Korea Diary | First Day of Class at YISS (Day 10)

10:23:00 PM mandy 0 Comments

What happened on the first day of class probably isn't the most interesting of days to share, at least not in my case. But food-wise, I think this day deserves it's own dedicated post.

South Korea, Seoul, Sinchon, YISS 2014, Yonsei University, Korean convenience store breakfast
Convenience store breakfast

A simple breakfast from the GS25 convenience store in the dorm building. In the mornings, students clear out the kimbap section to fill their tummies. I don't normally eat rice for breakfast but I ended up having triangle kimbap and rolled kimbap almost daily on school days. Most likely because of how abundant & affordable they are in the convenience stores, cafes, and cafeterias on campus. It is everywhere!

South Korea, Seoul, Sinchon, YISS 2014, Yonsei University, Stationary store buy
Stationary store buy

Asia's the land of cute stationary! How could I resist? Brings back memories of when I used to buy loads of cutesy paper, notepads, stickers, and mechanical pencils. Now that most of those stores have closed shop in New York, seeing similar stationary shops in Korea made me feel all giddy inside.

South Korea, Seoul, Sinchon, YISS 2014, Yonsei University, Student Union lunch - Bulgogi gratin
Student Union lunch - Bulgogi gratin

School cafeteria food, at least from the accounts I've heard, always tend to be just alright or even not that great. But the cafeteria eats at Yonsei was far from it. Most buildings on campus have their own cafeteria or small chain restaurants/cafes. If I remember correctly, all the cafeterias serve something a little different: Korean, Japanese, Western, etc.

The bulgogi gratin from the Student Union building was so delicious and hearty. Layer of rice, bulgogi (beef), onions and peppers, melty cheese, and tteok (rice cake) all in one dish. This was definitely calling my name! While I ate this during the hot summer, I can imagine enjoy it so much more on a cool fall or wintery day.

South Korea, Seoul, Sinchon, YISS 2014, Yonsei University, KLI - Korean Placement Exam
Korean Placement Exam @ KLI

I ended up taking 2 courses during my summer session at Yonsei: an Asian Art History course and a Korean language course. The first day of classes meant taking a placement exam to figure out which level of Korean I fell in. There is the option to opt out of the exam for those who know absolutely no Korean at all. But since I was capable of at least reading some words, just not understand what I read, I gave the placement test a try.

Once I went into the exam, I was immediately overwhelmed. Even though I could make out what the words said, I had no idea what it meant or how to respond. I wasn't however regretful of attempting the exam because I was placed with other students who were in the same position as I. This meant our class didn't cover the basics as intensively as other classes, which I was very content with.

Since it was the first day of class, we ended up trying to find dinner somewhere in Sinchon near Yonsei-ro (yup there's a car-less road near the university that bear Yonsei's name). I think this was the first time our group was surprised by how quickly restaurants close shop. We found recommendations for restaurants on blogs that were probably only a year or so old, yet when we got to the address it didn't seem like such an establishment ever existed.

South Korea, Seoul, Sinchon, YISS 2014, Yukhoe Jijon
South Korea, Seoul, Sinchon, YISS 2014, Yukhoe Jijon - Bossam South Korea, Seoul, Sinchon, YISS 2014, Yukhoe Jijon - Ddeokgalbi
Yukhoe Jijon 육회지존
Bossam 보쌈 & Tteokgalbi 떡갈비

After wandering around the small neighborhood streets of Sinchon, Yukhoe Jijon was our ultimate decision. I don't think we realized at the time, But this restaurant is apparently famous for their yukhoe (beef tartar). Most tables had ordered the raw beef dish. I think our group wasn't too keen on eating raw meat and passed up on that opportunity.

We ended up ordering bossam (boiled pork belly) and tteokgalbi (minced beef and pork patty) for our dinner. Unlike other bossam I've had, Yukhoe Jijon served theirs on a steamer to keep the meat warm. They also do not skimp on the meat portions either.

South Korea, Seoul, Sinchon, YISS 2014, Korean convenience store ice cream - Hershey ice cream cone
Korean convenience store ice cream - Hershey ice cream cone
Oh the dangers of having such easy access to ice cream at night. Let's just say this is one of the many ice cream and ice cream-like items I had in Korea that summer, ssshhhhh!