Skip to content ↓
MIT student blogger Jenny X. '13

Starting 2012 on a volcanic island by Jenny X. '13

bonfire! but no eruptions yet [photo-heavy]

First time in a foreign country – the pace at which new things are thrown at you is beyond words. Thoughtful reflections connecting all these new experiences may come later, but for now, let’s not get lost in translation. I’m here to introduce to you Jeju Island, South Korea, as experienced by twenty MIT students.

After the endless flights, we finally settled in the dorms of Jeju National University. Then we went outside…

The sky was overcast, but I spy with my little eyes…OCEAN.

And then there was fried chicken. SPICY fried chicken.

On December 31, the teachers gathered with the program coordinators and Korean teaching assistants for a banquet reception.

Here is my friend Maggie’12 and I.

Don’t let the business casual fool you. That’s not how the night ended. The Korean people did not forget that 12/31 was the night before 2012 and we were about to find out how Jeju does New Years’. (I apologize in advance for the screaming. :X)

Holy cow. Considering how I spent last new years’ eve watching TV and painting my nails, this was quite refreshing!

Since then, our Jeju experience has been a mix of Korean kids, Korean food, and Korean…language; yet once in a while we still pause and realize, Wow, we’re in Korea. Merp…



And then it snowed X_X…..

But food was still nice

Some kind of bulgogi (beef) stew

And of course, students!

Trying to float their boats and

Will M. ’12 poses for a photo with his debate class.

Oh, it gets dark here, too.

But occasionally we wake up to blue skies

and the biggest mountain on the island

Then one day, we went South and it suddenly felt like Orlando in Korea…

Where there is a Teddy Bear Museum!

And two teachers explore the coast…

And sunset…

Not to sound corny or anything, but the beauty in all this has me in awe.

That said, IAP has officially started, a lot of my friends are back in Boston, and a part of me REALLY misses MIT.

But heyho two more weeks on this island – plenty more to see :]

7 responses to “Starting 2012 on a volcanic island”

  1. Jenny X. '13 says:

    @ valart – I’m really glad to have this opportunity too of course! To answer your question, there are various travel-abroad programs during IAP. Some of them are MIT-sponsored like classes or MISTI …those should be paid for. I think a lot of programs cover your expenses there but maybe you have to pay for flight or something. This Korea program is not officially MIT sponsored, but it is still all-expenses paid by the sponsors in Korea. smile Anyways, there are also IAP (and summer) traveling grants you can apply for to get funding –>

    @ Chris Ong – Hi! See my answer to valart above. But yes, I did MISTI China during Summer 2011 and that was all-expenses paid. Yay smile There are many opportunities here for international travel and most of them do have some sort of financial support – and there’s also the grants as I mentioned above. But MISTI is the best source for all-expenses paid international experiences raspberry

  2. valart says:

    OK, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling painting THE CREATION OF ADAM recreated with teddy bears is just awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    That being said, it’s great that you had the opportunity to go to Korea during IAP.
    Is there a tuition fee for IAP that covers trips overseas or do you pay for the trip seperately as you would for a vacation?

  3. Chris Ong says:

    Just like valart, I think the teddy bears are SO AWESOME :D And the food looks so good as well. Glad to see you’re having a lot of fun!! I have the same question as valart about trips overseas–Also referring to MISTI or other international trips

  4. valart says:

    Thanks Jenny X for answering my question. It’s nice to know that if you are a student at MIT and want to study/travel overseas the opportunity to do so is not totally limited to your ability to pay.
    If you do participate in a travel-abroad program is it essential that you speak the language? Is it for some programs and not others?
    Enjoy the rest of your trip during IAP.

  5. Chris Ong says:

    That sounds amazing. Hopefully I’ll get to do all this. I’d want to go to China to do MISTI as well! Gives me a chance to practice my Chinese and explore that amazing country.

    Thanks, and enjoy your IAP!! :D

  6. kilanko says:

    really nice ….but just asking, is the trip a formal field trip of just a planed holidays for you and the guys

  7. Jenny '13 says:

    @ kilanko – it’s an organized trip for ~ 20 MIT students to teach Korean students in Jeju Island. But since it’s a new place for all of us, it is definitely also a vacation opportunity!