoe and I taught our doumis Kiwi slang!