Hello readers, my name is Ben(Bunyod Abdukarimov) and I am from KIMEP University, Kazakhstan. You might not have heard of my school, so feel free to Google it. In fact, check out pictures of my country’s big cities, Astana(capital) and Almaty(location of KIMEP). Kazakhstan is famous for its great amount of oil(25% of GDP) and its large amount of land.
There are several reasons why I chose to come to South Korea through an exchange program rather than other countries, the most important reason is Korea’s advanced technology.
Before coming to Korea, I was well informed about the local company giants such as Hyundai, Samsung and LG. I could imagine life in Seoul, where everyone tries to get into those companies that dominate most of the market. However, since arriving and living here for a while, I have come to realize there is much more than I expected.
After living in Seoul for several months, I got used to the environment and adapted to the culture, including the world’s fastest Internet connection. Seriously, Korean people love the Internet so much, and they now consider it a part of Korean culture. You can find an Internet connection everywhere, including the small villages. In addition, Korea has already attempted to develop 5G Internet speed although LTE has yet to become widespread. It might only take a second to download music or applications and a half a second to stream videos on YouTube.
Another advantage of Korea’s tech savvy lifestyle is what they call “T-money,” which is a card payment system similar to credit or debit card. What you do is pay for the desired amount of credit on the card at any convenience store or automated machine and then use the card to pay for different kinds of expenses. Although its main purpose is to pay for subway or bus fare, it can also be used to pay for items in stores. This means no longer you need to wait for your change when paying the fare in the bus; just “beep” the card by placing it in front or on top of the fare panel and go. Surprisingly, when transferring from subway to bus, the system does not even charge you any extra fare.
The final thing I would like to share is the way Korea builds buildings. Korea has a very unique technique for construction. Buildings here are built very rapidly and it shows in the overall design of the building. One of the most famous structures built by Koreans is the world’s tallest building in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This building, called Burj Khalifa, was constructed by Samsung, the same company that built the Petronas Towers, the twin structures in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Knowing this, I was excited to venture around Seoul and felt as though I had stepped into a LEGO world of buildings when I exited the Jamsilnaru subway station. There are many buildings, built almost in the same way and all lining the streets incredibly close to each other. This view of a mega modern city can especially be found while crossing the Han River by subway towards Jamsilnaru.
In sum, South Korea, specifically Seoul has many things to broaden your horizons. There are many aspects I found interesting, but not enough to write about. However, as everyone has their own view, you can explore a variety of exciting things Korea has to offer that I did not mention. If you are in Korea, I hope you to enjoy the world’s fastest Internet, are able to use the convenient T-money system, and witness the impressive construction projects here in Korea. Good luck and have fun!