2019 KNAPS SEP Incoming _ Visiting Program
Tilen Urbančič (ŠSSFD _ Slovenia)
Since I was little, I was always fascinated by asian cultures. Few years later, I was in my last year of pharmacy studies and I had a perfect opportunity to visit Far East through SEP. I heard from my senior colleagues that South Korea’s pharmacy student association have an amazing visiting program and I applied without hesitation. To be honest at that time I did not know much about S. Korea.
Fast forward few months after 25 hours of traveling I landed in Incheon. The first person I saw when I arrived at the country was Seonyoung with a picture of my face printed on billboard, greeting me with a big smile. I really thank her one more time for getting me all the stuff necessary for my comfortable stay in Korea. She took me to my hostel in Seoul, and afterwards we went for my first Korean dinner (with soju, a Korean liquor).
The next day I met whole KNAPS SEP team and all the other SEP participants. I didn’t have any idea about how close we would get during the two weeks of stay. Sungmin made an interesting program and if I wanted to describe everything we saw and did I could write a book. Most memorable places were Samsung biologics and Korean National Intelligence Service, just because we managed to get in. Usually after every long day of the official program, Koreans would invite us for dinner. I must admit that food in Korea is excellent. I can’t even remember everything I ate… amazing Korean barbecue, bibimbap, kimchi, gimbap, haemul pajeon… I can’t even pronounce half of the stuff but I at least know now that the taste is amazing.
During the weekend we went to MT (membership training) to the east coast. We did some sightseeing and swimming in the East Sea. And in the evening, we prepared our own Korean barbecue. During the night we played Korean drinking games. I must admit I didn’t understand a word but nevertheless it was pure joy. The amount of drinking games they have is astonishing and with each game there is usually a short song they sing to begin. After zero sleep and a lot of So-Maek (Soju + beer) we visited a Buddhist temple and went back to Seoul.
One of the other nights I won’t forget is the night we spent in the public bathhouse which was a unique experience.
Two weeks of official SEP program went by in a blink of an eye. Luckily, I had one more week in S. Korea. I left Seoul and went to the second biggest city, Busan. The city is located on the south eastern coast and has a lot of beaches.
After three short weeks I went back home. When I look back at the time spent in S. Korea, I see all the wonderful people I met and great things I experienced. I would recommend this country to everyone who is considering S.Korea as an SEP option.