Getting Sick in Daegu

So while in Korea I got really sick and had a few medical complications. Attached are pictures of a list of hospitals and clinics in Daegu. I found it pretty helpful when I was essentially dying and couldn’t use my brain. Also, know that if you go to any of these other than Fatima or Hyosung’s Women Hospital, you will need insurance and most likely have 3-4 people in the room with you during the appointment (translators, assistants, etc).

I personally recommend Fatima Clinic as the first place to go:

Address: 576-31, Sinam-dong, Dong-gu
Tel: 053-940-7114
Hours: Monday-Friday 9:30am to 12pm / 1:30pm to 5pm, Saturday 9am to 4 pm

*hours may be different*

The doctor’s English was good enough and you don’t need insurance. It was really cheap, close to the uni (walking distance), and the pharmacy is right next to the clinic.

If you want to see a gyno, check out Amanda’s post on this! I went to the Hyosung Women’s Hospital and it was great. The reception was nice but know there will be a translator in the room as well, in addition to the doctor and her 1-2 assistants. I called an made an appointment for my annual check up and it was pretty smooth. If you don’t have a Korean SIM, go to the Study Abroad office or ask to use any of your Korean friend’s phones to make the appointment! Walk-ins aren’t recommended.

I don’t recommend going to the KNU hospital because the wait takes forever, you need insurance, it’s far, takes forever, and to see a specialist it takes 3 weeks (if it’s an emergency). 



Pharmacies in Korea are pretty lax with the need for prescription for medicine. If you know what you need and ask, they’ll probably give it to you. If you need emergency contraceptives though, you will need a doctors note.

Yellow dust in the spring is also pretty intense (you can see it in waves), so try and wear a mask on the days of “high risk”. You’ll know it when it is a high risk day. There are masks with filters that you can buy next to the uni, and those are recommended.

The KNU Times

During my time at KNU, the KNU Times published two magazines. I found these articles very well-written and interesting, because they really voiced the perspective of the youth in Daegu and overall in Korea. To be honest, it was really hard to talk to Korean students about current issues, because either they weren’t interested in talking about controversial topics, or the language barrier. It was also just hard to make Korean friends because Koreans are a bit exclusive, in that they stay in their groups and aren’t as inviting as say Oklahomans or Colombians. But I just need to say, once you’re friends with a Korean, YOU ARE HOMIES FOR LIFE. I made a bunch of guy friends in my geography class only because our professor had put us in groups, but we still text to this day and they had invited me to many a soju and fried chicken. They also introduced me to a bunch of people, which was nice.
Below are a few photos I took of the KNU Times magazine and the articles. The perspective is cool and if you need to learn a few things about the Korean perspective or something before getting there, this may help!



*none of the content in these pictures is my own*


Hyeji Kim: The Best KNU Buddy To Ever Happen

Before arriving to KNU, the university assigned me a “buddy” from my major who was to help me with getting around the university, choosing classes, and with general questions. I fortunately had luck on my side when I was assigned my buddy, Hyeji aka Clara. We began texting on KakaoTalk 2 weeks before I left and she answered all of the questions I had regarding Korea.
We really hit it off over text and when I arrived to Daegu at midnight, she picked me up from the bus station, saw me to my hostel, and had brought me food for my first night. Then every week for almost the entire semester, Hyeji and I would lunch together at different places that she knew. This was a godsend, for 2 reasons: I needed someone to force me to eat as lost a lot of weight after Thailand and Vietnam and my stomach had shrunk. Second reason was that I had absolutely no clue as to Daegu’s food scene and Hyeji, being a university student foodie, knew all of the places that were cheap and delicious.

We feasted every week and our friendship grew stronger every meal. Saying goodbye to Hyeji was one of the hardest goodbyes I’ve ever made, but she is now like a sister to me. We are now even planning a travel television show of just us going around the world and eating. You’ll probs cop a watch on HBO/Netflix in 2020.




Kyungpook National University Spring 2017: Study Abroad

Wow I can’t believe it’s already nearing the end of May! It seems like just the other day I was planning my trip, scouring the Internet for tips and ideas for my semester at KNU. This post will be a semi-informational guide for students planning on coming to KNU and if anybody actually reads this and has questions, please feel free to comment below and I’d love to help answer your Qs.

