[Wep’s Korea Life] Wonderful Experiences at Icheon Ceramics Festival

My interest for ceramics all started when I saw an advertisement about a ceramics festival in the subway. I was on the way to Nami Island when I noticed the poster, saying “2018 Gwangju Ceramics Festival”. My knowledge about Korean ceramics was just limited to what I had seen in some Korean dramas then, and little did I know that there was such a festival. In fact, I did not even know that there were ceramic festivals in any part of the world. I just knew that ceramic villages existed as home to ceramic artists, like the Kasongan Village in Yogyakarta.

Before coming to Korea, I set a resolution for myself, which was to learn and experience things that I wouldn’t be able to get in Indonesia. So when I saw the ceramics festival poster, there was a sudden spark of interest inside me that told me to go. I started to look for information about the Gwangju Ceramics Festival on the internet with the help of my Korean friends, because some of the websites were in Korean. Oh, anyway, it was the Gwangju city in Gyeonggi Province, not the big metropolitan city Gwangju.

I had been all excited about the Gwangju Ceramics Festival when I came across an information about a bigger and more popular festival, the Icheon Ceramics Festival! I quickly learned that Icheon is a city that is rich and well-known for its ceramics. It has its own Icheon Ceramics Village, which became the center of traditional pottery during the Joseon Dynasty for about 500 years, because of the easily obtained materials in the area. Continue reading “[Wep’s Korea Life] Wonderful Experiences at Icheon Ceramics Festival”


[Wep’s Korea Life] A Trip to Winter Sonata Filming Site, Nami Island

When you think about Korea, the first thing that comes to mind would probably be Jeju-do. Or it may be K-pop, if you are a huge fan or if you have friends who are into K-pop music. It depends on how you see the country is and how well you know this country. But if you are a fan of Korean dramas and you have watched the Winter Sonata drama, the first thing that pops up in your mind would most likely be Nami Island. Yep, the very filming site for Winter Sonata, Nami Island!

Nami Island is a small island located on the extension (North) of Han River in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province. The shape of the island resembles a half-moon and it was formed as a result of the Cheongpyeong Dam construction. With its lovely lined pine and redwood trees and a large grass field for training activities and camping, Nami Island is surely a wonderful tourist destination that’s worth a visit. Continue reading “[Wep’s Korea Life] A Trip to Winter Sonata Filming Site, Nami Island”

[Wep’s Korea Life] Shopping Paradise in Seoul!

Whether you are Miss Fashionista who is always all about her looks and who cannot control herself over sale items in department stores, Miss Nerd who doesn’t care much about anything but studying and books and dreams, Miss Adventurous who is into sports, hiking, camping, and games and who doesn’t really have time to think about how she looks, or any other type of girl in Marcella Purnama’s 13 types of girl list, clothes shopping is undeniably an essential part of your life. You may shop for comfy t-shirts you’d wear at home, a new dress for an upcoming event, or you probably just want some new pretty clothes to wear. There are various places to shop, from department stores and boutiques to retail grocery stores.

But, shopping in the streets of Seoul, home to cute pastel blouses, skirts, and dresses that you see in Korean dramas?! It’s a MUST! Not only they have a huge variety of clothes, the clothing stores also sell them at reasonable prices. Ranging from 10,000₩ to 20,000₩ per piece, you can dress up like Korean 언니 (eonnie) at under 50,000₩. In this blog post, I’d like to take the opportunity to cover up some of the shopping streets that I’ve visited in Seoul, the capital city of South Korea!

Continue reading “[Wep’s Korea Life] Shopping Paradise in Seoul!”

[Thoughts Crunch] How I Motivate Myself

“Congratulations Tyas, for being accepted in Dankook University exchange program!”

“I am happy for you! How did you manage that?”

“You’ve gone through a lot. What made you so strong-willed and finally made it to Korea?”

A few weeks ago, my phone rang and notified me of an incoming chat from a friend of mineㅡa special friend. I don’t remember exactly what it said, but he was asking me if I’d mind being a speaker in his online discussion. He wanted to create an online workshop for the students in our university, which was aimed to introduce international programs such as student exchange and short programs with scholarships that students could join. The project was part of our university’s International Office recruitment process, where candidates had to make a project about internationalization. I’m a volunteer of International Office and I did such a project too, last year. Good old times… haha.

As I read the message, he explained to me that I would have to tell my experiences about the student exchange program at Dankook University in the online discussion. I would share about what I went through before coming to Korea, my motivation in joining this program, and mostly about the scholarshipㅡbecause that was the point of the online discussion; being able to join international programs with scholarships.

Continue reading “[Thoughts Crunch] How I Motivate Myself”

[Wep’s Korea Life] Where to See Cherry Blossoms: Random Streets & Samcheong Park

Hello! It’s Wep’s Korea Life again!

April is already in its 8th day and it means Spring is hereee! You can already guess what I’m going to talk about; everyone’s favorite flower in the season, cherry blossoms! These flowers are called sakura in Japan and 벚꽃 (beotkkot) in Korea. They are definitely the same; beautiful pink (and also white) flowers that grow on several trees of genus Prunus, which are in full bloom when springtime comes. In some parts of Korea, it is usually on the first few days or the first two weeks of April. In southern parts of Korea, like Jeju-do, Gwangju, Busan, Daegu, and Jeolla Province, they are in full bloom from late March to early April.

