Summer Camping Culture with Yonsei Friends

Guest Post By: Tina Nguyen, a Senior studying Marketing, CISB, and Korean. She is a Global Business Center Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient, and she studied abroad through Foster Exchange at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, during Spring Semester 2023.

Once summer hits in Korea, everyone starts to crave BBQ by the Han River or near a beach. I was able to experience what many would do on a hot day with my Yonsei classmate. As I became closer with Yonsei students in class by the middle of the semester, they invited me with their family to BBQ on a perfect sunny day in their hometown, Incheon. 

This was a 2-hour bus ride to their Incheon home and another 1-hour car ride to Silmido (실미도) beach. From there, I could see the difference in how family camping in America is compared to Korea. In particular, the difference in how everything was more convenient and similar to glamping in America. Although there is camping with making campfires in Korea, there was a 24-hour convenience store with the freshest pork and gas range to cook dishes shown. On the beach, there were mostly families or couples, and I was the only foreigner there. Although it felt out of place, the family made me enjoy this experience. In addition, I understood the history and how the island was a reminiscence of a South Korean Military unit called 684 that was trying to assassinate North Korean Leader Kim Il Sung because of the attempted assassination of President Park Chung Hee in 1971. It became a movie and became a popular destination spot for many South Koreans. 

Overall, I know a little bit about cooking Buchim 부침 aka veggie pancake, grilled pork belly, and kimchi, and a little history in Korea thanks to meeting my amazing Yonsei classmate.