Ok so following my typical approach; let’s start with…



It ain’t cheap. I’d definitely save up a good amount of cash if you want to eat decently (aka not rice everyday). Like most University of Oklahoma exchange students at KNU, I received the housing and food scholarship from the university. Unfortunately, the food at the new dorm (there is a difference between the food at the old dorms and new dorms, I’ll explain in another post) is quite frankly, Absolutely terrible. If you can eat spicy foods, it won’t be as bad but the quality of food is just rough.

Now that said, one can eat pretty cheaply and in large quantities for nearly 5000₩ and there are some fruits you can find at a market near the old dorms. But I just want it to be known that most international students (including myself) underestimated the amount of money they would spend on food, because they expected the cafeteria food to be eatable. If you are not receiving the food scholarship, DO NOT BUY THE MEAL PLAN. I know many of my European friends did this and essentially wasted hundreds of euros on food they couldn’t physically stomach. Additionally, the food at supermarkets is more expensive than the market foods and you can’t buy any food to prepare because neither of the dorms have kitchens. So when you’re preparing a budget, know that food will take up most of your budget. In the next post I’ll write about some of the best/cheapest places to eat near campus and Downtown.


In South Korea

So leaving Daegu can be pretty cheap or pretty expensive. It all depends on where you go but going to Seoul can range from 17000₩ to 47000₩, one-way. The price to Seoul varies depending on how early you buy the ticket and whether you take the long train (3.5-4 hours), the fast KTX (1.5 hours), or the bus (3 hours). The bus is usually the cheapest and the ride isn’t uncomfortable at all (they even stop midway for 15 minutes so you can go to the bathroom and whatnot).

Going to Busan (from what I’ve heard) is very cheap and only an hour or so, around 7000₩ one-way, and other to other cities is pretty cheap. I really love going to Seoul but always have limited time to travel due to work on Friday so I spend a buttload of money on the KTX ticket ;/ You can buy train tickets online here:

Leaving South Korea

Leaving the country can be a bit costly, depending on where you go and how far ahead you plan. Going to Japan will be around $140 round trip from Busan/Daegu– again the price depending on how early you plan your trip. Don’t try and buy your ticket for May 5th (if you’re there in the spring) because everybody and their mother will be going there!!!!

Going to Vietnam and Thailand is also quite cheap, but check the season (monsoon/high or low travel season) and remember that for Vietnam most people need visas (super easy to do online, will write about it another post). Going to Jeju (still in Korea) can actually be quite cheap and flights should be booked through Google Flights is my favourite site to find the cheapest tickets from Korea.

In Daegu

Traveling within Daegu can mostly be done be bus, subway, or taxi. Taxis are SO cheap here (in comparison to the US) and a taxi from the campus to downtown will cost around 5500₩ and they take cards. All the taxi drivers only speak Korean though so download Google Translator or a map of where you want to go before you get in. If you’re going out to party (not that I ever did that), just keep this in mind because the bus stops running around 12. The bus is pretty easy to figure out but can be confusing at first because not everything is entirely translated into English like in Seoul. Take the 410 or the 706 to go downtown from North Gate (it’s around 7 stops).

You don’t have to but it’s easiest to buy a T-money travel card for the buses, which can also be used in the subways in Daegu and Seoul. It’s annoying to whip out the 1400₩ for each bus ride when you’re in a crowded bus with the typical crazy Korean bus driver. You can buy these cards at a 711 or CU at North Gate. When it comes to the subway in Daegu, because there is no stop near the uni I rarely ever used it. It’s good to get around to different parts of the city if you just want to explore or go see the other universities in the area (Yeongnam).

