On the Friday, by myself, I went to a lecture at Kookmin University. It was slightly disappointing as i thought it was going to be a practical session working with the students, but it was just the students presenting things they had done so far. On the upside I learned that the system they use during class is very similar to what we have in the UK; while we don’t usually present everything in front of the whole class for an assessment, this didn’t seem to be a tutorial and I think it was an assessed body of work. Everyone seemed very friendly, and casual, and people left and arrived part way through, to go to other meetings and lectures. I expected it to be stricter, but people would talk during the presentations as well.
After the lecture I went out by myself into Seoul and found myself in the palace museum. There was a lot of interesting stuff relating to the royal family and how they lived etc. From carved panels, to furniture to traditional clothing. There was also a huge painting on fabric detailing a celebration in the palace with hundreds of people marching in a procession.
On the Saturday as a group we went to the DMZ (demilitarised zone) and learned about the ongoing war between North and South Korea. There was a train which crossed the border during the war and is full of bullet holes and has massive holes torn into it from landmines, it was very poignant. In my opinion it had more of an impact than seeing into North Korea itself.
We also went down into one of the tunnels that was built by North Korean invaders in the 70’s. It was very dark and cramped, and eerie. We were able to see past the concrete doors that the South Koreans had put in place to block it off, through a tiny window. Due to the angle that the tunnel was built at, sloping upwards to prevent flooding, it was obvious that the North Koreans had built it despite their claims to innocence.