This February, many students were finally fulfilling their dream by going abroad. Sadly, this adventure was fastly disturbed by the Coronavirus. Many students went back home, however, some students decided to stay. One of these students is Jonne Telkamp (Y3 IMEM), having the time of her life in Seoul, South Korea.
The reasons for Jonne to stay in Seoul
Obviously, making the decision to stay in Seoul wasn’t easy for Jonne. At first, she felt like there was no choice to leave the country as the borders closed. When the Dutch government offered help, some of her friends decided to go back to the Netherlands. Jonne, a.k.a. daredevil, decided to ‘put on her naughty shoes’ and stayed in Seoul.
“Why would I worry about the worst-case scenario, when that might not even happen?”
After many mental breakdowns, Jonne is happy about her decision and does not worry about the future.
Life in Seoul with the Coronavirus
Just like us, Jonne is following online classes. During the week she mainly focuses on school and is not really going to a lot of places. The Coronavirus did cause closure of museums and some bars, however, Jonne is still able to do fun stuff with her friends.
“During the weekend, when we go out, I meet all my friends in our go-to park for chilling.”
Different from us in the Netherlands, Jonne can still go out for dinner, drink lots of Soju and go out to party with her friends. PLUS, Jonne and her friends organized the biggest Kingsday celebration and appeared on the NOS for this! Are you already crying of jealousy? (I am)
The people of Seoul
Before going abroad, many people told Jonne that people in Korea are not really social to foreigners.
“I thought, pfff that’s only because you are socially deranged. I am sure I will make friends!”
Jonne, however, experienced her first days as ‘rough’. Jonne feels like Korean people are rather a bit reserved. Jonne thought that people would love her because of her European looks, sadly this was not the case at all. The people she hangs out the most with are mostly foreigners who are stuck on their travel or who are also on exchange.
“When you have found some people, you easily make more friends as everybody knows each other!"
A tiny Seoul room
Jonne lives in small room of eight square meters, with one tiny window and a combination of the shower and toilet.
“I am happy that the weather is becoming better, because I find it horrible to stay in my room all day!”
Her building is in a secluded street, on the fifth floor, in a long hallway without light. This might sound a bit terrifying, but it has its charms of living in Seoul. She mainly works on school in the café in her building. The only time she stayed ONE WHOLE DAY in her room, was when she thought she had Corona.
P.S. Jonne is healthy, still alive and did not have corona.
Online classes of Hanyang University
Besides the living situation in Seoul, you might be wondering what Hanyang University is like and how they execute online classes. Jonne loves the online classes. She has a lot of free time in between classes and can really plan her day by herself. She does need to work a lot on her assignments.
“What is even better is that I am probably going to Jeju Island! These are beaches in the south. I can just work on school, when laying on the beach!” (Thank you Jonne, for making us more jealous every minute)
Jonne loves the freedom the online classes giver her. She wishes this will stay like this during her entire stay.
Most interesting class
Modern Stress in You would be Jonne’s favorite course. It is all about the stress we experience in 2020: social media, the pressure to look perfect and the many choices we need to make for our future. It covers theory, but also how you can cope with stress yourself. Where can I sign up?
Tips from the one and only
1. Do NOT take a room with the window facing inside, because you can only look towards your hallway. You will have no idea what time it is, because you do not have any natural lighting.
2. For the fashionistas: consider the fact that here in Seoul, you can buy the most beautiful clothes for an affordable price. “I am already wondering how I am going to bring this all back home!”
3. Mention to the Koreans that you are family of Guus Hiddink. They will love you! “I am already creating a photobook of all the fans who want to take a picture with me!”
Perhaps this article made you cry a little from your quarantined house, but I am convinced that Seoul is a great place to visit in the future!
NOTE: This interview took place before the latest Corona developments in Seoul, the situation can change rapidly. Jonne is still healthy.
Want more information about Seoul or Hanyang University? IG: Jonnetelkamp_