Here is a picture of the KNU taxi card you get in your welcome packet but I thought some students may want it before they come just in case:




Clothes here can range from very cheap to very expensive. Again, it’s all about what you’re looking for but if you’re not the typical Korean size (aka size Small, small arms, and slender) you may not have much luck. My French, Moroccan, and Polish friends found it very hard to find tops and jeans that fit but my Malaysian and Japanese friend did not find it that hard. For guys, I’m not sure how difficult it is to find stuff in “European” sizes but for all, just know there are UNIQLO and H&M in downtown if you really need to get some clothes. I’m 5’5” and an American small but my long arms and bum really restrict me from buying anything here. In Seoul, there is more variation but the range of sizes (or lack thereof) is still pretty restrictive. In Seoul, Hongdae and Myeongdong station are great places to buy clothes, accessories, and shoes.


Shoes here are dope. Obviously Nike and Reebok will be more expensive than they are in the States, but there are so many sales that this isn’t always true. Here in Daegu, the fashion is a little more on the conservative side but there are still plenty of options. I would recommend buying fall/winter boots at home though, because the booted heels here are not that comfortable and a little on the expensive side (take this with a grain of salt though because I was here in February-June aka probably not the best time to be looking for boots).


So, the dorms are what actually worried me the most before I came and I’d say with good reason. Firstly, the rules of the new dorm Chumsung-gwan were not told to me before I came:

  1. The dorm elevators are separated by gender.
  2. The dorm floors are separated by gender and boys can’t even go on girl’s floors.
  3. If you arrive after 1 am, you get “penalty points” so 2 points each time you use your card key between 1:00 am–4:59 am. Now, they don’t really count the exchange students’ points and I know that for a fact but the administration kind of scares you into coming before 1 am in the beginning.

***The old dorm buildings are separated by gender and I believe they may count the penalty points more***

Now the cost of the dorms wasn’t really a factor for me because I received the dorm scholarship, but I believe it’s not too expensive for a semester at such a good uni with pretty decent facilities. I believe it is around $1000 with the meal plan in the new dorms but I honestly am not entirely sure.

Things You’ll Need to Buy for Your Room:

  • Comforter: Prices can range from 30,000-70,000₩ and it depends where you buy it. My roommate bought hers from the Small Gate market but I got mine from Emart. Hers was more expensive and better quality, but for 4 months I would spend just the 30000₩.

  • Bottom Blanket Thingy: ok so here they don’t really use sheets so you won’t be able to really find them. What you will find is this kind of thick quilt-like thing that covers the mattress. I bought a mattress topper that had a cover on it and it was actually a lot better because the mattresses here are like rocks (it was 30,000₩ from Home Plus). If you really want sheets, you should bring a set of twin sheets.

  • Pillow(s): I bought a bigger pillow for 15000₩ and a small one for 10000₩ from Emart.

  • Light Blanket: I don’t know why I needed this but I just did. It cost around 10000₩ from Emart.

  • Trash Cans: You can actually find some leftover from the semester before but they’re usually disgusting. These cost 1000₩ from Daiso.


*~*~*~* QuiCK DAISO PlUg ~*~*~*~*

Ok so if you’re as broke as I am, you want to get everything as cheaply functional as possible, Daiso is the place to go. Daiso is like the hybrid between the Dollar Store and Target, and they have the coolest stuff and mostly everything is under 5000₩. I would recommend getting trashcans, hangers, umbrellas, water bottles, mirrors, hooks, nail polish remover, makeup remover wipes, snacks, mini rugs (if you have holes in your floor like I did), little souvenirs, mini Korean flags, desk organizing stuff, cleaning supplies, plates, utensils, school supplies, toilet paper, bathroom soap, shower curtain–


*Other than clothes, bedding, electronics, and fresh food



So hit it up! There is a Daiso at Small Gate, North Gate, and Downtown. I’d recommend taking a big empty backpack to the one in Downtown because that Daiso is the biggest and you’ll most likely be taking the bus. I say this because the Small and North Gate Daisos will be ransacked the first few weeks lol.

I ended up spending around 300,000₩ total on my room, but you may spend less or more.

COLSA Halloween Skate Night

img_2790Colombian Student Association threw a themed skate night in mid-October at Star Skate. My fellow officers and I brought food and drinks and skated/salsa-ed the entire evening, jamming out to 70s music and reggaeton. I tried the four-wheeled skates that everybody wore in the 70s and a piece of advice: Just. Don’t. Do. It. I fell approximately 15 times and it showed the next week all over my knees and elbows. Some other people were able to miraculously master it but honestly they must have secretly practiced the night before or trained like the girl from the movie Whip It because it does not come naturally. Thankfully, the empanadas and reggaeton provided the perfect medication for our bruised limbs and we ended the night felices.



