My time at Ewha Womans University has been a friendly one and almost every day I meet Korean students wishing to share conversations with me about cultures in England. Whenever I am faced with first time meetings with individual students, I am often asked about my home university and its characteristics. I would like to admit dear readers that I successfully deliver a prompt and completely accurate response every time. However I often respond with the simple yet confusing answer: “It’s similar in some ways but not in others.” This is caused by my resignation to the fact that I find it very difficult to sum my University in a couple of sentences. Therefore, I am able to take this opportunity today to finally answer you and all other Ewha students in full.
I am originally from Exeter University which is a fairly middle sized university situated in the heart of Devon in South-west England. It prides itself on having the greenest campus in the UK as its collection of buildings are encompassed by trees, rolling pastures, ponds, and the occasional sheep.
Although, in reality this sounds idyllic it does possess its fair share of treacherous hills enough to even rival Ewha. There is one such hill infamously called ‘Cardiac hill’ because legend has it an elderly couple suffered a heart attack climbing it. However, dear readers don’t be alarmed as that is all it is, a legend. As regards study, the university is often ranked among the top 10 in the UK charts and has been No.1 for student satisfaction. It is a haven for Middle Eastern scholars as it boasts one of the best institutions to study Arabic and related fields. One big difference to Ewha is that the calendar consists of three semesters starting in October, and the third which is an exam semester finishing in June. The Student Union plays a very large part at the university and clubs take up a large part of student’s lives. At the beginning of every semester societies advertise themselves at “The Squash” (a large society exhibition) encouraging you to join one of the vast array of sports, media, and other societies available. I personally joined XTV, a student television station which allowed me getting in all sorts of excitement!
Exeter as a city and geographical location is lovely, too. It is only a 30 minute train journey to get to the beach, and the historic beauty of the medieval cathedral makes the city a worthwhile trip for a walk. Exeter is also home to the world of Harry Potter having been the inspiration for many of J.K Rowling’s buildings. One popular pub named the old “Firehouse” is reportedly claimed to have been inspiration for the Leaky Cauldron.
I hope these little insights into my home university have offered a brief introduction to my student life, who knows you may even visit Exeter in the future. If so, I hope you will remember the crazy exchange student in the Ewha Voice and the tales he had to tell.
Benjamin White is currently studying at Ewha as an exchange student.