Q&AK: Seoul National University and More!

Posted on May 31, 2012


The first question for my new thread Q&AK (Questions and Answers Korea) was asked, almost immediately after I had announced the creation of the thread.

Chidorii asks

“Hey ^^ I am probably going to Seoul to study this year, but I wanted to ask whether you know there I can find the University of Seoul (district, place in seoul) and which events / stores / art galleries are worth travelling for in Seoul thanks in advance!”

Well Chidorii, lucky for you because I have a friend who studied at Seoul University, also for a year! Now, Seoul University has 3 campus locations, two in Seoul, and one just outside of Seoul in a province called Suwon so because you haven’t specified which campus you’ll be placed, I will assume that it’s the same campus that my friend attended.

In her opinion, the University is pretty isolated in it’s location, whilst it may be in bustling Seoul, the school campus is pretty large and placed away from the distractions of the city; that’s not to say that it’s located way out on the outskirts of the city, but more so that the surrounding area consists of a lot of restaurants she says. However, with 3 subway stations nearby (SNU, Sillim and Bong-Cheon), you can easily escape away from campus life to explore the rest of Seoul.

Because Seoul has a fab transport system, and knowing that you’re surrounded by 3 subway stations, you can easily travel around Seoul and even outside of Seoul- which is something you should definitely consider doing if you plan to spend a year in Korea!


Gyeongbokgung, the palace at the end of a walk down Insadong.

Depending on your tastes, here are some places in Seoul I recommend you hang out or check out!

Hongdae/Hongik – Is a famous University area, with a LOT of nightlife, and is constantly buzzing, so when the weekend comes and you fancy letting loose, then Hongdae should definitely be your first point of call.

Ehwa and Myeongdong for your shopping needs. Now, I don’t know if you’re a guy or girl, but both these locations will serve either gender well when it comes to shopping. The prices here are cheap (Ehwa more so because of it’s female University location,) and both places are easy to find! However, take note that when it comes to shopping for clothes, us ‘foreigners,’ might find it difficult to find clothes that fit, so I would say, head to the foreigner friendly location of Itaewon to find larger and unique sizes.

Insadong and Samcheongdong for a bit of culture and tradition. Insadong, is in every guide book of Seoul, and it’s understandable when you walk down this street and get that first glimpse of Korea’s past. Alleyways are filled with (now tourist aimed) traditional craft and restaurants. The walk down Insadong is ended to perfection if you walk from the direction of Jogno up as you will eventually walk to the doorstep of the famous Gyeongbokgung palace, which is well worth a visit!
Samcheongdong, is an area of Seoul I’ve read about, but have yet to visit, read HERE for more info about that area and it’s numerous art galleries that you could visit.

For more about Seoul, and things you could do, read my past posts HERE, written when I first came to Korea as a tourist!

Outside of Seoul

Jeonju – read more HERE.

A sea of Hanoks in Jeonju

About 2 and a half hours travel time, by bus, from Seoul’s Gangnam Express bus terminal is the capital of the province where I currently reside (of Jeollabokdo). Jeonju is famous for being rich in culture and tradition, which you can see and experience the best by heading to Jeonju’s Hanok village (한옥 말 ). Hanok is the Korean word for their traditional type of houses, and this village is filled with them. Walking down the dozens of alleys of the Mal you will be able to taste traditional Bibimbap, make traditional Hanja paper and even traditional Korean Rice wine!

Gyeongju– read more HERE.

Some of the things you can expect to see in Gyeongju

This is a coastal city, I was fortunate enough to be able to visit recently thanks to my employers!

Gyeongju is close to Korea’s 2nd biggest city Busan, so it could be easily accessed if you decide to visit there. Gyeongju is worth the visit because of  it’s Silla history (a period of time, and rule of Korea) consequently there are numerous temples, museums and landmarks you can visit during those weekends of free time! Also, because Gyeongju is a small city, it is easy to navigate around, between landmarks by hiring a bike or so.

Other cities I recommend you visit include Busan, for the great beach vibe- that’s just over 2 hours train ride away from Seoul by KTX. And Jeju-do, an island which you can fly out to and is dubbed as Korea’s ‘Hawaii,’ because of it’s lush green landscape, beaches and strange museums.

If you have ANY questions about Korea, and/or Korea life that you’d want answering then either leave a comment below or HERE, for my Q&AK thread!

Posted in: Q&AK, Seoul