Monday, April 30, 2012

Big Bang, Shinee, Daehangno?

   I went to Daehangno today to watch my friend's musical with my girlfriend. If New York has Broadway and London has West End, Seoul has  Daehangno  ^^ Even if it's a small area you can find 40 plus small theaters scattered all over the place. Since I like watching musicals, plays and any forms of performing arts Daehangno is like a paradise for me ^^ hahaha It's also a place for independent performing artists who want to showcase their talents to many people.
      Anyway, so before going to the musical, we dropped by at a Filipino restaurant (I heard it only opens on Sundays) to eat some sinigang, menudo and fried bangus ^^ (nyam nyam ^^) Then since we still had a lot of time before the musical starts, we decided to take a walk until we saw a crowd of people in one area. We just saw Shinee...'s song Sherlock being danced by a group of young Koreans.
A group of young Koreans dancing to different K-Pop songs. I took some videos through my phone. (The video quality is good in iphone but once uploaded on YouTube it got distorted a bit).

If I were as powerful as SM, YG and JYP and I could scout talents right on the spot, I already picked two. The group was quite popular especially to the young people who join the crowd since some of the members of the group have this "idolish" aura.

They performed Rain's Hip Song first with a very young lead dancer. He looked like a grade school student.  (he told me he's already 14 years old after the perf). Then Shinee's Sherlock after that Big Bang's Fantastic Baby. They also shuffled and did more dances. 

The writings on their shirts say "Dokdo is our land." After their performance the leader of the group approached me. Apparently we were co-staffs in a camp before in Incheon. He told me that he is managing the group. They call themselves Haramkum. They perform in the streets of Seoul through dances and at the same time voice out their opinions on different issues in the society like Dokdo and Unification.

I will try to interview them next time. And who knows some of them may debut as idols in the coming years so if you have questions comment them below.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

KGSP Graduate Scholarships, Yonsei University

One of the best universities in Korea, Yonsei University, just announced the opening of Korean Government Scholarship Program (KGSP) for grad school

Admission Schedule

(Regular) Graduate School
1.Spring semester (March) – Apply in October
2. Fall semester (September) – Apply in April
Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS)
1. Application period: March 2nd ~ May 31st
2. Document Screening & Interview: March 2nd~ June 8th
3. Final Result Notification: After June 11th

Graduate School
Master’s Degree Program:
    A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (or expected to receive a bachelor’s degree before the beginning of the term the applicant is applying to).
    Educational attainment equivalent to a bachelor’s degree recognized by law.
Ph.D. Degree Program:
    A master’s degree from an accredited college or university (or expected to receive a master’s degree before the beginning of the term the applicant is applying to).
    Educational attainment equivalent to master’s degree recognized by law.
Master/Ph.D. Combined Program
As described in Master’s Degree Program (1) & (2)

Graduate School of International Studies
Master’s program: Graduates of a bachelor’s degree program at a recognized college or university in Korea or abroad.
Ph.D. program: Graduates of a master’s degree program at a recognized college or university in Korea or abroad.
*Master’s program applicants are not required to have any specific undergraduate degree nor are there any specific prerequisites.

Graduate School
1. Completed application form (print out the submitted online application)
2. Two letters of recommendation written by two professors from a previously attended university. (No standard form provided)
3. 3 One copy of an official undergraduate degree certificate (or proof of expected graduation) and an official transcript: required for both master’s and Ph.D. applicants
4. One copy of an official master’s degree certificate (or proof of expected graduation) and an official transcript: PhD applicants only
5. Study Plan (No standard form provided)
6. One score report from either an official Korean Language proficiency test or English Language proficiency test (TOEFL, TEPS, IELTS)
7. A copy of applicant’s passport
Graduate School of International Studies
All documents should be in English. (If the original documents are not in English, then, notarized translations must also be submitted.)
Master’s Program
1. Completed application form
2. Official Transcripts of All Undergraduate Work (in a sealed and signed envelope).
3. One Photocopy of Bachelor’s Degree (or a certificate of expected graduation that states the anticipated date of graduation from your undergraduate institution)
4. TOEFL or IELTS or TOEIC score (the original document) if high school and undergraduate education was not in English.
5. Two Letters of Recommendation from Professors or Supervisors (in sealed and signed envelopes)
6. Copy of applicant’s Passport (non-expired)
7. Two passport-sized photo (plain background)
8. Statement of Purpose
Doctoral Program (in addition to all the documents listed above)
1. Official Transcripts of All Graduate Work (sealed and signed envelope)
2. One Photocopy of Master’s Degree
3. A Research Proposal
4. A Writing Sample (term papers or Master’s thesis of at least 40 pages)

Office of International Affairs
Manager : Mr. Kevin Son(2123-6492,
Website :

Graduate School
Admission Officer : Mr. Song Jae Myeong
Tel number : 2123-3223, 3228
Fax number : 2123-86
Website :
Email address :

Graduate School of International Studies
Admissions officer : Mr. Chung, Yong Hwa
Tel number : 2123-3293
Fax number : 2123-8653
Website :
Email address :

For Academic Programs check
Yonsei University

Address: 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, Korea


For more information on scholarships, please read: English version: Inbound -> Korean Government Scholarship Program -> Announcement

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Korean trainee Il Gon Kim in a German newspaper!

I wanted to feature this a long time ago but I just couldn't find time. The only Korean-German weekly broadsheet Kyopo Shinmun, featured a story of my Korean friend who is a trainee, Il Gon Kim. If you've been following my blog, I already featured his story before on Power Korean section. Please check it HERE.

After I featured him on my blog, K-Colors of Korea, a Germany based online magazine about Korea (culture, K-Pop etc.) which are in English, Korean and German languages got interested in his story so they interviewed him. Il Gon narrated his experiences as a trainee so you can check his interview HERE.

you can follow his Twitter

Issue 101: Jasmine Lee, a victim of Korean Xenophobia

        Talking about double standards in Korea, there is one thing that comes to mind, xenophobia (fear of foreigners). Newly-elected lawmaker in Korea (under Saenuri Party) Jasmine Lee, a Filipina who became a naturalized Korean citizen since 1998 is said to be a victim of malicious attacks on the Internet. I have many Korean friends who are happy of her being elected and representing multiculturalism in Korea so people who are not pleased with it are the least I expected. I don't know but, as a foreigner living in Korea, I've felt how the Korean government is trying to make programs that would enrich multiculturalism in Korea but it seems that there are some people who are not supportive of it. 

Anyway, I would like to share some articles and blog entries related to it:
Chosun Ilbo: Korean Xenophobia Betrays Double Standards
ABS-CBN News: Jasmine Lee faces 'racist' attacks from Korean netizens
Korea Herald:  Xenophobic attacks target naturalized lawmaker-elect
The Unlikely Expat: Election Season Racism!

I also have my own stories of discrimination in Korea and even in Japan and China where I also used to lived. But it didn't stop me from loving these countries. After all I've made very good friends and met nice people. I hope people would stop spreading hate. There are many things in this world to enjoy so why dig on hate when you can love ^^