Pakistan Part II

Many scholars ask whether the partition of Bangladesh from Pakistan inevitable. I address this question in the following essay:



In 1971, East Pakistan broke away from West Pakistan after a bloody civil war. The separation of West and East Pakistan could, at first blush, seem unlikely after 24 years of unity but, in retrospect appears to be the most inevitable development in a very unstable administration. The creation of Bangladesh in 1971 reflected the Pakistani government’s structural fissures, which had worsened since independence in 1947. The Muslim League’s consistent policy of Bengali suppression predestined the split, in addition to the great distance between the West and East, but many other factors were at play.


Geography & Climate

Obviously, the geographic horror story of a West and East Pakistan should have been the first sign of separation. Though countries like the Netherlands and France were able to have colonies around the world, separated by massive oceans and different languages, the ability to have a country split in half by its greatest enemy and not fall apart is nearly impossible. It is also important to note that eventually all Dutch and French colonies could not be held, as the cost of suppression and colonization was too high. East Pakistan was, in many ways, treated like the West’s colony. West Pakistan attempted to impose Urdu as the official and superiour language in the East, and the East only received a fraction of its exporting earnings[1]. The “captive market” of East Pakistan’s agricultural industry allowed for structural development in West Pakistan but economic disputes with India regarding the jute trade caused the East to suffer recessions while the West continued to grow[2]. This distance between the two countries allowed for this type of colonial treatment; the East and West had slowed and infrequent communication between the other. If Bengalis had the physical proximity to the capital, it would have been more likely for their demands to be met but the sheer characterization of a separated state really made that impossible. The separation also allowed for Indian influence and the ability for the Awami League to arise in Pakistan because had the army been closer, the Awami League would have been crushed earlier.

The Bhola cyclone that hit East Pakistan in 1970 also had major economic effects, and resulted in nearly 225,000 deaths[3]. West Pakistan’s lack of response to the environmental disaster further estranged the Western government from its Eastern counterpart. The cyclone’s timing definitely played a part in Eastern insurrections and eventual independence as the Awami League profited off the government’s disaffection of the environmental tragedy.



The East also suffered limited representation in the Pakistani government and had very few Bengali officers in the Pakistani army[4]. The lack of military inclusion is very important, as it not only represented governmental segregation but also the lack of social mobility for the Bengali people within Pakistan. The lack of political, economic, cultural, and military inclusion was only possible for so long because of the physical distance between the two halves of Pakistan, but not sustainable due to the colonial-like treatment, martial law, and the promise of autonomy during partition and constitutional drafting[5].



Adeney argues that secession was not inevitable because Bengalis were not rallied until Operation Searchlight, which involved the mass use of violence by the West Pakistani military[6]. Yet this argument is invalid as the 1947 Separatist Movement in East Pakistan lobbied for “full autonomy for East Pakistan in all spheres except Defence and Foreign Affairs”[7]. It was nearly the movement’s entire platform and its legacy continued strongly into the 50s, as the East Pakistan Muslim League protested in Victoria Park in 1950, the Dhaka Bar Associations advocated maximum autonomy in 1953, and the Bengali political reaction to the Bogra Formula[8].

East Pakistan after partition had become the centre of anti-governmental parties, where parties like the United Front[9] formed and grew in Dhaka. Talbot argues that the passing of the Mohammad Ali Bogra formula would have allowed the East Pakistanis some political power but after politician Nazimuddin was forced out of government, the Bengalis of the east only had implementation-less laws[10]. Yet Fazal-ul-Huq described the Bogra formula as “a colossal hoax on an obliging group of party members”[11]. There was no way that the Bogra formula would have been supported by the East, and Kokrab argues that the formula caused for more political centralization of East Pakistani parties and a great shift towards Eastern autonomy (granted without Nazimuddin’s support but on a local and state level more so)[12].

