Earlier this month, April 3, 2022, CIEE took a select few students to Nami Island free of charge. When I first signed up through the google doc I was extremely excited and thrilled that CIEE would have a free trip to an island. For events like these there are only a certain number of slots available and it’s always on a first come first serve basis.
Like all CIEE events I’ve attended so far this event happened within a single day. I started the day at 6:00 am to leave on time for the 7:30 departure. As a night owl, it was hard forcing myself to sleep so early and wake up in time to process the world around me and get dressed. The program rented a bus for us to use since we’d be there almost all day. The bus itself wasn’t any ordinary yellow school bus but a legit professional bus with similar features to a GreyHound bus. The seats were extremely comfortable and each chair had its own outlet to charge your phone. We arrived around 9:00 am and took a Ferry to the actual island.
When we got there our tour guide from the bus ride gave us a tour and historical breakdown of Nami Island. We were also provided a free meal after our tour. We were told that the food was locally sourced by the island. The options we were given were beef or chicken with rice as well as traditional seafood pancake (also known as Pa -Jeon); they also adjusted to people’s dietary restrictions.
After the meal we were given free range to explore the island on our own for 2.5/3 hours. Since we had a tour in the beginning many people already knew the areas they wanted to explore. Some students got more food, some rented and rode bikes, others wandered around aimlessly, and some just got souvenirs or caricatures.
The day was a slow, calm, and relaxing one. CIEE went out of their way to ensure that the students were comfortable and happy as well as educated on the island they were visiting. The event lasted from 7:30 am until 8:30 pm (traffic and minor complications elongated the process) but nonetheless it was a free mini-vacation getaway sponsored by CIEE. If you have the chance to go to this island I highly recommend it (especially if you aren’t going in the winter like we were)!