Lee & Won Scholarship MT [Day 1]

Saturday, 11 June 2016

So this is long overdue but I've been so busy with my semester that I didn't have time to update about my life. So I joined this program called Lee & Won Foundation in the beginning of the semester (March) and it's basically a scholarship. Apparently Ashraf was part of it and so was Eugenia (5 years my senior in KSGP). It was the usual stuff, applying for it with my documents and then going for an interview after passing. 

Well just to sum it up, Lee & Won Foundation is run by or founded by two or three people. I'm not too sure the relationship but Lee & Won generally stands for the husband and the wife. Both of them run an investment company in Korea and they have this foundation together with a professor from Yonsei University with them. So this scholarship is basically something like a leadership scholarship where they are building up world leaders? We get a total of 2 million won (2,000 USD) in scholarship and we attend classes once a month. It's really interesting as we learn about different things. It's been three different lessons now and so far we've been learning about effective communication through writing, Korean culture and the relationship with language and also application of these skills in our lives through activities and assignments.

Honestly speaking, it's been a really great time because everyone's almost like family and the CEO of the investment company, essentially the organizer, tells us to treat him like our Korean father. On top of that, we are the 6th group of students from many different countries who are part of this foundation, therefore having many seniors as well. It's true that they say university is a time for networking because it's through networking our futures are shaped in a more opportune way. Anyhoo, even though we've already gone through 3 lessons (which means 3 whole months), I would like to blog and share some photos about our MT (membership training) where we all got together to bond, get to know each other, and to learn a little bit about our organizer and what L&W does.

We gathered at Yonsei for our opening ceremony in formal attire on a Friday evening, where we were to embark on a 3D2N trip to Jeonju, to stay in one of those Cultural Learning Centers. We started off with a good dinner, and met the professors who were to give us lectures on different sections such as Global Communication, Korean Business and Organizational Culture, Korean Culture and Language, and finally Volunteer Activity. After which, we collected our certificates and headed up the bus after dinner to the city of Jeonju.

We arrived late at night, headed to our rooms (stayed in traditional hanok houses) and thank God for air conditioning to keep the mosquitoes out. Took a quick shower and got into bed, ready for a weekend with new faces, new plans and new experiences. Got up the next day in the morning, washed up and went for breakfast after a long walk through the forest trail of Jeonju. After which, we were given some time to wash up and get ready for our first activity of the day: culture.


We gathered at the learning center where we were led by this lady in a traditional Korean hanbok, who taught us how to sing Pansori, which is a traditional Korean way of singing with drums. The cutest part about this is when people pause between verses and lines to take a breather, people who listen are supposed to shout different things like "well done, nice, beautiful" which made it really fun for us. We also had the chance to try it out and sing. It was really difficult, but something new that we learned.

After that we took a walk through Jeonju hanok village where we headed to a bibimbap center. There, we learned how to cook and make our very own bibimbap (and thereafter eat it). It was not really difficult, since all the side dishes were already prepared and sliced for us. All we had to do was to fry them and then place them beautifully in a bowl of rice and then eat it. 

Went back to the learning center after lunch where we attended a tea ceremony. There, we learned from the kind lady how we were supposed to serve tea for guests, in which order and how to prepare the tea. Apparently, there're many steps to follow and it has to go a certain way and there are even powerful meanings for why these actions are done. 

Dressed up as a Korean scholar!

After the tea ceremony we went outside for an archery experience! We each got to shoot 3 arrows for 2 turns, and had a competition between each other. It was a good experience and really fun! Much harder than how it looks like in movies, definitely.

After the archery experience, we were given some time to wash up before heading out for a sumptuous dinner! It was ribs. One thing that I really love about Korean meat is that the ribs are soft and succulent and it just goes so well with rice since they're well marinated. We had some time to bond with each other over meals (like how Koreans do) and alcohol and we all loosened up with each other. 


After dinner, we headed back to the learning center where we had some time with the CEO to learn more about him and the reasons why this foundation came about. We listening to his stories and asked some questions. After which, went back to our quarters to call it a night. It was a tiring day, but nonetheless a good one. On to the next day!

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