After the 1958 coup, East Pakistanis still pushed for greater representation, and the Six Point Plan and Rahman’s following jailing forced the Awami League politicians towards radical measures. The jailing and the typhoon definitely were the collective climax of the East’s struggle and brought the inevitable separation to actualization by an angry, exasperated Eastern population with 24 years of suppression fueling their fight.



The role of India was also very important in East Pakistan’s inevitable partition from its western counterpart. The Western half’s neo-colonial[13] treatment of East Pakistan caused the East to look towards its neighbour, India, whose inclusive language policy rudely contrasted the harsh and imposing Urdu policy of Pakistan. India also had its own base of amicable relations with the Hindu minority in East Pakistan, who made up 20% of the East Pakistani population[14]. The East Pakistani Awami League also received Indian financial and military backing, which also influenced the independence movement[15].



East Pakistan’s separation from the West was inevitable. The influence and proximity of India definitely played a role in East Pakistan’s independence, in addition to the neo-colonial treatment from the West. The conglomeration of geographic, climate, political, cultural, and socio-economic grief over 24 years definitely took its toll on the East Pakistani people and caused the eventual partition. Bangladesh’s independence would later reveal the subversive and corrupt structure of Pakistan’s paramilitary government, and engender political turmoil in Pakistan.


[1] The New World Encylopedia. Bangladesh War of Independence.

[2] Talbot. Pakistan: A History. Pg. 138.

[3] Sommer, Alfred. Mosley, Wiley. East Bengal Cyclone of 1970: Epidemiological Approach to Disaster Assessment. Pg. 1.

[4] K. Adeney. Federalism and Ethnic Conflict Regulation in India and Pakistan. Pg 155.

[5] Kokab, Rizwan Ullah. Constitution Making in Pakistan and East Bengal’s Demand for Autonomy (1947-58). Pg 166.

[6] K. Adeney. Pg. 157.

[7] Kokab. Pg. 166.

[8] Kokab. Pg. 169-171.

[9] K. Adeney. Pg. 156.

[10] Talbot. Pakistan: A History. Pg 142.

[11] Kokab. Pg. 171.

[12] Kokab. Pg. 172.

[13] Nanda, Ved. Self-Determination in International Law: The Tragic Tale of Two Cities–Islamabad (West Pakistan) and Dacca (East Pakistan). Pg 361.

[14] Cohen, Stephen. The Idea of Pakistan. Pg. 43.

[15] Heath, Deana. Mathur, Chandana. Communalism and Globalization in South Asia and Its Diaspora. Pg. 99.


Pakistan Part I

 Many scholars ask why Pakistan did not become the democracy that India did, despite their similar roots. I address this in the following essay:



“The wide gap between the professed democratic values and the operational realities of authoritarianism and non-viable civilian institutions can be described as an important feature of Pakistan’s political experience”[1]. The failure of democracy and subsequent military dominance in Pakistan can be traced to the early years of the country’s independence. The country’s leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah died a year into his term as 1st Governor General of Pakistan, but his death was only one in a multitude of factors that pushed Pakistan away from democracy and towards militarization. In analyzing these factors, scholars have compared the political outcomes of the once-joined India and Pakistan: why did India become a democratic nation after partition and Pakistan not? The countries were previously conjoined and affected by the same British colonial rule, yet the result of independence ended with the two countries in entirely different political dimensions. In understanding the pre- and post-partition India and Pakistan, an explanation arises from the historical narrative and gives an indication as to why martial law has governed Pakistan and the failure of democracy in the nation.

After more than 100 years under British colonial rule, Pakistan and India emerged in 1947. Yet for the two countries to materialize, Muslim nationalism was mobilized for the partition. Political figure Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his supporters in the Muslim League advocated for the partition and creation of Pakistan, amassing followers like the Muslim landowning families in the Punjab and Sindh,[2] and other Muslims who feared a Hindu majority government. These fears of Hindu oppression stemmed from the aftermath of the 1857 mutiny against the British, where the Muslim and Hindu communities began to isolate and divide. As the British checked anti-colonial sentiments, the colonial power invented political categories of “Hindu” and “Muslim” and attached resources or lack thereof to each. This separation and isolation of Muslims was visible in the Indian National Congress winning 1937 elections and in the 1940 Lahore Resolution where Lord Linlithgow referred to the separation of India into three dominions among the Muslims, Hindus, and princely states[3]. Jinnah also reflects the product of this separation in his annual address to the Muslim League in 1940, stating, “It is extremely difficult to appreciate why our Hindu friends fail to understand the real nature of Islam and Hinduism. They are not religions in the strict sense of the word, but are, in fact, different and distinct social orders”[4].


