By David McIlwain
Do you know how to cook? Would you survive well a year on your own without your mother’s cooking? These questions are often forefront in the mind of students contemplating overseas study at Ewha. At the same time, with trans fat and food quality stories filling the media these days, the question of good eating is never far from any students mind, local or international, and a question mark hangs over the ability of Ewha to provide its students with a satisfactory regime of meals. The problem can be further complicated by special dietary requirements, such as those directed by religious laws or vegetarianism, and with Sinchon being more expensive than other student neighborhoods, eating off campus everyday is not always a viable alternative.
Last semester international students were surveyed regarding their thoughts on the cafeteria and improvements that could be made. The results are somewhat disappointing to the students who participated in the questionnaire. After the survey, we find that a sushi buffet has been introduced and as a consequence the ever popular tonkatsu has been moved several hundred meters, to be inconveniently located at the far end of the building. Outside this, little appears to have changed.
Du Xiaoqiao (
Perhaps for a model Ewha could look across the road to the example of Yonsei’s cafeterias. Students eating at Yonsei have a far greater range of eating options set amid greater comfort and convenience. At Yonsei there are several TV screens providing entertainment to those eating alone. It is also possible to order tea or coffee to enjoy after the meal. Yonsei exchange student, Alpha Cheng (
Elisabeth Van Ingelgem (
Unfortunately for those who through special dietary requirements must self-prepare meals cooking facilities in the dormitory are also inadequate. While first-class in many areas, the dorm unfortunately lacks the requirements for healthy home-style meal preparation. Instead, the appliances provided, such as toasters, kettles and microwaves, encourage a junk and fast food diet that students know they should avoid. Of the students spoken to, a majority have relied on instant noodles or other nutritionally deficient options for meals for some significant period of their stay. Among those who do manage to cook in the dorm, books with titles like “101 Microwave Recipes” are popular. Naturally no one spoken to felt this was an appropriate way to eat for a full and hectic semester.