Actually, I got here on Saturday, and I’m writing this on Wednesday, so this post is a little late. But better late then never! Our first few days here were such a crazy whirlwind that I didn’t really even have time to sit down and blog about it.
This post is just going to describe my travel day. I’ll post about all the other adventures I’ve had since then soon.
Day One — Travel Day
My travel “day” was actually a long, drawn out ordeal. From the time I left my house in the States to the time I got to my dorm was a total of about 27 hours. 27 hours! I was incredibly tired by the time I finally got into my dorm.
I flew via Korean Air, and it was a pretty decent flight. I had a window seat, and the seat next to me was empty — hallelujah! I didn’t have to be squished up against somebody for 15 straight hours. The flight attendant for my section of the plane was super cute, too.
I watched Kung Fu Panda 3 (the people behind me were probably judging me) as well as the first episode of She Was Pretty (that was the only episode they offered or else I might have binge watched the entire series). I brought my Korean Grammar in Use book in my carry-on, but I only worked in that a little bit. Most of the flight the lights were turned off so that people could sleep, even though it wasn’t a redeye flight. I guess that was so people could sleep and avoid jet lag. I felt super obnoxious (and kind of sleepy) having my overhead light on to study.
I tried to sleep as much as possible, since I knew I would be traveling for over 24 hours, but in the end I only ended up getting about 4 hours of fitful sleep. Better than none, I suppose.
Once I actually got to the airport, I met up with the ISA agent who was waiting in the airport for me. ISA (International Studies Abroad) is the program that I applied to Korea University’s summer program through (it is only available for students in American universities). There are about 50 of us in ISA compared to the ~1870 students in the summer program overall.
Customs was a lot more chill than I had anticipated, but after that I had six more hours to wait in the Incheon Airport before the ISA shuttle would arrive to take the ISA students to the dorms. While it wasn’t necessarily a fun time, since we were all feeling gross and tired, it was at least a good opportunity for us all to get to know each other. We all exchanged our currency, got our transportation cards, and filled them up with what’s called T-money, which allows you to ride the subway and public buses. Then we wandered around, adding more students to our group as they arrived, and found food to enjoy while we waited.
By the time we finally boarded the shuttle, it was 10:15 p.m., and the shuttle ride from the airport to our dorms was about an hour long, so I didn’t actually get to my room until almost 11:30. My poor roommate, who had arrived earlier, had to endure my turning the lights on to shower and put my sheets on my bed.
And that is the entirety of my boring first day in Korea! I didn’t really get to see any of Seoul, except for my dormitory and the little I noticed from the dark window of the shuttle bus. I could probably give professional tours of that airport, though, after spending so much time there. There’s even an ice rink inside! (Disclaimer: the ice rink isn’t made of ice. I have no idea how that even works. It was closed when we tried to go ice skating.)
I’ll post more tomorrow (probably) about my second day of the trip, which will be a lot more exciting, I promise. Stay tuned!