The Muslim League: Leadership & Political Support

So the built-in and increasing separation between Muslims and Hindus, and the resulting Muslim nationalism that influenced partition created two very different political foundations for each country. After the bloody two months of partition, Pakistan surfaced from the partition a nation rooted in Muslim nationalism but without any political or administrative structure[5]. Muslim nationalism was enough to designate national unity but not enough to create it, and the new Muslim League’s political base was very limited due to its recent formation and organization. The Muslim League only truly began to aggregate followers after the Indian National Congress was jailed during the Quit India Movement[6] and had secured stratified supporters with limited mobilization capabilities. The Muslim League relied on the leadership of Jinnah, primordial tactics, and political gain as a way of creating its supporter base–the “colonial backwaters”[7] of West and East Pakistan becoming a rich opportunity for those who feared Hindu rule and landowning elites with limited voice in the Indian Congress.

In contrast Gandhi and Nehru gained grassroots support by appealing to all classes and strata throughout India with historic political party backing, which allowed for the ‘active participation of citizens in politics and civic life’, a key element in democracy formation[8]. The East Pakistani Bengalis had no real way to get involved in Pakistani politics due to the thousand-mile gap between its western counterpart and the lack of representation, and Jinnah had no “grassroots” support from the lower classes and minorities of West Pakistan. The League’s great reliance on Jinnah’s leadership also proved to be erroneous, as some scholars would say the leader’s sudden death took a drastic toll on the country’s path to democracy. The League’s failure in securing a political foothold in all social classes after partition, an unhealthy reliance on Jinnah, and the lack of East Pakistani representation eventually inflicted blows on the foundation of the Pakistani democratic movement. These factors, including the foundation of colonial recruitment of Pakistanis during WWI and WWII and the Pakistani-Indian Kashmir war in 1949, created a power vacuum for military dominance in the country.


The Growth of the Military Budget

The 1949 war in Kashmir had an interesting impact on the Pakistani government’s future expenditures and structure. In the partition, Pakistan did not inherit the structural administration and wealth promised to them[9] and essentially had to build its administration and treasury from scratch. Democracy is dependent upon administrative institutions[10], and though Jinnah was able to create these institutions, 70% of government funds from 1947-50 went to the national defense budget. The birth of the Pakistani “garrison state” came about from excessive governmental expenditure on the military, and created an economy and a government focused on creating a formidable military and not on constitutional establishment.

It should be noted that the new government’s lentor in creating the constitution allowed for the Pakistani people to inherently lean in favour of an institution with already established principles. The fickle nature of politics juxtaposed the rapidly advancing military, which was promoting the country’s international growth (American investment in the 50s) and provided a stable option for governance.

In comparison, the new Indian people and government had a deep distrust for the ex-British Indian army[11] and were hesitant to spend on defence. The mistrust the Indian people had of the army was out of their wish to rid India of the “British officer element”[12] and many officers did not want to serve under Nehru, who criticized the army publically. The expenditure on defence reflects this and without money fueling the army, Indian politicians and people focused on constitution building and by 1950 the Indian constitution was written and implemented. The belief in political process may also be correlated to the larger, more established Indian National Congress which had great public support throughout the country. The democratic process was in a ways easier for the new Indian government, as politicians had public support, an already built administrative structure, and mistrust of the army.



India and Pakistan were once the same country but each country’s political composition and structure before and after partition affected their democratic fate. The resulting militarization of Pakistan has roots deep into before the partition. The militarization was a direct result of a democratic evolution that was too slow in an environment of increased military spending. The political concept of the military being faster or more efficient than government politicians and this is visible throughout Pakistan’s history of military coups.

