Different than expected makes better than expected
Garcia, an ambitious, whole-hearted male student wanting to live far away from his homeland, Spain, decided to study abroad on the other side of the world in South Korea. His ignorance of the country prompted him to apply. The same can be said of Tran who wanted to experience studying in Korea.
Both men however, found out the college they applied to was not exactly what they had anticipated it to be; it was not until after they were accepted that they realized Ewha was a women’s university.
“I did not know that Ewha University was a woman’s university because my school just introduced it as Ewha University,” Tran said.
Both Garcia and Tran realized Ewha is a women’s university after they applied to study abroad.
“I do not think male exchange students really intentionally apply to Ewha because it is a women’s university,” Tran said.
Needless to say, this unexpectedness experience placed Garcia and Tran in a position to learn some things that are only confined to women’s universities.
Garcia and Tran noticed, for instance, one humorous thing that some female students might not have ever thought about, that is that the men’s bathrooms in Ewha are special. While the female bathrooms are almost always occupied, the men’s bathrooms are always empty.
“The bathrooms are also usually very clean,” Garcia said. “Typically, men’s bathrooms are very dirty, but since nobody really uses the men’s bathrooms here, it’s always clean. On the first day, I didn’t even know if there are men’s bathrooms here and worried, but I noticed the head of the Office of Global Affairs was male, so then I thought, ‘There must be bathrooms here.’”
They also came to understand elements about women in Korean culture.
“Guys are always a hot topic in class, but everybody seems to be so passive when a guy is actually in the same class as them,” Tran said.
Garcia learned that Ewha students do not speak up because they are shy.
“They do not really talk to us face to face, but then they get really get talkative online,” Garcia said.
The male students want to be friends with the female students at Ewha, so they hope the female students can be more confident and active, and talk a little bit more.
The Ewha Voice interviewed a few men who study, teach or work on Ewha campus. The small number of male restrooms and the curious stares they receive from other people is not a big problem for them. Despite the fact that the females vastly outnumber males on campus, they are having the time of their lives at Ewha.