During the final weeks of my short- term program at Sogang University in South Korea, I visited an art village known as the Paju Hyeri Village that was situated just before the DMZ (De-Militarised Zone), which was the boarder between South Korea and North Korea. It was interesting and a bit frightening to see that across the river from where we were travelling on the bus that North Korea was on the other side as you were able to see it. The DMZ is considered the neutral zone for the South and North as it was mentioned that during the Korean War, both sides never fully restored peace as everyone has probably already known. The Paju Hyeri Village consisted of artistic workshops and studios for artists. The architecture of each building was unique and I was able to feel the amount of work and effort that was put into building these studios. It was very creative.

KOREAN RECIPE: 떡볶이 (TTEOKBOKKI) known in English as Spicy Korean Rice Cake.

When you arrive in South Korea and you experience the nightlife of this amazing country. The first thing you’ll notice are the street stalls that sell local Korean street food. These are everywhere. One of the most noticeable and tasty snacks/meal substitute for a late night is Tteobokki, which is Spicy Korean Rice Cake in English and it is the most tasty snack for a late night. Tteobokki is simple and easy to make. The recipe is posted below:


  • 100 grams of frozen rice cake
  • 1 slab of fish cake (optional)
  • 20 grams of onion
  • 20 grams of carrot
  • 1 hard boiled egg.


  • 1 tablespoon of Korean chilli paste
  • 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons of corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon of crush garlic
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 200mL of water


  1. Boil the frozen rice cake until it floats. Then rinse in cold water and coat in vegetable oil so they do not stick together.
  2. Cut the fish cake into bite size pieces and slice the onion and carrot.
  3. For the seasoning, add the soy sauce, black pepper, corn syrup, crushed garlic, water, oil and Korean chilli paste together.
  4. Pour the seasoning into a fry pan on a high heat.
  5. When the seasoning comes to a boil, add the rice cake and leave it to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the remaining onion, fishcake and carrot after the rice cake has simmered into the sauce and continue cooking for about 5 minutes.


During the last week of my short-term program, the staff of the Sogang University Summer Studies Program helped organise a farewell and ‘graduation’ ceremony for the students who took this program. It was a graduation ceremony that moved many of the SKSSP students and me, as my fantastic and tremendous trip to South Korea was coming to an end. For five weeks, I have made South Korea my ‘home’ and I was upset about leaving the magnificent country as I have made many friends from all around the world there and this was my first time going overseas alone. At the start of the program, I was anxious and worried about my entire trip. However, by the end of it, I have grown to love South Korea and its culture. As the saying goes… All good things must come to an end! I have definitely enjoyed every part of this study abroad experience, even though it was such a short amount of time. I will miss South Korea and the friends I have made while studying abroad!