EDIT: Please mind that this post dates back to November 2012. The school has changed in a good way. They still have a few points to work on, but nobody’s perfect. Please read ‘BestFriend trouble!’ (the first post on this topic) for more details. Thank you.
It’s about a week later now, I received my refund and I learned about even more money they’re asking from me. Oh and I moved from the homestay in Anyang to a rather small studio apartment close to Yonsei University. And my plans for Japan!
First, the refund. Please read my other ‘BestFriend trouble’ post for the preceding story.
I was told that I would get 30% of the tuition fee and nothing for cancelling the apartment. Which means I got about 113.000 KRW as a refund for cancelling 1 month of class and 1 month of my apartment. This means that after calculating everything, seems I lost 1331 EUR (about 1700 USD). That’s quite a lot, isn’t it. Oh and when I went to get my refund, the English coördinator (I really hate this guy by now) told me there’s a facility fee for the apartment that isn’t included in the rent. There goes another 130.000 KRW. I guess I’ll have to work hard when I get back to Belgium. I’m guessing altogether it’s about one month salary. Oh what did I get myself into? Coming to Korea was a big mistake in the end. So because of that, I’m already making plans for going to Japan in March. ^^ But more about this later in this post.
Second, I moved from Anyang to Seoul.
The moving itself was a big hassle, I woke up early because the son of the homestay told his mother I was going to leave at 7.30. So at 7 I ate breakfast and half an hour later I was ready to go. I tried to call taxis, and a few stopped but when I told them where I had to get, the muttered something in Korean, closed their windows and took off. So after half an hour trying this in a bitter cold weather, I decided to go by public transport. 1 bus and 2 subways in rush hour with a 20 kg suitcase, you can imagine I really didn’t want to do this! But I had to, it was already 8 and class starts at 10, most of the time it takes 1h15 to get to school but with the large suitcase it would definitely take longer.
To make a long story short, the trip is best described with the following: 10-minute bus ride (really full bus, angry faces!). 2 old women telling me there’s an elevator in the subway station when I was looking at the long staircase with a very sorrowful face. Long staircase down for the platform. Waited for second subway so I could be the first to board it. Angry faces. More angry faces. And more angry faces. For 20 minutes. An old man helping me to keep my suitcase balanced on the subway. Another really long staircase down in Sindorim. And another one down. Waited for third subway because there were too many people. Boarded. Angry faces and more and more and more angry faces. (oh, all this time my feet were under my suitcase, so I had a weight of 20 kg on my feet) Another 20-minute subway ride. When trying to get both my hand luggage and the giant suitcase up the stairs again, a Korean woman helped me by carrying me hand luggage. THANK YOU! She also helped me to get through the gate, it was a sight to see… And as you could imagine, another 2 staircases to get to street level in Sinchon. I first carried the hand luggage to the first half. Then a foreign woman asked me if she could help. We carried my 20 kg suitcase together and as we reached street level she said “How can you carry this alone?!”, I’m guessing it might be more than 20 kg! But THANK YOU to that woman too! So that’s about the end of the tough move.
After that we had about an hour of class and then our final test. Next day I got the results:
A+, yay! Interview (oral exam): 18/20. Presentation: 10/10. Attendance: 10/10. Test: 95/100. I think I did quite well for not studying. XD
After the test on Thursday, my friend helped me to get to the apartment. We got in a taxi and the driver got kinda lost so he gave us a discount at the end. Then we got to the gate, which had a number code lock, turned out the English coördinator explained wrong so it took 10 minutes to get it unlocked. Off to the basement then! When I first got the address I was on the first floor, room 105. 2 days later the room changed and I’m in the basement, room B110. That school’s management is really getting on my nerves! I mean, the basement, really? Seriously? So I don’t have any natural light and I hate artificial light. Here are some pictures:
It’s really small for what I paid. If I could have cancelled with a refund, I would’ve done so! But yeah I’ll have to stay here for one month now.
Third, my plans for Japan.
I really really really want to go to Japan now. I’m sad and angry at myself for changing my plans of going to Japan, just because of the money. And now I even lost money, so I could’ve gone to Japan for the same money… But there’s no way of turning back time so I’ll have to get through this now…
So for Japan: I’m thinking of going to GENKIjacs in Fukuoka for one month and then WWOOFing, to cut the costs. WWOOF simply explained? Work 6 hours a day, get housing and food in return. Pay only 5.500 JPY (53 EUR, 68 USD) for one year membership. Sounds good, right? And you can choose how many days you want to work at one place and then you can move to another place to do something else. So this way I can experience what life is really like in Japan and I can see different places. For no money! I’m still looking into all WWOOF hosts, because there are so many! Once I know more about this, I’ll certainly update about it!