[1] Rizvi, Hasan Askari. Democracy in Pakistan. Pg 117.

[2] BBC. British Modern History: Partition 1947.

[3] BBC. British Modern History: Partition 1947.

[4] Jinnah Address to Annual Session of the Muslim League, 1940 PDF.

[5] Rizvi, Hasan. Democracy in Pakistan. Pg. 117.

[6] Rizvi, Hasan. Pg. 119.

[7] Gyanesh Kudaisya, Tan Tai Yong. The Aftermath of Partition in South Asia. Pg 199.

[8] Stanford Journal. What is Democracy?

[9] Sengupta, Anwesha. Breaking Up: Dividing Assets Between Indian & Pakistan in times of Partition. Pg. 530.

[10] Stanford Journal. What is Democracy?

[11] Marston, Daniel. The Indian Army and the End of the Raj. Pg. 266.

[12] Marston, Daniel. Pg. 266.


Applying to KNU

After I came back from Colombia, I couldn’t get rid of my travel bug. I had plans to be the first OU exchange student at Universidad de Los Andes in Spring 2017, but the timing for our dean to visit and get my visa all needed to happen too quickly– so I decided to make a plan B. I visited Wyatt at the Study Abroad office and asked him where I could use my scholarship, take classes in English or Spanish, and it not be too expensive. We found that Kyungpook National University and the University of Pretoria were the two top choices, and I decided to apply to KNU. KNU teaches a great number of its classes in English and has a housing scholarship available for international students. Their classes transfer easily and also start in March and end mid-June. I thought this was going to be a bonus, because it would allow me more time to travel before classes.

Little did I know that we receive our acceptance letters to KNU on December 20th and have to un-enroll out of OU classes to be able to apply to KNU, so there can be no contingency plan. In addition to that, the housing scholarships are released in mid-January, when OU classes begin. So I advise anybody applying to any OU study abroad programme to really read between the lines and understand that the timing of all of this can make things very expensive in the long run. The KNU programme sounded amazing from the start and I am sure that it is a great programme, but it will also not easy for an applicant to make a contingency plan just in case financials don’t work out. I had also planned to have a girl take over my lease but on the Friday of exams week, she told me she had a family emergency and wouldn’t be back for the following semester. I thought I could get everything covered but for anybody studying abroad, know that that isn’t ever really possible especially when the other school is on a different semester schedule…


COLSA Latin Night


COLSA held its first fiesta at Sandro’s Pizzeria early this semester. This party was a true Colombian party: bright lights, salsa, reggaeton, great food, and a bunch of sweaty people of all ages.

I got off work and ran to the location, helping all the other officers set up the balloons and black out the windows. Our DJ set himself up and we anxiously waited with wristbands at the door. Many of the officers and I didn’t think many would show up to our event due to the very early 2000s poster but many international and OU students trickled in. It is very funny to see all the different cultures coming together; the Spaniards and Puerto Rican students rolled their hips seamlessly to the music, like they knew every upcoming beat by heart. The Germans and Koreans took a little longer to warm up, sipping on vodka tonics and watching Latinos sway. I loved this party mainly because the COLSA members and officers were so true to our culture: roping in the other international students and dancing with them, laughing and accepting any effort. I remember seeing this in the El Poblado neighborhood in Medellin, where the French and Dutch were shown the way by fellow Colombians. I was shown the way to salsa-choque on the coast, in Cartagena and San Andres in the same accepting Latino way.

It was a beautiful night and I left drenched in sweat from all the dancing. COLSA was also able to fundraise a considerable amount for our scholarship programme, and we ended up having to ask people to leave. The party was a success and we look forward to hosting another!


Traveling Colombia VIDEOS

Attached are links to videos I took at specific areas/events in Colombia this summer. Hope this can inspire anybody to visit!

Alpina Headquarters, Bogota, COLOMBIA

San Andres (inner city), COLOMBIA

San Andres (First Baptist Church), COLOMBIA (have to pay something like 10,000 to get to top)

Feast outside of Bogota, COLOMBIA

Feria de Las Flores, Medellin, COLOMBIA