What is a Cafe?

Guest Post By: Jenny Jeong, a Senior studying Accounting, Information Systems, 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.

In Seattle, a cafe is a cafe. You drink your coffee, maybe read a book, do a little work, have a little dessert. Straightforward, clear definition with little to the imagination. This was the cafe I knew of my entire life, and so I thought I knew exactly what to expect whenever I went to a place called a ‘cafe.’ Well, I was in for a shock when I got to Korea. 

In South Korea, the term ‘cafe’ is limited only to your imagination. There are the relatively predictable ‘book cafes’ and ‘study cafes,’ where you are provided a space to read and study. But once you get to ‘archery cafe,’ ‘parrot cafe,’ samoyed cafe,’ ‘meerkat cafe,’ ‘PC cafe,’ ‘fishing cafe,’ ‘forest cafe,’ ‘construction cafe,’ you name it, you stop knowing what to expect and are left questioning, in awe and sincere confusion, what is a cafe?





If you’re studying abroad in Korea, make sure to explore all the various types of cafes and take lots of pictures to remember them by, because each of them offers a unique experience. Try something new while drinking a nice beverage and having a sweet snack!