With the coming of April and springtime, welcoming cherry blossoms should be on top of the “things to do in Korea” list! I also added it too, around late March. At first, before coming to Korea, I always thought that cherry blossoms and other flowers bloom from the first day until the last day of Spring. So I thought I would have a lot of time to see the cherry blossoms. However, I was completely wrong! They bloom in just a short period of time, only on the first few days and weeks of Spring. I was lucky to know it before they were in full bloom. So, guys, if you want to see the cherry blossoms (or any other flowers), make sure to understand fully when they bloom and how long they last ^^

Continue reading “[Wep’s Korea Life] Where to See Cherry Blossoms: Random Streets & Samcheong Park”

[Wep’s Korea Life] Kimbap and Kimchi Heaven!

Hello, good people of the Earth!

I have been hibernating for almost a year now, and I’m back! My Indonesian friends, can you see me? In Pekalongan, no? Yogyakarta, also no? Surabaya? No? Where am I?

Everyone, I have a big announcement for you. It is not that I am bored with my country and my study in ITS. Furthermore, it is not about leaving forever. BUT! I am now living in South Korea for four months, as an exchange student at Dankook University. If you have never heard of it before, Dankook University (단국대학교) is located in the city of Yongin. From Seoul, it takes about one and a half hour to get to the campus. Oh, I forgot to mention that Dankook has two campuses; in Jukjeon and Cheonan. I’m studying in the Jukjeon campus, which, I think, is the main campus.

I arrived in Korea on 27 February. I flew from Indonesia with Mas Naufal, a senior who’s studying in Electrical Engineering (batch 2014) in ITS. He’s taking Mobile System Engineering in DKU, while I take International Business Administration. Maybe some of you wonder, what are the similarities between Industrial Engineering (my major in ITS) and International Business Administration? Why would I risk taking a completely different major here?

Well, that did not happen in an instant. It required deep thoughts, seeking advice from my parents and my close friends, and a long, hard struggle. It is something that deserves its own post so I will tell you later when I feel like it. Don’t worry, I’d be really glad to share my story, in hopes of inspiring others too. It’s just that I want to dedicate this post to my first week in Korea and the one-and-only food I eat often here; kimbap!!

Continue reading “[Wep’s Korea Life] Kimbap and Kimchi Heaven!”

Hujan, Aku Rindu

Dari balik jendela kamar asrama lantai 3, aku memandang jauh ke bawah, ke arah danau buatan di sebelah tempat parkir kendaraan. Lingkaran-lingkaran kecil beberapa kali muncul dan menghilang di atas permukaan danau, tergantikan oleh lingkaran kecil lainnya. Sempat kulihat dua orang lelaki berusaha menutupi kepala mereka dengan tangannya sambil berlari-lari kecil ke arah gedung asrama di belakang parkiran. 

Saat itu baru pukul empatㅡaku sempat melirik ke arah jam tangankuㅡtetapi awan-awan hitam di langit membuatnya terlihat seperti sudah hampir masuk waktu Maghrib saja. Kalau ada seseorang yang terjaga dari tidur siangnya saat itu juga, bisa saja ia terburu-buru ke kamar mandi untuk wudhu dan melaksanakan ibadah sholat Maghrib.

Angin bertiup kencang, masuk ke kamar melalui jendela yang sedari tadi kubiarkan terbuka. Sepotong kain yang kugantungkan sebagai gorsen tersibak menyapu wajahku. Ketika butiran air hujan mulai mendarat di wajahku, segera kututup jendela dan gordennya.

Aku beranjak ke meja belajar di sudut ruangan dan meraih telepon genggamku. Rasanya, aku ingin menelepon Mama dan menceritakan bagaimana di hari Minggu ini aku hanya berdiam diri di kamar karena hujan turun seharian penuh. Juga ingin kuceritakan tentang betapa dingin hawa di Surabaya saat turun hujan dan bagaimana aku merindukan suasana hangat berkumpul bersama Mama, Papa, dan adik-adik di ruang tengahㅡterkadang Mama menyenandungkan lagu-lagu lawas dengan iringan gitar Papa. Ya, hal-hal kecil yang hanya bisa aku dapatkan di Pekalongan.

Beberapa hari terakhir ini, aku sangat rindu rumah. Mungkin karena sudah hampir dua bulan aku tidak pulang. Iming-iming semester dua perkuliahan akan “gabut” dan bisa sering-sering pulang, mana? Aku tidak merasakan itu. Ingat betul aku, sesaat sebelum check-in ke ruang tunggu di stasiun, Mama sempat berpesan padaku, “Sering-sering pulang, ya, Mbak.” yang saat itu hanya kubalas dengan, “Ya, Ma. Kan aku juga pasti harus sering kontrol kawat gigi.”

Maaf ya, Ma, Pa, Tyas belum bisa pulang. Ada hal-hal yang masih harus kulakukan di Surabaya. Tetapi aku pasti pulang di hari ulang tahun Papa. I want to be there on the day my most special man is celebrating his birthday. Tunggu aku pulang ya, Ma, Pa. Tunggu aku di depan pintu rumah, aku rindu sambutan hangat Mama dan Papa dulu ketika aku pulang sekolah.
Karena Mama selalu bilang, “Anggap saja Mbak Tyas pamit mau berangkat sekolah ke SMA 1, ya.”